Thursday, April 19, 2012

Make an E-Z No Dig Potato Tower

I saw an e-z method of growing potatoes and I am trying it out this year. The goal is to grow potatoes without digging and with very little work.

The most difficult part is to make a tower in which the potatoes grow.

Items needed to make potato tower

  1. Pliers with wire cutting capabilities
  2. Tape measure
  3. Scissors and or utility knife
  1. 63" (1.6m) length of 3' (91cm) wire fencing
  2. Weed Control Fabric/Burlap

Several years ago, I used 2" x 3" (50mm x 75mm) x 3' (91cm) wire fencing to create a bin to hold autumn leaves to be composted.  I no longer compost in that area of my yard, so I had no need for the wire bin. I used that wire fencing to make my potato tower.

I coiled the fencing to actually see what diameter tower would look manageable. An 18" (46cm) diameter looked good to me. I counted the rectangles in the coil, multiplied by 3" (75mm, the width of one rectangle) and decided 60" (1.5m) would be the length to cut.  

I added one more rectangle to the length to increase the size to 63" (1.6m). The three extra inches of length would facilitate tying the two ends closed.

I cut the fencing using the wire cutter portion of a pair of pliers.  Once the cutting was finished the result was a 36" (91cm) x 63" (1.6m) rectangle of wire fence with 2" (50mm) x 3" (76mm) openings.

I then rolled the fencing lengthwise to form a tube with an 18" (45cm) diameter. (Used fencing isn't necessarily straight.)

With the two ends of the fencing touching, I bent the wire on one of the ends around the other end of the fencing creating a seam.

I then bent the wire on the other end around closing the two ends into a tube. I also made sure the free end of the closure wires were wrapped under the upright wire to facilitated the easy opening of the tower when the potatoes are ready to harvest.

I cut a length of weed control fabric to line the inside the tower.  The 2" x 3" openings were large enough to allow the tower contains to escape. This fabric would help retain the leaves and potato plants. I added 6" (15cm) in length to the fabric so it would overlap itself. That overlap would also help retain the tower contents. The circumference of the tower was 60" (1.5m). The cut fabric measured 48" (1.2m) x 66" (1.7m).
Starting at the wire fencing seam, I spread the fabric around the inside of the tower, as best I could, while folding over the extra 1' (30cm) at the top. To help keep the fabric in place until I filled the tower, I used some clothes pins at the top of the fencing.

At this point, the tower was complete and ready to fill with leaves and potatoes.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

1 comment:

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