How To Build a Potato Tower

 

Potato Towers 4

 

This year I am short on garden space so I am attempting to grow potatoes in potato towers. I have seen lots of posts on how to do these but I have not seen results. Gardener Scott  has one pic but it doesn’t look very bountiful. I will be posting results at the end of the summer and showing my bounty (hopefully) of potatoes. The supplies listed will build 4 potato towers and each tower should produce 10-20 pounds of potatoes. I chose a site on the side of my house that is sunny and close to a faucet to make watering a snap. So here is how to build them:

Supplies
1 – 36” x 25’ roll of Chicken Wire
8 – 4 foot garden stakes/poles
Tape Measure
Tin snips
Bale of straw
Soil or compost
5# of Potato Seeds
Shovel

1. Roll out 5½ feet of chicken wire and snip it
2. Lay it on the ground and overlap the ends about 6 inches to form a cylinder
3. Weave a garden pole through the holes in the wire. I am meticulous so when I lined them up I made sure I stayed in the same row of holes and I weaved it in and out every other hole on the ends and about every 4-5 holes in the center.
4. Stand it up and place it where you want it and drive the stake in the ground
5. Weave another pole through the wire on the opposite side for stability

Potato Towers 1    Potato Towers 2
6. Add a layer of straw on the bottom and a thin layer of soil/compost

Potato Towers 3

7. Place your potato seeds in the towers

Potato Towers 5

8. Add 3-4 inches of straw around the outside edge and layer the soil/compost inside on top.
9. Water, and keep watering throughout the summer.
10. When the plants grow to about 8 inches cover them with soil or straw leaving about 2 inches sticking up. Keep covering them as they grow until they flower.
11. Stop watering when the flowers die and they begin to wilt
12. Let them sit another 2-4 weeks the potatoes before harvesting.

Beside space saving another benefit of towers is that potatoes carry blight. If the blight is not taken care of it can contaminate plants around them and the soil. However, with the towers if your plants get blight they are already isolated from the garden soil and other plants making it easy to remove.

If your potatoes do get blight do not compost the straw, soil, plants, or potatoes. Put them in a black lawn bag, tie it tight and throw them away. You can also bury them but you must bury them at least 3 feet deep.

What are your thoughts?  Have you tried a potato tower?

10 thoughts on “How To Build a Potato Tower

  1. I have been talking about growing potatoes, but right now our square footage of growing space is at a premium. I am going out to get the chicken wire this week! I will let you know how it goes!

  2. Those are really nice towers! I’m using a grow bag this year for potatoes I bought at my local nursery. I’ve only grown potatoes twice before in my square foot garden using store-bought organic red potatoes The first year I got a few nice ones. Last year, probably due to the drought, I got next to nothing. This year, I bought certified seed potatoes and my plants have grown to the top of my grow bags so I’m nearly finished adding compost and we’ll see now they do! I’m looking forward to your results.

    • I love the grow bags! I just did my post on growing watermelons in them. The one thing I have read around the blogs on growing potatoes in containers is that people get anxious and harvest too early. Let those plants DIE!

      • Will do. Interesting that a feature of my potato bag is the ability to open a slit in the side and pull out a potato while it’s still growing. I don’t think I’ll do that.

  3. Love your tater towers! I’m growing them this year in grow boxes, but have put this idea in my memory bank for next year. Fun blog!

  4. I love your blog! Thanks for stopping by mine 🙂 I tried potato towers last year and didn’t have much luck. Maybe it was my soil, too-crowded cages…I have no idea. I stuck to hills this year and planted early. I have already harvested over 30 pounds of baby potatoes and they are delicious!

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