Easy DIY potato towers are easy to make and have many advantages!
We have successfully grown potatoes in Easy DIY potato towers for a few years now. The video shows you how to layer the spuds in straw and soil in an easily constructed wire tube.
It’s also our Tuesday in the Garden Blog Hop! Please Check out all the blogs linked at the bottom of this post for DIY Garden projects you will love!
WHY WIRE POTATO TOWERS?
Growing potatoes is easy. For decades Dave planted potatoes in hills in our heavy clay garden. Potatoes grew ok in those hills; even in our horrible heavy clay soil.
BUT! There is a real downside to growing potatoes in the garden, unbound, so to speak. We can never harvest them all. No matter how hard we look a couple of potatoes, some years a LOT of potatoes are left in the garden.
The following spring, we had potato starts volunteering all over the place. When they started coming up in the raised beds, Dave decided to corral them in towers.
Wire Potato Towers are easy to make, and easy to harvest! They are fantastic garden space savers! This is a sure fire way to bring in a potato harvest even if all you have for space is a sunny patio or flower bed! And most important of all; the potatoes are healthier!
We had no potato Scab the few years we’ve grown potatoes in wire towers. That’s why we are growing them this way again. So easy to move the towers each year to rotate the garden crops too.
Harvest by digging your hands into the straw, pushing over the wire tower or lifting it up. All the spuds will be harvested. No strays.
LET’S GROW SOME SPUDS:
First things first! Go find the potatoes you want to grow and wire tower materials. Our favorite potatoes to grow are red potatoes. This year Dave planted purple potatoes in one straw tower. Purple potatoes are more nutritious due to their deep purple color. We love growing them too! Purple potatoes have a nummy buttery flavor. They are delicious in Purple Potato Chorizo Burrito recipe.
RULE OF THUMB! The darker the flesh and leaves of your veg the better they are for your health! Full of antioxidants! Here’s more on the nutritional value of the Purple Majesty Potato.
He bought our seed potatoes from the feed store. Your local food co-op may have some for sale, or the farmers market near you. He prepared the potatoes a full day before he built the towers and planted the spuds.
Prepping the Potatoes for planting:
Dave cut the larger potato into sections, each section had an ‘eye’. Which is the little tough sprout that will make a root. He set the cut potatoes on a paper towel to ‘heal up’ (dry the cut ends) for 24 hours. This is to avoid the cut potatoes rotting in the ground.
Really small potatoes, like the purple ones he bought, do not require cutting. The whole potato will nourish all the potato roots.
The potatoes are ready to plant. Time to make them a home!
Notice behind Dave’s potato Tower is a row of blue half 55 gallon barrels. They are also planted in potatoes. Planting in Easy DIY potato barrels is another excellent space saving option for Potatoes.
Here’s a Video demonstration of How Dave made and planted our Potato Towers.
Easy DIY Potato Towers:
- Approximately five foot length of four-foot high fencing wire. Any hole size will work.
- Tools to bend and crimp wire. And extra wire or strong twine.
- A fence post or other stable structure to wire the potato tower too
- approximately one bale of straw
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE EASY DIY POTATO TOWER -WIRE TOWER METHOD:
- Dave used fencing wire he had lying around with 4 inch squares to form his towers. (His wire was old and beat up. Perfect for potato towers. Use what you have!)
- Create a circle of the fencing wire about 4 feet tall and 2 feet in diameter. Wire the ends together to secure the circle.
- Push straw against the outside wire a couple of inches thick and leave the middle hollow.
- Next Layer straw on the ground a few inches thick.
- Layer on about 6 inches of good growing dirt. (see Dave’s soil mix above)
- Bury the cut potato sections in the soil.
- Water the soil, but do NOT saturate it!
- Layer 6 inches of straw over the planted soil.
- Repeat this all the way up the tower.
- Be sure the top of the tower is layered with straw! You want the potatoes protected from sunlight or they will go green.
- Secure your potato towers! They will fall over in strong winds or unlevel ground. Dave wired his towers to a fence post.
Occasionally; thoroughly water your towers. Make sure to stick the nozzle through the sides so the bottom layers get water too! Adjust watering for your rainfall! And be careful! The potatoes in one of Dave’s wire potato towers rotted. He had to replant that tower!
As the summer goes along the potatoes tops will start to emerge through the sides of the towers. That’s great! That means you have potatoes growing in the bottoms layers. Eventually lots of green potato leaves will be emerging all around your tower.
The potato tops will start to die when the potatoes are ready for harvest. You can harvest a layer at a time from the top down. Or, if all the potatoes come ripe at once, pull the frame off and sift the dirt and straw for you spuds! 🙂
Easy DIY potato towers make a gardener’s life simpler. We like it like that!
OUR OTHER BLOG CONTRIBUTORS HAVE DIY PROJECT FOR YOU TOO! Don’t forget to stop by all the blogs in this blog hop to see what we all have been up too! Happy Gardening!