How To Build The Best Potato Box Ever
As the areas of my garden devoted to perennials has gradually increased, the need to use the remaining space more efficiently has become more important. Using trellises and other vertical growing methods greatly help in this challenge.
Though my first attempts at growing potatoes the last couple of years has been successful, it took up a fair portion of the raised bed(s) they were growing in. This year, I am again doing another “first” – growing potatoes vertically.
The “potato box” or “spud box” has become an effective method to produce a large quantity of potatoes in a small space. The idea is ingenious – forcing the potato plant to “stretch” upward as it grows allows more area of the plant to produce potatoes.
The potato “growing” box is just that – a series of frames that stack, or grow, as the potato plant grows. I like to look at the frames as resembling the floors of a building. In this project, our potato “building” will be six stories tall.
Using this method you can see up to four times the yield when compared to normal growing conditions. You plant in one bottom layer, boarding up the sides of each layer and adding dirt as you go higher (you wait until the plants have grown a bit before adding a new layer).
While new potatoes are growing in the top layers, remove the boards from the first layer at the bottom to carefully dig out any that are ready for harvesting. Fill the dirt back in and board up the box again. You move up the layers and harvest as they are ready. I imagine the new potatoes in the first couple bottom layers would be somewhat awkward to get at but as you move higher–not so bad.
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