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I live in South Africa, and have recently discovered your magazine. Not all the ideas and advice is suitable for me as the weather conditions differ so much form the UK. However I just love the articles in the magazine. I also wish that I could help save the hedgehogs as they are such a viatl part of the ecological chain. Thanx ever so much for a wonderful magazine and an even better website.
This is the first time we have grown potatoes and as we have limited space we are going to try the compost bag and bin idea. I've got the Pentland Javelins and Desiree chitting at the moment.
I tried growing them in a dustbin last year, had quite a harvest of early spuds, very tasty
thank you very much all your articals are very helpfull
A couple of days ago I noticed my Vivaldi potatoes planted in bags were looking a bit sick - leaves beginning to wilt and changing colour - copper purple tinge. I removed the affected foliage but today, paranoia made me get rid of the plants in case the problem was blight. I was worried that it would spread to my tomato plants which are at the moment in my cold frames awaiting planting out. I can't find any advice as to what to do with the compost however. Can anyone help, please?


rubinared; You were a bit hasty! The wilting was almost certainly due to a lack of water- a common problem when growing anything in bags/bins. Blight appears as black spots on the leaves, and they don't wilt until the whole plant is practically dead. I use two plastic tubes, 5cm diameter, pushed well into each bag for watering into. Water plants daily and generously. Use Bordeaux mixture as a preventative measure against blight. Use the compost for melons next year.

buckwheat/all- As a complete newbie to growing spuds I am wondering how much water (roughly) is a "generous" water each day?

My dustbin is an 80L vessel filled half way...Any advice would be much appreciated : )

make sure it was blight first, could be poor drainage, and even if it was on the leaves it is not a FACT that the patatoe tubes were also involved removing the leaves may have done the trick! tip the soil on the garden blight is in the air. tom

Do newly planted seed potatoes need fertiliser that is nitrogen (nettle) or potassium (comphrey) rich?  They are growing in garden compost in bins.  And as they grow?

Hi, Does the dustbin need drainage holes putting in the base before use.
Thanks Pam Newton.
This Pam, yes you will need drainage holes in it

Last year I used 15 litre pots both for potatoes and tomatoes (not together) with success.


This might sound a silly question but do I put the lid of the dustbin on after planting? 

No leave the lid off

As the potato shoots start to appear keep covering them with soil or compost until you reach the top of the bin.



Thanks will leave the lid off ...though it  snowed this morning then rain now sinshine   April showers !!!!

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