Hey Everyone! I decided to work a cool DIY project. I decided to make a potato/strawberry towers. It’s super easy to make. It involves no digging or tilling. This was my first year doing a strawberry and a potato tower using the fence wire method. I found this one method to be the easiest and the cheapest. For my supplies, I only spend $40 dollar on the whole project. 🙂
- 3 to 4′ tall Wire fencing – something that is able to retain its form, use for many years.*I got mine at Lowes for a good price*
2. Wire cutters,
3. Some sort of twisty tie or pliable metal,
4.You could use straw, hay, newspaper, or weed fabric – I prefer straw- less seeds and newspaper.
5.Compost – Good quality soil- OR you can mix your own mixture of peat moss, compost, and perlite for good drainage. It will be cheaper in the long run.
6. Decide on what vegetables/fruit, that you would like to plant
For example – Potato seeds: 4-5lbs of potatoes, or 25-50 strawberry crowns.
8. Measuring tape.
Week prior to this- Go to the store and buy certified potato seeds. Make sure the potato are guaranteed to be disease free. Usually, potatoes need about 1-2 eyes per piece to grow successful. Cut the potatoes into pieces and it let it dry a min of 24 hours prior to planting. This will allow the seed to dry and avoid any rotting.
Like in my case. I got busy school and totally forgot about the seeds. Then two weeks later, I remember that I had potato seeds. I did notice that it grew a little bit of mold. This does not affect the seed anyway. I planted the seeds moldy and were able to grew into healthy plants.
Step 1-Use the wire cutters to cut out a section of the fence to create a cylinder container. Use a measuring tape make sure it’s a least 2.5 to 3 ft in diameter.
Then you would use a piece of metal wire to tie the fence ends together.
I place newspaper underneath just to keep everything nice and neat. and I also used landscape pin just to keep the towers stable. Make sure the towers in a sunny, flat spot.
*Tip: Make sure the Newspaper that you will be using is nontoxic ink-
3. The first layer.
I use straw as the first layer to create a barrier from the inside of the tower to help keep all of the soil in and hopefully reduce the loss of water due to evaporation during those hot sunny days.
The first layer of straw I will use about 4-6 inches of straw. Then using the straw you will create a birds nest inside. This will help reduce the loss of soil, and it will give it a place for the soil. to stay in.
Afterward, Shovel the soil inside the tower. Make sure it’s about 1 foot above the ground. This will allow the potatoes to develop nicely.
Step 4: Lay-down potato layer and water in… thoroughly!
Then lay the potatoes along with the outside of the bin. Make sure the eyes are pointing out. It could be right next to the straw layer. Then cover with dirt and water.
Step 5: Then repeat step 3-4 until you finish filling the tower. Each layer is about 1 foot. I used about 4-5lbs of potatoes.
Step 6: Once you reach the top. you can add another layer of potatoes on top. So it grows on top of the tower.
Step 7: Make sure to keep the tower watered.
The towers have to be moist from the top and bottom. I usually get the hose and place it on top and let it water ( low pressure) for about 15-20 mins each week. This will help it absorbed the water and keep it moist for about a week
Check your soil every 2-3 days especially during the summer. For this project, you have to make sure the soil is wet and not dry.
Step 8: “The Waiting Period.”
In 7-14 days you will be seeing little potato sprouts shooting out on the side of the potato tower.
You will have a medusa tower within a months periods.
Step 9- Harvest.
At the end of summer/fall or once the potato plants have died, it is time to harvest! Just tip the tower on its side and pick the potatoes.
I was able to get 30lbs of Russell potatoes in one tower.
If you want to try this method with strawberries. Just follow the same steps, but make sure the crown is pointing towards the straw and the roots are pointing in the middle.