Potato Tower

I saw this idea on Pintrest (my favorite place to waste time online!) and had to try it for myself this year.  First, I started out with some Miracle Gro garden soil, a bag of seed potatoes from Southern States, some fence wire we had left over, a length of PVC pipe that will be as tall as your fence wire and a bale of straw. Any kind of wire will do, but be sure the gague is not too wide, so the contents will stay in.

A few days before you are ready to plant the potatoes, follow the directions on the bag and cut them into pieces with one or two eyes (sprouts) per piece. Leave them out on a tray in a cool, dry place covered with a towel to keep out the light. Allow a skin to form over the cut pieces.  Any pieces that turn mouldy or look green, throw away. (see picture with the potato sets in my hands below).

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Start by creating a good-diameter circle of fence and wire it together. Then attach it to the ground with a few tent stakes or bent pieces of wire just to secure it.   With a helper, create a nest of straw in the bottom and hold the PVC pipe in the center. You can even stick it into the ground a bit to get it to stay, if you are working alone.  Inside the ‘nest’ place some soil in a thick layer (2-3″) and then plant your first round of potatoes, eyes facing outward toward the fence.

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After you set your potatoes into the soil, cover them thickly with soil to ensure no light gets to them (light turns potatoes green and that is toxic and inedible).  Place a thick layer of straw over the soil (4″ or so) and create a nest in that straw layer. Repeat the soil/potato seed/soil/straw layers until you use up your potato seeds. End with a thick layer of soil and straw.

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The job is much more fun and goes quickly if you have a really cute Beagle helper!

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When you are done, water your tower through the PVC pipe and thoroughly wet the tower.  I didn’t water again after this, because we got regular rainstorms. If you don’t get much rain, you may want to water weekly until the potatoes sprout. You can put your hand inside and feel the soil, but be sure to close up the hole so no light gets in.

Here is the finished tower:

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This was created back in April. Now it’s July and the potatoes have sprouted and are looking great! My garden is embarassingly weedy and I am waiting for it to cool off a bit before I go tackle that craziness.


When I was a kid, we had rows and rows of potatoes in the garden. I remember my job was to pick off the potato bugs (ugh!). My Grandmother used to take out a bowl with water or flat beer and go out and pick them off and drop them in the bowl. If it was beer, she said, at least they would die happy.

The potato vines will die back in the Fall when they are ready. I’ll update when we harvest!

Happy Gardening