We had heard over the years how wonderful fresh harvested potatoes were so last year we decided to give it a try. We did pretty well up to the point tiny little bugs stripped the leaves. Those little buggers eat really fast. We did get a small harvest and they were delicious. So this year we’ll be ready for the little twerps.
The potatoes being planted are Red Norland and German Butterball. Because our plot isn’t big we needed a way to grow them without taking up a lot of space. I found last year on Pinterest loads of information about potato towers and that seemed perfect for us. And it worked very well. They aren’t hard to grow but there is a bit of prep to do before planting them.
The seed potatoes get shipped mid April to our area. We get our stuff from High Mowing in Vermont. They are great but I do recommend buying your seed from an organic source near your zone. That way you know it is adapted for your growing conditions. The potatoes need to be sliced so each chunk you have has some “eyes” on it. This is where the potato plants grow from.
The cut sides need to be treated with sulfur to prevent rot. Now last year we were very careful to follow directions. They had to dry completely before planting. But then the next direction was to put them in the soil and water well. What’s the point? So this year I cut them all up and treated them. I let them be in the sun while I put the towers together.
As the potatoes grow more soil is added so you need enough height to accommodate the growth. It is also good to have composted soil for this as the potatoes need lots of nutrients. We had some old wire fencing so we use these for the forms of the towers. Line the bottom with the compost and line the sides with straw. Fill the tower with about 6 inches of soil, water well then place the potatoes in with the eyes pointing upwards.
Cover with a couple inches of soil and water well.
A friend gave us two small tower bags to try out so we used those and built a second tower. We should get loads of potatoes without using a ton of space. 🙂