Thursday, April 24, 2014

Potato Towers

I have grown potatoes in potato towers for the past two years with moderate success. I planted one layer and then tried to keep up with the fast-growing stalks and leaves by adding alternating layers of straw and a potting soil/compost mixture. New potatoes grew along the elongating stalks. At the end of the season, the towers get tipped over to reveal the new potatoes. All in all, easier than digging down into the soil to retrieve the new produce. Inevitably, the stalks and leaves grew faster than I was able to keep up.

Always on the lookout for shortcuts, I came across a potato tower blog that suggests the routine can be simplified…and the yield improved. Rather than trying to stay ahead of the fast-growing greenery, the author suggests planting multiple layers under compost all in one go, then letting the stalks grow naturally out the sides and top of the tower. When the stalks and leaves turn brown, it is time to harvest by tipping the tower on its side and reaping your rewards.

Shall we give it a try?


  1. The out-the-side method is critical! I add some colorful annuals in these "windows" to keep the soil in, and for aesthetic reasons.

    jenna bayer

  2. We grow potatoes in big black nursery tree pots. Topping them off with soil as they grow is a bit of work, but once the pots are full, little needs to be done other than watering. When it is time to harvest we dump the pots out through our compost sifting screen set over a wheelbarrow, we don't miss a single spud.