I am able to extend my growing season and help my bad back with potato planters. A vertical potato planter will allow you an easier harvest. I love the chicken wire method but this year I am fully embracing all types of patio potato planter. I want you to join in too! Hopefully this will inspire you a little bit!
You will need:
Potato sacks 5 x Potato Planter Bags
Or you can try the tower with chicken wire Hamble Green Blade BB-CW100 5 x 0.6m Galvanized Wire Netting with 13mm Mesh
Seed Potatoes suitable for a Christmas harvest like Charlotte Seed Potatoes (Autumn/Christmas Harvesting) 9 Tubers
Potato Planter Method….
ONE; If you are using the potato planter bags, fill with soil to around a quarter and lay the potatoes inside, a pack contains around 9 so three per bag seems to get the best yield. Next you will then cover a few inches deep.
TWO; A few weeks later a few leaves will show at the top, cover them over with more soil and repeat this process a further three times and then allow the leaves to grow out fully,
THREE; With this type of planter the best idea is to wait until the leaves die back a bit, but are not blackened as that is a sign of blight. Once that has happened you are ready to harvest your winter potatoes.
It is now May and I have another lots of potatoes in the planters ready for an early crop, and am successional planting for a longer harvest. I like either method as you can create a patio potato planter to talk about. In Wales I was always called blodyn tatws by one of the guys I work with, a sort of compliment meaning potato flower. I don’t mind as I think they are cute, and I think that was his intention! But if you fancy a shabby chic
Patio Potato Planters - that are really cute!
have a look at the collection over at Suttons!
Chicken Wire, Tower Method……
ONE; Once you have cut a length of chicken wire from the roll of around 750cm you will see it naturally holds the shape of the cylinder, albeit a slightly looser shape. Use this to your advantage and hook the ends through each other to create a secure tube of chicken wire.
TWO; clear an area ready for the chicken wire and work it into the soil to add a bit of stability, a few centimeters only should suffice.
THREE; I find that the best way to buy straw is through out of town pet stores and it is usually around 50pence a bag. You can find good quality straw in many different places. You will need a fair few handfuls to build inside the cylinder to around one quarter of the way up. Dent it slightly in the centre before adding a few shovels full of soil. This allows the soil to breathe and potatoes love to breathe, but you will also find this allows the leaves to sprout through the chicken wire and straw. Giving more exposure to sunlight. For a winter harvest this is super helpful.
FOUR; The best potatoes are ones with lots of eyes and sprouts, ideally the eyes should be all over the seed potato, not just one end. Eventually I intend to use the old harvest to bring on the new seed potatoes, but this is for next years harvest. Once you have placed around 3 potatoes in the tower, add a bit more straw around the outside and cover over with soil.
FIVE; As above, once the leaves start to appear you can cover over the top, but this time you must add straw to each layer as well as soil. This addition of straw will allow the soil to stay inside the tower, even during the most gloomiest of British autumns and winters.
SIX; Once the leaves have died down and all the flowers are long gone, you can empty the tower relatively easily. Then reap the rewards of the winter sun and rain in the form of fresh potatoes.
Potato planter Pro Tip
- if you take out even the smallest of tubers you can add the old soil straight the compost heap. For best results keep it organic and free from any pesticides.
Pro Tip number 2
- I don’t want to waste any money or waste any materials in my garden or household. I use this handy WATERING CAN once I have planted my seed potatoes
If you are looking for some tasty Microleaves to pop on the top of some hot buttered potatoes have a look on our site. I love pea shoots with fresh potatoes. I will be working on a few sneaky herb tricks as well. We are also looking forward to rehoming a few ex-battery hens soon and will have a couple of recipes ready. For now check out our Zero waste snacks as there is a nice potato recipe in there too!