Homegrown spuds typically grow in hills with each plant producing between three and six large potatoes. Producing enough potatoes to feed a family in a home garden takes up valuable ground space. Vertical gardening takes advantage of height so those fresh veggies don’t occupy an excessive amount of garden area. A homemade tower encourages potato plants to grow up without edging out other vegetables in your garden program.
Select a spot for your own potato tower which gets six hours or more of sunlight each day. The potato tower is a temporary structure, but you can’t move it once you begin planting, so choose the location carefully.
Cut a sheet of chicken wire or old fencing material to create a cylinder shape with a diameter between 2 and 3 feet. Cut the stuff to be at least 3 feet tall, giving the potatoes plenty of space to develop.
Shape the chicken wire into a cylinder, overlapping the cut edges slightly to prevent a gap. Secure the edges with bits of cable every 6 inches. Place the cylinder in place where you want the potato tower to stay throughout the growing season.
Cover the gaps in the chicken wire with wax. Place the straw on the interior of the tower against the cable to create a lining. If you use bamboo fencing, you should not require the straw lining, since the fencing will keep the soil in place.
Line the bottom of the tower with a few inches of compost to create a nutrient-rich base for those potatoes. Spread the compost evenly over the bottom.
Position about five or six seed potatoes on top of the compost. Space the potatoes evenly so they have room to develop.
Bury the seed potatoes with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Water the soil.
Add another 2 to 3 inches of soil each time the potato plants emerge through the soil. Water that the potato tower regularly to keep the soil moist without soaking the potatoes. Keep adding dirt until you get to about 6 inches from the surface of the tower.
Harvest the potatoes when the plants die back, just as you want when growing potatoes in the ground. To easily locate the potatoes, unhook the wire holding the tower together; the soil and potatoes will likely fall from the tower so it is simple to pick through and gather the vegetables.