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Nikki compost potatoes 1
Here Nikki Cross shares her special technique for growing potatoes in a compost bag.

Helpful information

Timing: Spring

Where to do it: Outdoors

Garden space: Small garden, balcony

  • Growing potatoes in a compost bag is an excellent way to grow, even in a small space or on a balcony
  • This is a sensory task where you can enjoy the feel of the compost and the seed potatoes inside
  • Following the journey of your potato as it grows engages your nurturing instincts, along with learning about the growing process and best conditions

Essential items

  • Seed potatoes
  • Empty compost bag
  • Compost
  • Plant label
  • Pen or pencil
  • Watering can
Optional items
  • Scissors
  • Trowel
A plant label in a compost bag
A plant label for potatoes in a compost bag

by Nikki Cross

The first thing I do is make sure I take the sprouts/eyelets down to two on each seed potato. This way the seed will put all of its energy into producing more potatoes.

This is how I plant potatoes into a compost bag:

  1. Make drainage holes in the recycled compost bag. I use scissors to cut holes
  2. Start to fill up the compost bag with around 6cm of compost. I use a trowel to do this
  3. Place the seed potatoes in the bag facing sprouts/eyelets upwards
  4. Place them evenly spaced out in the bag
  5. Cover them with compost until you can not see the seed potatoes
  6. Write a label with the name and date of what you are growing
  7. Now it's time to water them

Make it easier

Try not to grow too many potatoes in one bag, so it doesn't get too heavy. Remember, the bag will become heavier once you add water.

Move the bag to a place where you can reach it comfortably. You might want this to be somewhere you can get to it from a seated position, to reduce strain on your back and legs.

As your potato plant grows, keep covering it with soil. This is call 'earthing up'.

In time your potatoes will be ready to harvest. This may be shortly after the first flowers appear. To check if they are ready, you could gently feel down through the soil in the compost bag. See if you can find a potato and tell how it is. You can harvest a few at a time this way.

Nikki's gardening story

Discover How Nikki became a believer in the power of gardening

Find out more
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