Growing Potatoes in a Bag

Here’s how to grow potatoes in a bag, just like Kate Middleton does.

It’s hard to imagine soil under Kate Middleton’s manicured nails, but the Duchess of Cambridge is a long-time gardener who fancies growing potatoes in bags.

That’s what the lovely Kate recently told a gardener at Elswick Park in Newcastle, England. The royal then confessed that she was a bit disappointed in her spuds this year, which were rather scrawny.

Gardening in bags is really simple. Potatoes, which develop underground, are particularly well-suited to grow in upright plastic bags of topsoil mixed with compost. Fresh soil cuts down on the risk of disease and insect infestation. And you can place the bags anywhere there’s full sun.

Here’s how to grow potatoes in a bag:

  • Fill a black garbage bag with 8 inches of topsoil mixed with about 4 inches of compost. Poke holes in the bottom for drainage, and stand it up vertically.
  • Peel down the plastic, and place 4 seed potatoes, eyes up, evenly spaced on top of the nutrient-rich soil.
  • Cover the spuds with another 4 or 5 inches of compost-enriched soil.
  • Water until moist (not sopping wet).
  • As the plant grows, cover foliage with soil until the bag is ¾ full, peeling up the plastic as you go.
  • Water as needed.
  • When foliage turns brown and dies, it’s time to harvest your potatoes.