It is garden time! Everywhere we look the landscape is coming back to life and the world is green and colorful. This time of year my thoughts turn to gardening. This year I discovered a way to involve my three year old son. We are growing potatoes in trash bags. It is a super fun and simple. You don't need a big yard or a lot of money to do this project. The only think you will have to purchase is seed potatoes and cut them in quarters making sure each piece has an "eye". The rest of the items you should have around the house.
Getting Ready for the Fun!
Start by gathering the items you will need:
1. Seed potatoes can be found at a garden store or purchased through catalog companies.
2. A 30 gallon (or larger) black trash bag
3. 6 drink or soda bottles from your recycling bin
4. Dirt can be dug from your back yard or bought at your local garden center.
Second you start to assemble your bags. Lay the trash bags open on the ground gathering them up around the sides. Have your little one put the recycled bottles, or containers in the bottom of the bag. This is for drainage and so you won't have to use as much dirt to get the plants started.
The Dirt is the fun part for my son! Shovel or pour bagged dirt into the bags until you cover the containers about 2 inches.
Next lay the potatoes with the "eyes" up, about 3 - 4 inches from each other. Cover with another 2-3 inches of dirt. Water until the dirt is saturated.
Lastly, put some paper mulch on top (straw works great too), and poke holes in the bag near the bottom for drainage.
Watch for the potatoes to sprout. When they have grown about 4 inches above ground cover them with another 2-3 inches of dirt. You will do this throughout the summer. Your bag will slowly fill with dirt. When the plants flower, you can gently dig out a few New Potatoes to eat leaving the rest to mature.
Near the end of the summer if you want you can plant Green Beans on top of the dirt. They will provide nutrients for the soil and more opportunity to grow vegetables with your little ones. When the Potato plants are dead and dry and your Green Beans have finished simply cut the bag down the side and dig out the potatoes. Return the dirt to your flower gardens or yard for the winter.