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If you have a few scraps or end pieces of wood around you can build a DIY potato tower for your vegetable garden. It’s much easier to harvest and a lot of fun. It’s great for beginning gardeners to try.
I always see different ideas for potato towers like old tires and buckets. I decided to use a few pieces of scrap wood ends to build a potato tower for our garden and it turned out great. We left some long “handles” on our tower so we can pull it over onto a tarp and the Little Sprouts can dig through there and find the potatoes easier. No digging, no heavy lifting.
The pieces of scrap wood we had were 2 x 4 pieces leftover from a build. We cut them all to the same length and used the longest pieces to make the corner braces. We placed four outer boards onto the corner braces and screwed them in to make a square.
We repeated that step two more times so our tower was 3 2 x 4s high. Then we built three more squares and instead of screwing them on, we lifted them over the top and moved them down to the other squares.
This way, we could plant in the bottom of the tower, then build it up and add more growing material as we go up so we could keep burying the potatoes deeper. This is a great potato growing method we’ve seen.
DIY Sweet potato tower
I recently found out I have an allergy to nightshades, which includes potatoes. They make me super sick, even home-grown ones. So, we decided this year to use the towers for only sweet potatoes. I love potatoes and I don’t want to have them but not be able to eat them.
Later, when researching, I learned that white potatoes don’t grow well above the ground in towers because it’s too warm in most climates. I also learned that sweet potatoes grow best in raised beds because they like more aerated soil than in-ground gardens have. So, growing our sweet potatoes in the towers was perfect.
Potato tower harvest
When it was time to harvest our sweet potatoes, it was super simple. We placed a plastic tarp in front of the tower, pulled on the handles to knock the towers over. The sweet potatoes had filled the towers wall to wall, so the soil and potatoes didn’t fall out as I expected.
We had to wiggle out a few potatoes and make some room and then it fell out. We made two towers, one bigger than the other. The small one is about 2 x 1 ½ feet. That one was super simple to dump over. The larger one which is about 3 x 3 was pretty heavy for the two of us. We had trouble getting it over.
We had to dig a few potatoes and remove them and then we were able to tip it, with about 1/3 of the material removed first. I would love to have a bunch of the small size lined up in a row. But the two we have plus one small raised bed that is 3 x 4 feet gave us 105 pounds of sweet potatoes, so I’m happy with what we have to use.
If you want more information on how to grow sweet potatoes, check out this article.
For how to grow white potatoes, check this one out.
And for how to use your excess sweet potatoes or recipes to cook with sweet or white potatoes, check out these articles.