Potato Towers

We eat a lot of potatoes.  Possibly more than the average household.  We make overloaded poutine at least once a week, so it’s safe to say that we go through our fair share of spuds over the course of a year.  Traditional methods of growing potatoes are both labour intensive and space consuming.  Long rows which must be tilled, fertilized and raked into hills.  It’s a lot of work.  This year we decided to try our luck with using potato towers to grow our spuds.

Potato Towers – A Small Space Potato Solution

Potato towers are an excellent choice if you have limited space in your yard to grow food.  While we have plenty of space here, we wanted to minimize the area we use to grow our potatoes.  They’re relatively simple to build with the right materials.

You will need:

Straw – any old straw will do
Compost
Soil
Peat Moss
Manure
Rigid Wire Mesh
Some strong wire or zip ties
Large Garden Stakes

More Small Space Potato Growing Solutions

The first thing you’ll need to do is cut your rigid wire mesh to size and roll them into cylinders.  Pound a large garden stake into the ground.  You’ll use this stake to hold up the tower, and using some strong pieces of wire or zip ties, secure the wire mesh cylinder to.

Mix your growing medium together.  Combine equal amounts of soil, compost, manure and peat moss.  Use a garden hose to moisten the medium as you mix it together.

Once your mesh tower is secured to the garden stake and your growing medium is mixed together, you can start filling it.  Start by adding a layer of straw to the bottom of the tower.  4 – 6 inches or so is a good amount to start with.  Create a nest by patting down the straw in the middle with a garden hoe, pulling some towards the sides of the tower.

Your potatoes can be chopped in half or quartered.  Just make sure each piece of seed potato has an eye or two sprouting out of it.  This ensures each piece will begin growing into a new plant.

Into your straw ‘nest’, pour some of your growing medium.  A few inches to start with. Arrange your seed potatoes around the outer edge of the ‘nest’ you’ve created.  Leave just enough space between the wire mesh and the potatoes and cover them completely on all sides and on top with growing medium.

More Small Space Potato Growing Solutions

Once you have arranged a layer of seed potatoes in the tower, cover them with more growing medium so they are completely surrounded.

Next, grab some more straw and begin building another ‘nest’.  Continue with all of the previous steps until you’ve either reached the top of the tower or you’ve run out of potatoes.

Within a week or so, possibly less depending on the weather, you should see your potatoes beginning to grow, emerging from the sides of the tower.

After a couple of weeks of growth they’ll really start to sprout out the sides and top of the tower.

And after a couple of months, your towers should be really filling out.  Potatoes require quite a bit of water to grow well, so be sure to keep an eye on the moisture in the towers and water as needed.  Our three towers needed daily watering in august after a couple months of growth.

To harvest, simply remove the wires or zip ties holding the mesh cylinders to the garden stake and knock the entire tower over.  Gently break apart the soil and straw and remove the potatoes.  We use milk crates for gathering our potato harvest.  The holes in the bottom and sides of the milk crates allow the dirt to fall freely from the potatoes onto the ground.

More Small Space Potato Growing Solutions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 − four =