How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

A potato tower is a great way to provide yourself with potatoes even in a small garden. In this article you will see different ways how you can build a potato tower yourself with simple means.

A potato tower is perfect for a small garden because you grow the potatoes vertically. This way you need less space than in traditional cultivation and have relatively more yield. With little financial effort and a bit of craftsmanship, you can easily build a potato tower yourself with these tips. Even if you only have a balcony, you can grow potatoes.

We’ll show you how to do it here. In addition, in this article you will learn what you should consider when growing potatoes in a potato tower.

Grow potatoes in a potato tower: What you should know

How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

There are many different ways to build a potato tower yourself. What they all have in common is that they require only a small area of ground, and for that they go up in height. A self-built potato tower has many different advantages, because it is

  • space-saving,
  • inexpensive,
  • decorative,
  • easy to maintain,
  • reusable
  • and potato harvesting is much easier.


Location

You can place the potato tower in the vegetable patch or in the garden. In the smaller brother of the potato tower – the potato bucket – you can even grow potatoes on the terrace or balcony.

You should take this into account when choosing a location:

  • Place the potato tower in a place that is as sunny as possible.
  • Soil, lawn or gravel is suitable as a base.
  • It is important that there is no waterlogging.


Which potatoes are suitable?

Seed potatoes – also called seed potatoes – are used for sowing new potato plants. You don’t need any special varieties to grow potatoes in a potato tower. What is important is that you use only seed potatoes or organic table potatoes, because these are not treated with germination inhibitors.

The right time

The potatoes do not lie deep in the ground as usual, but are exposed to possible frost in the potato tower. You should therefore plant the potatoes in the potato tower only after the Ice Saints. It is still possible to fill the potato tower at the beginning of June.

Care

Potato towers are very easy to care for, because you basically only need to water them.

Water regularly once a week.
Pay attention to the weather forecast – if it rains you do not need to water additionally.


Build your own metal potato tower

How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

A self-built potato tower has the advantage that you can perfectly adjust the dimensions to the available space. For this reason, you will not find exact measurements here. The height of your potato tower should be about one meter.

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This is the material you will need for a potato tower made of wire mesh:

  • a screed mat, alternatively rabbit wire or wire mesh
  • wire or cable ties to connect the ends
  • tools to cut and bend wire
  • two to four bamboo or metal sticks
  • garden soil
  • compost
  • straw or dried grass clippings


Note: If you want to build a potato barrel with a diameter of about 60 centimeters, you will need a wire mesh one meter high and about two meters long. Commercially available screed mats usually have exactly these dimensions.

Build your own metal potato tower:

  • Shape the screed mat or wire mesh into a cylinder.
  • Fix both ends with wire or cable ties.
  • Place the wire cylinder at the desired location.
  • Line the bottom with wire mesh if you want to make the potato tower safe from voles.
  • Secure the potato garbage can to the ground with two to four bamboo or metal sticks. It is important to fix the basket only in the first weeks. When it is completely filled, it will stand by its own weight.


This is how you fill the wire mesh potato tower:

  • Put a layer of hay or tree cuttings in the potato tower.
  • Add a little mature compost as fertilizer as the next layer.
  • Cover the inside of the potato garbage can with a layer of straw so that nothing falls out through the mesh.
  • Now you can fill the first layer of soil into the potato tower.
  • Lay out four to six seed potatoes in a circle with five centimeters from the edge. When the potatoes are already sprouting, the shoots should point outward. This will allow the potatoes to grow outward.
  • Cover the potatoes with about 15 inches of soil and add another layer of hay.
  • Repeat points two to six until the tower is full. For the last layer, you can also plant potatoes in the middle.
  • A potato tower made of wire mesh has the advantage that it is very light. You can dismantle it in winter and store it in the shed or cellar to save space.

Build your own wooden potato tower

How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

With a few wooden boards you can easily build a wooden potato tower yourself. You can adjust the dimensions perfectly to the available space. For this reason, you will not find exact measurements in the instructions.

This material you need for a wooden potato tower:

  • wooden boards in the desired length
  • four wooden posts for the corners
  • wood screws
  • Tools for woodworking
  • hay, straw or tree cuttings
  • compost
  • garden soil


Build your own wooden potato tower:

  • Make a plan with the desired dimensions.
  • Have the necessary wooden boards and the posts cut to the desired length at the hardware store.
  • Screw the boards to the posts so that they form right angles and a cube or cuboid is created.
  • Place the potato tower in the desired location. The wooden potato tower stands stable on the ground due to its own weight and you do not need to fix it additionally.
  • Line the ground with wire mesh if you want to make the potato tower safe from voles.
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An old composter as a potato tower

Maybe you have an old wooden composter that you no longer want to use. You can also find old wooden composters very cheaply in the classifieds from time to time. So you come with very little effort to a wooden potato tower.

Potato tower from pallets

To build a potato tower from pallets yourself, you need four Euro pallets.

Build a wooden tower from the four pallets.
Screw the pallets together at right angles at the corners.
Set up the potato tower made of pallets at the desired location.
Line the bottom with wire.

Build potato tower from old tires

How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

A potato tower made from old tires is a very simple way to build a potato tower from upcycling materials.

  • Place the first tire in the desired location.
  • Line the bottom with wire if you want to make the potato tower safe from voles.
  • Add a layer of hay and then some mature compost to the hoop as fertilizer.
  • Fill a layer of soil about 10 centimeters thick into the hoop.
  • Lay out three seed potatoes in a circle, five inches from the edge.
  • Cover the potatoes with soil up to the edge of the hoop.
  • Place the second hoop exactly on top of the first hoop.
  • Repeat points three through six, moving the potatoes a few inches.
  • Then place the third hoop exactly on top of the second hoop.
  • Fill the third hoop as described in points three to six.


Tip: You don’t have to wait until your car needs new tires. In classified ads you can find tires to give away from time to time. Alternatively, you can also ask at a car dealer.

Harvest potatoes from the potato tower

How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

From late summer you can harvest potatoes until autumn. The potatoes are ripe when the potato weed has died.

You don’t have to harvest all the potatoes at once, but you can dig them up layer by layer. Proceed in this way:

  • Remove the scrawny potato foliage.
  • Carefully remove the first layer of soil with your hands or a small shovel.
  • Take out as many ripe potatoes as you need.
  • Cover the potato tower with some soil and straw until the next harvest. Caution: no potatoes should peek out of the soil, otherwise they will turn green. When exposed to light, potatoes develop solanine. This is a natural poison that protects the plant from predators.


Harvesting potatoes from the wire potato tower

It is very easy to harvest potatoes from the wire tower by loosening the connection of the wire parts. This way, the soil disintegrates and you only need to collect the potatoes.

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The ease of harvesting potatoes from the potato garbage can is a great advantage over the conventional cultivation of potatoes.

Grow potatoes in tubs

How To A Build Potato Tower Yourself: For Balconies And Small Gardens

If you do not have a garden, but a terrace or balcony, you do not have to give up growing your own potatoes. If you are particularly short of space, you can grow potatoes in tubs.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when growing potatoes in tubs:

Potato tubs should have a size of at least ten liters.
Larger is better in this case. The tubs in the picture on the right hold about 25 liters of soil and in the picture on the left about 30 liters.
To avoid waterlogging, it is important that excess water can drain away.
Therefore, drill some holes in your planter and fill in a drainage of small stones or tree cuttings as the first layer.
This is how you plant potatoes in the tub:

  • After the drainage layer, add some mature compost to the tub as fertilizer.
  • Then fill a layer of soil about 10 centimeters thick into the potato bucket.
  • Lay out three to four seed potatoes in a circle, five inches from the edge.
  • Cover the potatoes with 15 centimeters of soil. The potato bucket is now filled no more than halfway.
  • After some time the first green can be seen.
  • Now keep adding soil to the bucket until only the top leaves are visible.


By the so-called “piling up” of the potatoes the plants form additional shoots instead of leaves, which provide for a richer harvest.
Keep adding new soil until the potato bucket is full. Note: Be sure to leave a watering margin of two to three inches in the potato bucket.


Hardly any potato harvest is easier than from a potato bucket:

  • Lay a tarp on the ground.
  • Tip the entire contents of the bucket onto the tarp.
  • Collect the potatoes.

Author

  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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