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May 23, 2012


Potato tower, dirt onlyPotato towers seemed like a brilliant idea: take some wire fencing (which I had on hand), and make a 1-2' diameter cylinder. Put in alternating layers of straw (have that too) and dirt (yep) with seed potatoes in each layer.

It started out perfectly, just like the picture on the website.

Potato tower with seed potatoesNext, add chunks of seed potatoes cut up so there's at least one eye in each. A quick trip to Grace Brothers provided the potatoes.

In a few days these will sprout and grow out through the sides of the tower. So far so good.

The rest seemed pretty simple: Repeat steps 1 & 2 until you get to the top of the tower, then add a couple of plants at the top.

Repeat I did, and finished off this tower. I admired my handiwork and rolled out another piece of fencing to start on tower #2.

But then I remembered the article's advice to soak the tower thoroughly by putting a garden hose at the top set to just trickle water for 20 minutes.

That done, I started work on the second tower...

Potato tower fallen on its sideWith a thud, the original tower fell over. As I struggled to stand it up, now weighted down with water-soaked soil, my glasses fell off. Shit!

The tower was surprisingly heavy and squishy, so I threw a hip against it and pushed it more or less upright. Now, just step over and finish the job...

Broken glasses

The crunch was—of course—my glasses as I stepped squarely on them. The thin metal frame didn't stand a chance.

The sole saving grace of this misadventure in potato farming is that I paid extra for a one-year guarantee on the glasses. Let's hope that it covers stomping on them.

Oh, and the second potato tower looks pretty good.

So far.

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