In the first week of August (2013) I started my first attempt at growing potatoes, in grow bags. Actually got the miracle-gro root vegetable bags from garden centre and seed potatoes, so the mix should be ideal.

The seed potatoes are Maris Peers in one and Charlotte's in the other. For Christmas cropping it is advised that you protect against frost, I was wondering if placing the grow bags in something like the Gardman tomato growhouses would be a good idea.

Would the extra warmth throughout the end of the summer be OK? is this likely to offer enough warmth in winter? It should get around 4 hours of sun in mid winter.

Location is East Lothian, Scotland. Just north of the border on the east coast. I believe on the US hardiness scale it is 8b according to trebrown.

1 Answer 1


Potatoes should be there, since August? Did you have lots of green growth and flowers? (Red potatoes the flowers are pink, white or gold are white flowers and blue potatoes are blue...). My ancestors are from Scotland but I've never been and can only imagine a rugged place for growing anything other than heath and potatoes, grin. This is my first place that I've HAD to grow in a heated greenhouse.

Planting in pots, or bags means that the roots are in jeopardy. If you'd grown them in the ground I think you'd have better luck. Since, August 2013?? You should have potatoes, if not, I'd get them going in the ground and protected by a hoop house. Those little greenhouses won't work. Even using ROW cloth would be better.

Fill me in on the zoning and what your neighbor's are doing. Planting potatoes in the fall is good for subtropics, otherwise the seed potatoes and above ground potato plants would freeze. I've gardened in zones 5 - 6 USDA and wouldn't dream of planting potatoes until just before the last frost in...April, May. I know that potatoes take up an awful lot of room but I love them so very much I am planting (JUNE) quite a few in my soon-to-be heated greenhouse. It can freeze any night of the year here. I don't think you should waste your money on those tiny greenhouses when you could do better with row cloth...let me know.

  • Where I live is particularly sunny during summer (18 hours of daylight). It can get quite windy being so close to the coast. The crop failed at the start of winter (which was very mild). I am not sure the exact cause of the fail, it was not due to cold temps though. My Spring planted garlic is doing well so far though.
    – Morgan
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 11:36
  • Potatoes in my experience are ready to harvest as soon as the green tops die down. They do well in cool temps, early spring, but if you have a freeze the tops will freeze. I've had a garden, zone 5, near the coast where I was able to run out to the garden during the winter and grab potatoes out of the soil. What happened to your potatoes? Turn to mush? No tubers?
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 18:17
  • The green tops started withering, did not notice it straight away and then it spread pretty rapidly (2 weeks) and effected both grow bags. To me they looked like they went from thriving to dead tops in about 2 months, 2 months before they should have been ready. There were a good few tubers in the soil which I threw out incase it was blight, but do no think it was.
    – Morgan
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 18:45
  • I remember that my potatoes were one of the first plants to die back. It is hard to believe that sterilized soil would have given you a blight...do you remember what the leaves looked like when you first noticed them dying back? Were there concentric circles? Did your tubers have any shrunken leathery spots? How moist did you keep your potatoes? Is it humid where you live or dry? Do you remember if the leaves turned yellow first before they collapsed? How about drainage, did you have drain-holes in the bottom of your bags?
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 22:19
  • When leaves died back believe they yellowed, no rings (circles). The tubers which I took out the bag actually looked fine, if I had done this earlier might have tried to use them. Bags had drainage holes which may have got blocked being on the bottom of the bag, The soil was kept quite moist. Was hooked up to a micro irrigation system, watering for 5 minutes each morning during warm weather. I think they may have been over watered.
    – Morgan
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 7:49

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