Forum home Fruit & veg

could you happily grow potatoes in old compost bags with drainage holes?

FireFire LondonPosts: 8,760
I'm wondering if people could half fill old compost bags and use those for tats. Maybe 40cm deep. As long as there were drainage holes and you could get them to stay upright, I imagine it might work.

GW featured an allotmenteer using not enormous plastic pots successfully, for a good crop. Some neighbours with no garden could grow these around their front steps. They are currently growing toms there and chard in window boxes.

Thoughts welcome. Thanks



  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,475
    I don't think it's much different to buying those plastic type planters that come flat. 
    The idea is you start them off then as they grow you earth up with more compost until the bag is almost full.
    I have done it in the past but find the cost in relation to amount of potatoes uneconomic as we don't eat a lot and maybe I chose the wrong variety as the taste wasn't great either!
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,394
    I tried it last year. The rats clearly enjoyed them ! :(
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 8,760
    Did they chew into  your bags?
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,394
    edited 12 April
    No. Just dug them out from the top. When they  first started out, the bag tops were rolled down.They did grow foliage and I earthed them up and didn't worry about them for a while but when I turned the bags out - nix
    They did the same to some new tulips in my troughs in new compost. Luckily the old ones, in more consolidated soil survived and are flowering again :)
  • B3B3 Posts: 16,999
    I tried it once. It does involve an awful lot of compost.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 4,249
    I've never had much luck growing potatoes in containers because they need so much water, but theoretically it would work well enough. The practicalities of compost/water/pest management can be hard work.
    Now carrots - those are very happy in containers and need much less water
    “It's not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing it.” ― Terry Pratchett
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 2,523
    I’ve used 40 litres bags, ones designed for the purpose rather than compost bags turned inside out but they would work just as well, and had very few problems growing Anya and International Kidney (Jersey Royals). However you have to remember to water them frequently;I didn’t last year so the yields were quite low and the Jerseys disappointingly floury. 

    The cost/yield ratio is unlikely to work in your favour. Three bags will cost about £10 for shop bought compost (this year I am using garden compost and leaf mould) plus maybe £5 for the seed potatoes. You can buy a lot of potatoes in the supermarket for £15 and that ignores the price of your labour.
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 1,247
    Yup - two of my potato plants were grown in an old compost bag last year :)
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,047
    Hope so as I have 10 bags of Charlotte pots growing like triffids in my greenhouse, just hope they are making spuds too 😜
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,077
    Perfectly possible, but definitely not a money saving exercise! The bags look better turned inside out.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
Sign In or Register to comment.