Sunday, April 22, 2012

Prepping Potato Tower Plot

I decided to place the potato tower next to my square foot garden.  I have been thinking of expanding my square foot plot. This work will be the first step towards the new plot preparation.

I measuring off a 4' (1.2m) x 4'(1.2m) area next to my original plot. Right away I ran into a problem. There appeared to be a square foundation from a basketball backstop in the far corner. This won't hamper the area for the potato tower but will need to be removed to expand the garden area.

My plan was to dig down 2" (50mm), cover the area with weed control fabric. I happened to purchase some of the same fabric at a  garage sale last year for $3.00. The fabric is a 4' (1.2m) roll and I am not sure of its length, but I was confident there was enough for this project.

I went into my garage/dumping ground/workshop and found a piece of 2" (50mm) x 2"(50mm) lumber which actually measures 1.5" (38mm) square and I cut the length to 4' (1.2m).  I planned to use it to flatten the area to the same depth.

Once I was near the depth of the plot, I put the 2" x 2" x 4' wood in the work area.  Both sides were deep enough but the areas between needed to be adjusted. I worked the wood back and forth as if I were screeding concrete. Taking soil from the high areas and depositing in the low areas. I pivoted the wood and made an arc from the bottom towards the concrete foundation. I repeated the same action on the other side until the whole area was flat.

I then put the roll of weed barrier fabric in the flattened area. The roll was 4' wide and I rolled out 4' and cut the fabric.

The plan was to cover the fabric with pebbles. Pebbles will keep the fabric in place and won't allow weeds to grow.

The day I was working on this project there was a slight breeze and the fabric was lifted out of the area several times. To keep the fabric in place until I purchase the pebbles, I figured I needed to pin down the fabric with some kind of staple.

I brought two wire clothes hanger from the house. These wire hangers are fairly stiff and can be shaped with just a bit of force.  Without untwisting the hanger at its twisted joint, I made my first cut quite close to the twisted joint. I figured a 10" (25cm) length would be sufficient to make the staple. 10" lengths would give me close to 5" (125mm) for each leg of the staples to tap into the ground.
My out stretched hand from tip of my pinky to the tip of my thumb is approximately 10".

I used my hand as a measuring tool and cut the hanger wire into four pieces.

I took all four wires and estimating the center, bent the wires slightly. If they didn't look close to center I would have straightened them and tried again, but my estimate was close enough.

I finished bending each wire individually. If you are unable to bend the wire barehanded, by all means use the pliers.

I placed the staples on three corners of the fabric, tapping them into the ground with my heavy ball-peen hammer.

On the corner with the concrete foundation I used two staples.

I cut the other wire hanger to make four additional staples, one I used near the concrete foundation the other three I used to staple down the potato tower.

Time to fill the tower and plant the potatoes.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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