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How to Grow Potatoes in Bags

If you’re lucky enough to have space on your vegetable plot you can grow your potatoes in the ground. If you only have limited space read this potato growing guide to find out how to grow potatoes in containers.

Nothing beats that freshly dug, earthy taste of your own home grown potatoes! Growing your own potatoes isn’t as complicated as you might think, particularly if you grow them in potato bags. It’s the perfect method for growing spuds in small gardens, patios or even on balconies! Potatoes growing in containers are also at much less risk of pests and diseases. From our range you can buy seed potatoes for cropping throughout most of the year, including seed potatoes for Christmas which are becoming increasingly popular. Take a look at our potato selector guide to help you decide which potato varieties to grow.

When to grow potatoes

Potatoes are normally planted in March for harvesting throughout summer and autumn. They can also be planted in August/September for Christmas new potatoes (these are also known as Second Cropping Potatoes). Use the table below as a general guide on when to plant potatoes.

Not sure what the difference is?

Cropping Type Planting Time Begins Final Planting Date Harvest from Planting Date
First early potatoes End of February Late May 10 weeks
Second early potatoes March Late May 13 weeks
Early maincrop potatoes March Late May 15 weeks
Maincrop potatoes March Mid May 20 weeks
Second cropping potatoes Early August End of August 11 weeks



'Chitting' Potatoes

Seed potatoes, particularly earlies and second earlies benefit from 'chitting' which is the process of growing shoots on potato tubers prior to planting. The benefit is that this will produce faster growth and heavier crops.

You can start them off as soon as you receive them. Remove the seed potatoes from their packaging and lay them out in a cool, bright, frost free position. The tried and tested method is to set them out in egg boxes or seed trays. You will notice that the immature shoots are all at one end (called the rose end). Place the potatoes with this end facing upwards. By the time that you are ready to plant them, they will have produced shoots up to 25mm (1") in length.

There is one exception - second cropping potatoes do not require chitting and can be planted straight away.

How to plant potatoes in bags

Growing potatoes in planters is the perfect solution if you want to grow your own potatoes but have limited space. We offer some fantastic potato planter collections, which come ready to plant with potato growing bags and potato tubers, offering great value for money.

In the past, growing potatoes in bags has always involved 'earthing up' potatoes as they grow. But recent trials at Thompson and Morgan have shown that this isn't necessary, so planting potatoes on your patio has just got even easier.

To plant up potato grow bags in two easy steps:

• Simply fill the sturdy potato bags by one third with good quality multipurpose compost, and place your ‘chitted’ seed potatoes on top of the compost. Add another layer of compost and plant 2 more seed potatoes on top before filling the rest of the bag with compost.

• Now all you need to do is water them, place the potato bag in a bright, frost free position and wait for them to grow.

• Feed potato plants every other week with potato fertiliser and water the bags when the compost begins to dry out.