Sunday, June 28, 2015

Potato Tower

The potato tower has been in place for a couple of years
but only a few layers deep.  We never dissembled it to
get the potatoes but rather just dug down and harvested as needed
leaving the smaller ones as seed potatoes for the next season.

This year we added more compost as the vines grew with a couple extra board
layers.  As the vines emerge you just keep covering them almost to the top
with more dirt/straw/compost or a combination.  Our neighbors used
all straw while ours was dirt and then only compost from that point.  Ours
look better but we may have different varieties; however, I think our 
compost makes the difference.  As you cover the vines new potatoes
begin to grow so you end up with layers and layers of potatoes.

Once they flower and the vines die, you
begin taking off the boards to harvest.  There is no
digging in the ground and we don't do any weeding.
We'll see how they produced in this very wet Spring and beginnings of Summer.

We've covered the top to keep raccoon from digging, they must like
potatoes too or just the bugs that burrow into the compost.

Next to the potatoes we have a small side garden where we typically grow
the early radish and salad greens and then move on to some cherry tomatoes
and beans and regular greens.  This year has not been the best but we do have 
a few tomato plants and one green pepper. I hope they start producing more
once we see the sun again.  There is horseradish in another raised bed and it
 seems to be taking off well.

We don't even have the big garden started due to
the very soggy conditions.  There are a couple of blackberry plants and one
elderberry growing but nothing else besides weeds.
Maybe we can get a fall crop in soon.


Gorges Smythe said...

I've tried potatoes in tires a couple times, but the results weren't too good. They did better when I used dirt, rather than straw. I'm sure they all would have done better if I'd watered them, though.

Lady Locust said...

Love it! The ability to go vertical rather than taking up more 'land space' is a great plus. Will be curious to see the results though can't imagine they would be anything but good.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Yes, water helps! LOL! We've had so much rain that it isn't an issue here.

LindaG said...

What you have looks great. Congratulations!

Harry Flashman said...

I have a friend who grows potatoes in mounds she piles up in her garden. I had a potato rake in my tool shed and didn't even know what it was until she told me , so I gave it to her.

Powell River Books said...

I do potatoes in a similar way, except I use half of a 55-gallon barrel. I save my soil from year to year when I dig the potatoes out, leaving only about 8 inches in the bottom to keep the barrel from blowing away in the winter. I don't know what happens to soil over time, but there's never as much the second year. Since I don't have soil or large amounts of compost available, I buy a package of peat moss that I use to build up the levels as the potato plants grow. I use Yukon Golds and they grow well in a barrel and save well stored for winter use. - Margy