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Growing Potatoes in a Trash Bag

This project for growing potatoes is a simple and yet very effective vegetable garden hack.  Just combine everything into a large trash bag.

The potatoes will grow in the bag itself, saving the space for other veggies and works really well.

Growing potatoes usijng a 30 gallon plastic bag is a fun garden project

I’m a meat and potatoes kind of girl.  No meal seems quite complete with me without a potato on the plate!

But vegetable gardening for a crop as large as potatoes can take a LOT of space. In fact a common mistake that beginning vegetable gardeners make is starting too big.

This technique will avoid that problem in a space-saving way.

Growing Potatoes in a 30 gallon trash bag.

To plant a potato crop you’ll need these supplies:

  • a large 30-gallon trash bag
  • a loose soil mix like compost and potting soil
  • seed potatoes or store-bought organic potatoes.
  • straw or dry leaves for mulch.

Potato plant growing in a trash bag.

Growing potatoes can be a chore and take a lot of info and space.  Or you can do it the easy way, in a plastic bag.

It also helps to get children interested in gardening doing it this way. And it is an almost foolproof way to grow potatoes.


Prepare the potatoes first by letting them sprout.  Let them sprout for several days.

If they are large, cut them into smaller pieces, making sure they have several sprouts or “eyes.”

Potatoes in an egg carton with sprouts on them.

Place your bag into a place in your garden that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.

Roll down the sides of the trash bag and cut some holes in the bottom so the soil will drain well.

Fill the bag with your chosen soil mix and plant the potatoes about 2 or 3 inches deep with the eyes facing up.

Sprouted potatoes in a bag.

Cover the potatoes with soil mix and water well. Add mulch such as dry leaves or straw to aid in moisture retention.

Keep the plants watered evenly but do not let the soil get soggy. The soil will compact over time. Top up the bag with more soil if this happens.

Man adding soil to a potato plant in a bag.

When the shoots are about 7″ tall, roll the trash bag up a little and add some more soil.

Keep repeating this process as the plants grow.

Once you see the leaves turning yellow, and the foliage starting to dry out, stop watering.  This will allow the potato skins to dry.

To harvest the potatoes, simply cut the side of the trash bag and remove them.

Potatoes in dirt.

Pin This Potato Bag Project for Later

Would you like a reminder of this post for growing potatoes in a trash bag? Just pin this image to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.Growing potatoes in a bag

Recycled potato water gives nourishment to plants in the garden in the form of potato starch. This only works with unsalted water but is a good source of plant food. Find out how to use potato water in the garden here.

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Mark McLoughlin

Friday 5th of June 2020

How do you cope with Blight? The hot weather at the moment has helped to slow its progress. Also I am removing blighted leaves every day, though I have no idea how much this will help. If there is any rot on main stems I pull out the whole stalk, hoping to avoid progress of the fungus down the stems to the tubers. Looking from a distance, the plants don't look too bad. However close up you can clearly see the problem. I am not sure if the potato's will store. So I have now made about a dozen bottles of potatoes, and have cut, part blanched and frozen a few bags of ready made chips. Do you have any recommendations on how to beat the fungus.

Carol Speake

Friday 5th of June 2020

General tips for avoiding blight are improving air circulation by removing diseased growth, taking care to disinfect pruning shears. Keep the soil clear of weeds if possible and use drip irrigation or soaker hoses.

Mary Ann Shiner

Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

This is my first time trying to grow potatoes this way and I am looking forward to it. My only problem will be that I have a dog that likes to chew on plastic so these will have to be fenced in also. Will let you know how it goes. Thank you.

jane tokarz

Friday 4th of September 2015

hi im so glad i found u...i just made myself four beautiful garden boxes and filled 6yards of good garden soil into them 16" high x 7'.5" x 4' each. made of cedar. now my back is out and I'm unable to do much. so I'm pretty sure ill have to aim for next year.however i do have some garlic seeds from the tops of my late father in laws garlic that he planted years ago all over his yard at the gonna attempt to plant them. where in the garden is a good place and how far apart.oh and can i plant more seeds that i harvest this year for next fall too.??


Friday 4th of September 2015

Hi Jane. I have not grown garlic from seed. It generally is grown from cloves. Research tells me that it is touch and go as to whether it does well. I'd try it to see. Can't hurt! Carol


Sunday 30th of August 2015

I'm loving your website/blog! I am brand new and am researching my very first garden ever!

can you grow sweet potatoes the same way (in the bag)?

Many thanks! Lisa


Sunday 30th of August 2015

Hi Lisa. Glad you are enjoying the blog. yes, Sweet potatoes will grow the same way. Best of luck with the project! Carol

Tina Dolan

Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

Do you need to poke holes in the bag for drainage or is that not necessary?

Steve Tewksbury

Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

I really enjoy reading different tips, I’ve been gardening for years and still learn a lot from others. Great tips


Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

HI Tina. Yes a few holes are needed at the bottom for drainage. Carol

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