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100 Dollar Bill

Whatever might pique my interest

I love growing things

Friday, July 23, 2010

...and I like to eat potatoes!

Amplify’d from www.hillgardens.com
Potatoes:
Nearly A Half-Bushel Per Foot

Welcome through
Fred's Garden Gate! Well, it's too late
for this season—at least in Central Maine—but there's still time to
prepare and plan a very different way to grow potatoes next
season. 

Early this Spring (2000), I ordered my Dark Red Norland
potatoes from Johnny's and decided I'd had enough of rows and rows of spuds taking up most of the
prime space in our veggie patch. So....I borrowed a concept from a distant
friend, highly refined it, and now grow them vertically! The up-side:
where 5 pounds of spud "seed" formerly planted about 40 feet of
row, now the same plants occupy a circular space 2-1/2 feet across by 36" tall. And considering the harvest rate, that cooks down to just
short of a bushel and a half for the space used! The only down-side
that I can see: the planting tends to dry out quicker than if
planted directly in the ground.  Here's the deal: 

    Find yourself about ten feet of
36" wide "hog wire" that has wire spacing of 1" by 2",
then roll it into a vertical "cylinder" (now 3-feet tall) and
lace it together with either wire or synthetic cord.Hog-wire laced securely into a vertical

Once laced securely, it's time to cut the openings
through which your potato "seed" will be inserted.
Each hole will be approximately 3" by 4" - just large enough to
push the "seed" through, and for the plant to grow through. I
arranged mine so there were four openings tall on the cylinder, and 10
openings on
each of the four tiers.

Stand this now completed cylinder on one end in the
full sun, and drive a stout stake outside on each side (at "9
O'clock" and "3 O'clock") to keep it standing on end.A view of one of the holes through which a

A view of one of the holes through which a
The next step involves a wheelbarrow and some
elbow-grease: fill this wire enclosure right to the top with the freshest
compost or very high organic matter soil— not the usual stuff
("dirt") you usually grow your potatoes in!—you can get your
hands on, and slightly shake the cage a little to settle it down. I used
100% compost—a biologically hot-rot product using my own 21-day, no-turn
composting method (see the article in archives:
Read more at www.hillgardens.com
 

posted by Editor, 4:03 PM

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