Potato towers are a way to grow more potatoes in a smaller area by growing vertical. There are a variety of techniques to build potato towers using different materials but the basic principles are the same. This article will describe how to build a potato tower using fencing or hardware cloth.
- You will need some hog wire, no climb fence, or hardware cloth that is 4 feet tall and at least 6 feet long, at least 2 stakes to support the fencing but preferably 4, wire or zip ties to secure the fencing to the stakes, compost, straw, and sprouted seed potatoes.
- First, drive your stakes into the ground. If you have 4 stakes, put them in a square pattern with dimensions that will allow the fencing to wrap completely around, if you have only 2 stakes you will make a round tower with the stakes on opposite sides.
- Secure your fencing to the first 3 stakes leaving one end open for you to work in, or both of the stakes with one end open.
- Add soil or compost in the center and straw around the outside so that the soil will not spill out. Once you have 8 inches of depth plant your seed potatoes and cover them with more soil or compost.
- Secure the fencing to close up the tower
Now all you have to do is wait until the potato plants have grown out of the soil to a height of 6 to 8 inches, once they have, add more soil until the plants are only an inch or so out above the surface, and add more straw to the perimeter to contain the soil. Keep the tower wet, it will drain much more than the ground will and will need to be watered regularly. To harvest, simply remove the fencing, no need to dig and risk damaging your potatoes.
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