Planting Potato Towers

As with just about everything else on this micro-farm, this is our first time ever trying to plant potatoes with a “potato tower”. In the past we have planted potatoes in dug holes covered with mounds of dirt with varied (and pathetic sized) results. So this year we are trying the potato tower.

The idea is that you make a tall tube out of chicken wire or outdoor reed fencing, fill it with enough dirt to plant the potato seeds in, and then progressively pile it up the rest of the way with straw until the plant dies off giving you a hundred pounds of potatoes. We’ll see.

We even made our own “potato seeds”. A few weeks ago I bought some organic purple potatoes from the store and cut them into a few pieces making sure each section had at least two eyes on it. I let them dry out on newspaper making sure they hadn’t molded and that they had formed a skin on the cut ends. We have found this to be the easiest way to make your own potato seeds.
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Last weekend we built three towers from scraps of chicken wire and metal stakes we had on hand. Each tower is about 3′ feet in diameter. Today we filled each of the towers with about 4″ inches of compost as a base for the potato seeds to grow in.
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Then I put six seed potatoes into each tower, eyes facing up, trying my best to space them out evenly. All of the directions for potato towers I found said to space the seed potatoes at 12″ inches but I cheated a little and made the spacing more like 9″ inches.
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After adding another 2″ inches of compost on top of the planted seed potatoes, I soaked them thoroughly. Potato plants need lots of water. Ill keep you up on the progress as long as you cross your fingers for a prolific potato harvest in a few months!
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