Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Built Another Potato Tower

Quite a bit of leaves remained after adding them to my square foot plot and filling up my potato tower.  I decided I like potatoes and another tower was in order.  I purchased a 50'/15m roll of 3'/.9m wide fencing. The fencing has 3"/76mm x 2"/50mm rectangular openings, as did the previous fencing used to build the first tower. This fencing differs in a few ways. The wire is a smaller gauge. It almosts feels soft, much easier to bend. The long side of the 2" x 3" openings changed orientation 90º so that the 3"/76mm dimension went from horizontal to vertical. 

I am guessing the gauge of the wire decreased to keep the price of the fencing low. I have no idea why the orientation rotated 90º. In any event, I constructed another tower using the same 64"/1.6m length of fencing. I cut the extra rectangle in order to attach both ends of the fencing to each other. I cut another wire coat hanger and made 5"/127mm staples to pin down the towers to the soil.

I changed the cloth used to surround the tower. I used all the remaining landscaping fabric on the first tower. I scrounged in my garage for something to use. I found a black single bed sheet in my rag pile. Bed sheets are saved to be reused before selling to the rag shop or entering the trash stream. (I am the son of parents that lived through the Great Depression. We save rags, aluminum, copper, screws, nails and lumber of sizable usable lengths. Our family has been recycling our whole lives. We are no strangers to the rag/scrap shop.)

I draped the sheet around the tower and overlapped where the ends of the fencing were joined. One edge of the sheet touched the ground and the remaining cloth flows over the top of the tower. I then placed 6"/15cm of leaves in the bottom of the tower. I didn't have any store bought potato seeds, so I opened my pantry to  scrounge for a suitable replacement.

I found a few sprouted Russet potatoes that were living under a large sweet white onion. They was easy to spot. The sprouts were a sickly white 6"/15cm and reaching around the Oso Sweet onion from both sides as though hugging the Oso in a lyonnaised sort of way, straining towards what little light entered the pantry.

I took the sprouting potatoes to the tower. This time instead of cutting the wire at the 6" level, I cut the sheet and bent the wire of one rectangle and squeezed in on potato leaving the 6" sprouts out in the sunlight. I did this again for the other potatoes. I expected to return to Lowe's to purchase more All Blue and Yukon Gold potato seeds to fill the rest of the tower. (I later discovered at Lowe's that the blue were dried and smelled bad and no gold remained. I purchased a bag of Russets.) The potatoes were planted Mon., May14.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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