Pour a 5-inch-deep layer of compost over the potatoes, and cover with a few handfuls of straw. Growing in a potato tower may be the answer to mold and insect damage. Each of the ten participants will cultivate potatoes holding all other variables equal: fertilizer, mulch, water, sun, plot size, and type and amount of seed potatoes. 19. Bend some steel fencing into a tube and fasten. S tep 5: Watch it grow, tip it over, and harvest the spuds. Homegrown spuds typically grow in hills with each plant producing between three and six large potatoes. Add an extra straw on the top of the potatoes when they grow at the height of 8 inches. Potato towers can go from two to four feet tall with cylinders of metal fencing. While growing potatoes in the traditional way can take up a lot of space in the garden, you can also grow them vertically in a tower in a much smaller area. They have perfected the method of growing potatoes above ground in straw. This guide here is easy to follow and actually doing it is just as easy. It is especially good for any situation where you are unable to dig the ground up to plant potatoes, like this garden, featured in the slideshow. The construction was simple. Since the bales stay tied, it's not particularly messy until harvest time. Creating the tower out of old tires saves the effort of building a growing structure and helps ease the process. Hugelkultur Bed ... try growing your spuds in a tower. The good news is, if you have room for a hay bale, you can grow potatoes in your own backyard with little effort. Plant certified seed potatoes whole, or cut them into good-sized pieces, each of which should contain two or three eyes. The only potatoes I have grown have been sweet potatoes, but this year, I will grow … Lay the straw with the height at four to five inches at the top of it. Place the seed potatoes in the soil top. Finish off the tower with a layer of potatoes spaced evenly across the top. Consistent watering is a must. All you need to set up your own potato tower at home are some very basic supplies: wire fencing, straw, soil, and seed potatoes (there are other methods we’ll cover, too). Besides straw, they also use hay or other mulching materials. The concept is simple: you start potatoes in an enclosed vertical planter and add soil and compost as the plant grows. Potato Tower AKA Garden Lasagna: Potato towers give new meaning to the term garden lasagna. 22.5 pounds from 5 plants is 4.5 pounds per plant, which is a good yield, but one that is fairly easy to achieve in good garden soil with sufficient fertility. Cover seed potatoes with a light layer of Tui Vegetable Mix and gently pat down. Planting potatoes in straw is an excellent method for growing potatoes in any garden. This potato bed is built over top of construction fill, consisting of bricks, stones and old broken concrete. To do this I simply […] A growing tower helps you produce more potatoes in a small space. Many people with larger gardens and farms plant directly in the ground, cutting the seed potatoes up and planting in hills spaced along long rows. I used wire, dirt, straw and a few seed potatoes for each potato tower. Back in early April, I built 5 potato towers. Repeat until your tower is about filled to within four inches from the top. Not everyone has the space to grow them the traditional way. We have grown potatoes before, on the farm, using conventional farming methods. Add two capfuls of Seaweed Plant Tonic to a full watering can and water your planted potatoes. As noted in the article, you can grow perfectly good potatoes in a tower, you just can’t expect to grow more than you would in the ground if the soil were of the same quality. With straw bale gardening, you can avoid this problem because the stems can grow more easily up through the straw. Plant your seed potatoes in the bottom of the box. Fearless . A potato tower is a simple and fun way to grow your own potatoes at home. Reply. This study will evaluate the relative performance of five nonmechanized, potato-growing methods: trenching (control), newspaper mulch, potato tower, container bag, and straw mulch. A website where you can buy great potato towers is: henleypotatotower.co.uk They have a tower which stacks up. You can use less soil by stuffing the tire inside the edge with straw which will rot down and feed the plants. I use end-of-season straw as mulch in other parts of my yard/gardens and it works great. Fill it up with soil and line with straw and there’s the tower… Fast forward about 5 weeks, and as you can see it was finally time to add a second layer to the potato towers. Growing Potatoes In Hay or Straw Bales Many home gardeners pass up growing potatoes because they think they do not have enough room to grow these vigorous plants. All using the same kind of late maturing potato. As the potatoes grow add another level of 1 x 6 lumber on each side of the posts. How to Plant Potatoes in Towers. Potatoes are a versatile, tasty, and easy-to-grow tuber. Another space saving potato growing idea involves growing potatoes in straw bales. Growing potatoes in tires is enexpensive, fun for the family,and best of all helps mother earth. Another benefit of growing potatoes in a cage is that they're easier to water and easier to harvest. The design can be as simple as driving four snow-fence posts at corners in a square, then tightly binding the fencing around the poles. Grow Potatoes in Tires: This is a great alternative to the traditional way of raising potatoes in rows and best for any confined space. Cover the potatoes with a couple of inches of compost and be sure to water well. Growing potatoes in straw is a well-known gardening technique in Northern European countries. Here’s our guide to growing food in straw bales. Gardeners in cold areas like USDA zone 3 will plant in April, while those in USDA Zone 9 will plant in February or March. Growing potatoes in a specially set aside column of soil would prevent errant potatoes from colonizing. You too can give vegetable gardening a kickoff by growing potatoes in straw! Step 5 Growing Potatoes. Growing potatoes in “towers” or structures designed to accommodate layers of growth is a popular Internet and garden site recommendation. It also comes with a polycarbonate lid to keep the frost off in the early weeks. In terms of cost-saving, the price per pound is comparable to what it would have cost to buy potatoes in local grovery stores, but the flavor and wholesomeness of the produce was worthwhile. While mulching potatoes with straw is a popular growing method in all USDA Zones, you can take that a step further and grow potatoes in straw bales. Lorry wholeheartedly recommends this method for growing potatoes. in Resourceful backyard gardeners fashion potato towers from chicken fence or other wire fencing. Mary March 5, 2015 . A small space and big payout, easy rotation, easy maintenance, and easy harvesting make this an ideal method for growing potatoes. Lucky for you, I am always on the lookout for the easy way to do things I have come across growing potatoes in straw. As long as you water and fertilize your bales to start the decomposition process, and hill around the growing plants with more straw, this is another solution that can give some good yields. Check ideas on how to plant potatoes … After planting, create another, similar ring of straw, fill it with soil and fertilizer and plant another round of potatoes. In many zones, you can plant potatoes in late fall to sprout in spring. Add another layer of straws until the potato plants grow beyond the container. All of these issues can be dealt with by growing potatoes vertically, in a potato tower. Step 4. .so do your part to help The allure of getting pounds of potatoes in a small space leads people to try this technique. Keep them covered. We chose to re-purpose some items from around the yard (hence the chicken wire). As your potatoes grow keep mounding with Tui Vegetable Mix and lining the tower with more Tui Pea Straw Mulch. Skip the scrubbing by growing your potatoes in straw. Potato towers have the advantage of growing potatoes in a small space (instead of letting the plants sprawl) and as the potatoes grow up, there is more space for tubers to form. Potato towers are a hot topic, probably because a lot of people have smaller backyards and they want to produce as much food as they can. Photo by J.H. I also like that you can specially designate the soil for the potatoes so it doesn’t strip your other garden soil of nutrients in a particular area. The inhabitants of those countries have been doing it for hundreds of years. This means placing the end with the most shoots or buds (known as eyes) upwards. You can apply the same principle (“straw hilling”) when growing potatoes in a straw bale. These uppermost potatoes will sprout out of the top of the bin. Add dirt or straw as needed making sure to cover no more than 2/3 of the greenery. Plant potatoes inside the tire by placing them rose end up. Using the information from the articles provided by Lavender and Jared I'll do one dirt filled potato tower with potatoes planted all the way up, one dirt filled tower with one potato at the bottom and one straw potato tower. Desert dwellers in Zone 10 or high must grow potatoes as a winter crop. How can I utilize last years straw and growing potatoes. The ads are very seductive; “grow 100 pounds of potatoes in a 4 x 4 ft tower. Any suggestions. This method allows you to grow a crop in an area too rocky to dig or even on a paved surface like a driveway. The chicken fence potato tower is a easy and productive means of growing potatoes, especially when using straw. Cut the lumber into 2 foot sections, nail these to the 2 x 3 posts, making a box. I'll … Potatoes are actually quite easy to grow. You can build towers in many different ways (tires, reclaimed wood, fencing, etc). You might be interested in seeing the results I got last year from growing potatoes in straw towers. Every 6 inches or so of growth, add some straw to cover the potato plant, except for the very top part (the leaves on top still need exposure to sunlight for photosynthesis and growth). I decided to attempt the potato tower to help ease this issue in my garden. What you need: Square of steel fencing 3-4 ft wide and tall; Straw; Garden soil; Seed potatoes 1-2 lbs per tower; Make sure to plant your potato tower in a sunny location with good soil drainage. 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