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. 

Growing Potatoes in a 30 gallon trash bag.

To plant a potato crop you’ll need these supplies: (some links are affiliate links)

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.

How to grow potatoes in a trash bag

Image adapted from The Plant Guide

To do the project, follow these tips:

  1. Prepare the potatoes first.  Let them sprout for several days.  If they are large, cut them into smaller pieces, making sure they have several sprouts or “eyes.”
  2. Place your bag into a place in your garden that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.
  3. Roll down the sides of the trash bag and cut some holes in the bottom so the soil will drain well.
  4. Fill the bag with your chosen soil mix and plant the potatoes about 2 or 3 inches deep with the eyes facing up.
  5. Cover the potatoes with soil mix and water well. Add mulch such as dry leaves or straw to aid in moisture retention.
  6. Keep the plants watered evenly but do not let the soil get soggy.
  7. When the shoots are about 7″ tall, roll the trash bag up a little and add some more soil.
  8. Keep repeating this process as the plants grow.
  9. Once you see the leaves turning yellow, and the foliage starting to dry out, stop watering.  This will allow the potato skins to dry.
  10. To harvest the potatoes, simply cut the side of the trash bag and remove them.

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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  19 comments for “Growing Potatoes in a Trash Bag

  1. Mollyann Hesser
    03/23/2014 at 7:34 pm

    What did your harvest look like? How many pounds of potatoes did you get from each bag?

    • admin
      03/23/2014 at 9:44 pm

      Hi Mollyann. It depends a lot of your conditions. Basically you will get more growing them in the ground but doing them this way is a good idea if you are short on space.

      They look much the same as normal potatoes, but the bag does settle as the growing continues. It if it support by some sort of wire frame work, it will stand up better.


  2. Annie Gaddis
    10/30/2014 at 7:40 am

    Again, how many pounds of potatoes from each bag?

    • admin
      10/30/2014 at 6:28 pm

      HI Annie. It all depends on how many seed potatoes you use.
      Under good, weed-free growing conditions, (in the ground) you can expect to get about 50 pounds of potatoes per every 2 pounds of potato seed planted. But you can’t plant that many seed potatoes growing them in a bag. Maybe two or three seed potatoes cut into pieces if they are large. So it just depends on how many you plant. There is no easy answer. Carol

  3. Rudy
    11/15/2014 at 11:26 pm

    Sounds like a perfect way to grow carrots.

  4. 03/13/2015 at 10:36 am

    I’ve been wanting to try growing my own potatoes this season. I love the red and Yukon Gold. I’m going to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

    • admin
      03/13/2015 at 11:05 am

      My pleasure Rhonda. Carol

    • Lori
      10/13/2019 at 8:07 pm

      Can potatoes be grown in trsh bags in the winter in Colorado. (I live in Lakewood which is near Foothills.) If yes, do they need to be covered when temp is below freezing?

      • Carol Speake
        10/13/2019 at 9:12 pm

        Hi Lori, I have not tried growing potatoes in the winter, so I don’t know how this would work out.

  5. Tina Dolan
    06/02/2015 at 6:09 pm

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

    • admin
      06/02/2015 at 10:33 pm

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

    • Steve Tewksbury
      03/03/2020 at 7:51 am

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

  6. Lisa
    08/30/2015 at 1:42 pm

    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!

    • admin
      08/30/2015 at 2:36 pm

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

  7. jane tokarz
    09/04/2015 at 8:33 am

    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.??

    • admin
      09/04/2015 at 8:40 am

      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

  8. Mary Ann Shiner
    06/03/2020 at 6:50 am

    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.

  9. 06/05/2020 at 7:20 am

    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
      06/05/2020 at 4:57 pm

      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.

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