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May 01

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Potato Tower – Step By Step Instructions

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Finished Potato Tower

Our finished Potato Tower

Here is a post that was requested by one of my readers and then by popular demand on our Facebook page everyone wanted to see our Potato Tower Step By Step instructions.  Make sure to plant your potato tower in a sunny location with good soil drainage and you can see the potato tower fits the bill.  They should be ready to harvest once the plants flower.  You can always dig in one spot without uprooting the entire tower to check.

Step 1 – Place a tomato cage or a masonry cage such as ours in the ground….we don’t do any special prepping to the soil.

Step 1 put up a tomato cage or masonry cage

Don’t worry with the weeds the potatoes, and the soil will keep them at bay.

 

Step 2 place some good soil in the bottom of the cage.

Step 2 place soil in the bottom of the cage or tower.Step 3 Place Potato Starts or eyes you can cut up a potato several times if you want.  Many instructions say to cure the potatoes prior to planting but we have had good luck without curing them too.  I lay the potato starts so the eyes or roots are facing outwards.

layer potato starts and continue layering

 

Step 4 Continue layering the potatoes and dirt in the tower and make sure to keep lining the edges with straw!

close up pic of potato start

Step 5 keep layering dirt over the potatoes and its also a good thing to amend the soil with some compost and biochar as well as you are layering.

adding compost and biochar to the potato tower

Step 6 you can see the bio char mixed in the soil in picture below.

continue layering the potatoes until you run out or you have reached the top

 

Step 7.  Continue to edge sides with more straw.

continue to line potato tower with straw

I have had such great results and enjoyed building potato towers so much I hope you try one too!  I think they are perfect for small spaces and you really do get a nice bunch of potatoes to make some wonderful meals with 🙂

 

Thank you so much for stopping by our Li’ Suburban Homestead and please feel free to ask questions and or comment I love hearing from all of you!

 

Fondly,

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Potato Tower Time(lilsuburbanhomestead)

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  1. Sharon Frazee

    are you adding more potatoes as you add more soil, so that the potatoes are planted several layers deep??

    1. KarenLynn

      Sharon yes sorry if that is unclear as you build up the soil you continue to layer the potatoes with shoots facing outward so that the potatoes are in several layers deep.

  2. kkinne1

    how long does it take for the potatoes to grow to harvest?

    1. KarenLynn

      We are not the best about keeping track of time. We planted them in the spring and you wait until the plants turn yellow…….we read this in some old gardening books we had and it worked perfect for us! I have attached a very detailed article on potatoes that is much more specific for your reading pleasure plus I am friends with Bonnie Plants and they are extremely knowledgeable! http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-potatoes/

  3. Georgia Kato

    Do the potatoes grow inside the cage or the outside? Do you water the whole cage as needed? This looks like fun, can’t wait to try this out.

  4. sweetcheeks40

    We have some potato towers and are seeing our first shoots coming up on the top layer. ( We planted 3 layers) The sides of the towers (welded wire) are getting less shoots and we’re afraid the straw is blocking the sprouts from coming through the sides. Did you just use a thin layer of straw? Any problems with the shoots not being able to find their way out on the bottom layers and the sides? We are also noticing the straw is getting a little white fungus from being wet and not able to fully dry between the times we water it. Perhaps it is because we packed it too full of straw and there’s less air flow.

    1. KarenLynn

      We had plenty of shoots all over……you could try to pull some of the straw away and see if it helps. Another thing is we didn’t have any fungus issues has it been particularly rainy in your area this year. We are in zone 8b if that helps. Keep me posted I am definitely interested on how it goes for you.

  5. 4vrFree

    I planted one this year. The shoots seem pretty long. Should I just let them go or trim them? The ones on the side seem to get heavy and droop a bit. I’m getting ready to build one for sweet potatoes tomorrow. I think it’s fun and less work than the regular way.

    1. KarenLynn

      We just let ours go and then they flowered (which is a great indicator that there will be some potatoes in there when you dig them out)….then the shoots will die off and it’s harvest time! We don’t always harvest them all right away. Thanks for your visit!

  6. Deborah Mapes

    Can this be done with sweet potatoes the same way ( potato eyes )?

    1. KarenLynn

      Deborah yes any way you plant potatoes you can plant sweet potatoes! Next year we are actually adding more sweet potatoes to our homestead!

  1. » The View from My…Greenhouse

    […] of me I can't find the original website that I got the tower instructions from. However, this one http://www.lilsuburbanhomestead.com/2013/05/01/potato-tower-step-by-step-instructions/  is very similar, minus the watering […]

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