Tag Archives: Solanaceae

Potatoes in the bag

Growing potatoes in containers is so easy

If you’ve never tried growing potatoes, containers or growing bags makes this a fun project. Flexible fabric containers will grow potatoes in the garden or even on a sunny deck. Home grown potatoes come in such variety, the tastes and textures may send you on a tasty potato obsession.


Lavender or white potato blooms grow high above the foliage.

I grow potatoes not found in the supermarkets, like fingerlings or colorful varieties. Seed potatoes in a raised bed or growing bag are easy care, usually weed and disease free. It’s very easy to control insect problems on such a small-scale.

How to grow

Grow potatoes in well worked soil or potting mix amended with compost or slow release fertilizer. Easy access to water will mean less work for you. Fill the bag with 3 inches of soil, place the potatoes, cover with 3 more inches of soil.


Young potato plants are ready to be covered with more soil.

When potato plants are 6 inches tall, cover the plant with soil, leaving only the top 2″ uncovered. Continue the process until the bag is filled with soil. Plants will produce more potatoes along the covered stem.

Covering the potato with soil keeps them from getting sunburned. Sun exposure causes potatoes to turn green and bitter-tasting. They need consistent moisture, either by rain or watering.

Harvest a few new potatoes about 10 weeks after planting, usually in early July.

At season’s end, plants will yellow and wilt. Withhold water for 2 weeks. Dump the bag to harvest potatoes. Clean and plan to use the bag again next year. I’ve used the same growing bag for three years.

To learn more about growing sweet potatoes in the traditional way: G6368, Growing Sweet Potatoes in Missouri

Used by the Andean Indians for at least 2,000 years before the Spanish Conquest, the potato, Genus Solanum tuberosum, family Solanaceae, was introduced to Europe by the mid-16th century, and reputedly to England by the explorer Walter Raleigh.

An obligatory lecture:

In Ireland, the potato famine of 1845, caused by a parasitic fungus, resulted in many thousands of deaths from starvation, and led to large-scale emigration to the USA. This is why you should only grow certified organic potatoes.

Night Blooms


Datura is a member of the Solanaceae family. This big, flawless white flower also called Angel’s Trumpet, Moon Lily, Jimson weed, Moon Flower or Belladonna (beautiful lady).

Only blooming in the evening, it may be tricked by cloudy days.

Only blooming in the evening, it may be tricked by cloudy days.

The flower opens after dusk and closes by mid-morning of the following day. Huge, white, trumpet-shaped flowers stay open until the sun rises. The night blooming white flower can sometimes be fooled into blooming on grey cloudy days.

Every single bloom depends on night pollinators

Every single bloom depends on night pollinators

The plant is easy to grow and produces flowers and seed plentifully. Plants ramble and spread while growing to three feet tall. It produces spikey, golfball-sized fruit.

Moonflowers are herbaceous, growing quickly and rapidly self seeds. Leaves are covered by tiny smooth hairs. The plant is a member of the Deadly Nightshade Family.

Some species of Datura have been used by native peoples for the plant’s halucinogenic alkaloids. People trying to imitate Native American ceremonies have poisoned themselves, sometimes fatally. All parts of all Datura plants are poisonous and can be fatal if ingested.
The Solanaceae family includes potato (Solanum tuberosum); tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum); and pepper (Capsicum annuum).

pollinators flock to moonflowers.

pollinators flock to moonflowers.

“Jimson weed” may have been corrupted from “Jamestown.” Early colonists were said to behave strangely after eating the plant when no other food was available.



More White flowers of the night


nicotianan alata tobacco sweet scented bloomer in the afternoon  and evening.

nicotianan alata tobacco sweet scented bloomer in the afternoon and evening.

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