Coffee Sack Potatoes

Grow potatoes in recycled coffee sacks!

Tools you will need

  • A coffee sack from a local coffee shop
  • A wooden board big enough to fit under your sack. (This allows you to move the sack when it’s full.)
  • 3 regular size or 4 small mid-to-late season maturing potatoes like Russets, Kennebecs, German Butter, or Fingerlings. Experiment with mixing varieties in the same sack.
  • Soil
  • Newspaper or an old sheet

When to Plant

  • The potatoes can be started indoors as early as March, but be sure to place the coffee sack on a wooden board so that it can easily be moved outside later.
  • You can move the sack outside once there is no risk of frost.

Instructions

  1. Cover your work area with the newspaper or old sheet.
  2. Place the coffee sack on the wooden board and roll the sides of the sack down like a sleeve. This is best done with two people, so get your family or friends to help.
  3. Fill the bottom of the sack with 3-4 inches of regular garden soil or organic potting soil. Avoid using fresh compost or manure—it’s too rich for potatoes.
  4. Place potatoes in the dirt, 3 inches from the sides of the bag and 6 inches from each other.
  5. Just barely cover potatoes with soil and give them a light watering. The potatoes you planted will start to sprout new potatoes as they grow.
  6. As the potatoes grow, add more soil. Add just enough soil to cover half of the new stems. Water lightly.
  7. Continue to add soil until you reach the top of the bag.
  8. The potatoes will take about 100 days to grow. When their leaves begin to turn yellow, the potatoes are done.

With the help of an adult, push the coffee bag over or cut open the side of the bag and let the contents fall out. Now search for your buried treasures! Count how many potatoes you have and make observations on how they grew.