Have you ever heard of planting potatoes no dig style? Last year we planted no dig potatoes using the Ruth Stout Method. We had an excellent harvest. This year, we’ll still use Ruth’s method, but we’re also planting another no dig style. This no dig method is known as the potato tower! Check out below how to plant potato towers.
Ruth Stout no dig potato gardening was super easy. Simply place potato on the ground and cover with several inches of hay. The only downside was having to continually add hay as the potato plants grow taller. This is very time consuming when you have a lot of plants.
How to Plant a Potato Tower No Dig
The potato tower is a layering system of hay, topsoil, and potatoes. Repeat the layers until you reach the top of the tower.
Potato Tower Steps
- Using panel fence, stake the panel in a circular upright position.
- Add several inches of hay.
- Add several inches of topsoil.
- Place 4-6 potatoes on the topsoil, spacing evenly.
- Repeat steps 2-4 until you reach the top, ending with hay.
Preparing the Potatoes for Planting
Just a brief overview of how most recommend you prepare potatoes for planting. A couple of days before planting, cut potatoes into 2 inch chunks. Each chunk should have at least 2 eyes or sprouts. Allow them to dry/cure and then plant. This is a successful way to prepare your potatoes for planting.
I, on the other hand, recommend not cutting unless that suites your fancy. We always plant potatoes whole, as they are. We were pleased with our harvest without the extra step of cutting and curing the potatoes. This is how Ruth Stout planted her potatoes, no cutting, and so that’s how we roll too.
Advantages of Potato Tower Planting
Planting in a potato tower has several advantages. For one, vertical planting saves space! Going up with your potatoes will use about a 3 foot X 3 foot section of your garden.
Another advantage, Potato Tower planting saves time! Once you start filling in your layers it goes very quick. You can harvest about 3 months worth of potatoes from a planting that took maybe one hour (for us, that’s one tower).
And one more advantage to planting in a tower, it’s very easy physically. There’s not a lot of intensive labor involved. You’re just repeating the motion of placing hay, soil, potatoes. There is a lot of kneeling/squatting.
Overview Planting a Potato Tower
Supplies needed: fence panel, wood stake or t-post, zip ties or wire fence clasps to hold the stake in place, hay (that has not been sprayed or fertilized), topsoil, and seed potatoes.
Choose your location and stake the panel in place, using zip ties or wire fence clasps to secure the panel to the stake.
Start filling your tower with several inches of hay. Evenly spread the hay, pushing the hay to cover the wire squares, as well as the middle.
Next, shovel in several inches of topsoil. Spread the soil evenly.
Finally, place your potatoes in the soil. You want to place them close to the panel. As the potato foliage grows it will grow out of the wire panel openings. This is how to plant potato towers. Let us know if you’ll be planting using this method.
Harvest potatoes when the potato plant dies back. This is the part you’ll love! To harvest, remove the stake from the wire panel. Lay your panel on the ground and collect your potato harvest!
Let us know in the comments if you’ll be planting potatoes in a tower this year.
A little disclaimer: The potato tower pictures with foliage are curtesy of my sister, Trisha Moore.
Share this pin with others!