I just want to know how to remove some new baby potatoes from the flap on the bag without disturbing the entire plant. According to the Potato Bag instructions you are supposed to be able to do that. I removed a lot of soil and finally was able to dig out a few potatoes. Do I replace the soil every time I dig some out? What is the best way?
Thank you for asking Toronto Master Gardeners about your potato harvest. What a great idea to use a potato bag, saving on digging and hungry critters.
Some potato bags have “windows” to see what is going on beneath the soil without disturbing the plants. Others have access flaps to let you reach in and harvest. Another type is a pot within a pot letting you lift out the inner pot to see what is going on and also select a few without disturbing the plant, leaving the rest to continue growing.
It sounds as if yours has an access flap which you have used successfully to harvest but if I understand correctly, quite a bit of soil was lost in the process. Any further growth will need that soil so you are right to want to remedy this. Can you replace it through the flap, gently tucking the plant roots back in? If not, then how about closing the flap and just adding more soil from the top, letting it drop gently into the empty space then watering it in.
I am wondering if next time you do a mini harvest, rather than using the flap, it might be worth trying to carefully reach down into the soil to feel around for potatoes and pull some out. Some people pull whole plants but then they lose the opportunity for more growth. When foliage has turned yellow and collapses or dies back, it is time for a full harvest by tipping the grow bag over, finding the potatoes and adding the soil to your garden to enrich that soil.
I hope I understood your question and that this answer is helpful.