This year I took my second crack at growing potatoes in stacked towers, which is theoretically supposed to maximize output while minimizing space.
As a control, I also planted out a simple single-layer bed of taters, to compare the yields come harvest time. So let’s start there:
This is the raised bed at the end of the growing season, a few months back. Through early autumn I let the foliage naturally die down and turn brown, and then about a month ago Waits and I spent a chilly morning digging up potatoes. He is such a great little garden helper!
The average results from one plant – not bad! (don’t mind the baby artichoke on the left)
And the final haul, a very full colander of incredible, buttery delicious taters.
So yeah, I was pretty impressed with the way the raised beds went. The spuds were all pretty small, but I credit our strange summer weather – the same weather that stunted all my tomatoes, grrr – with that one. As far as quantity, I was happy. But of course, the real question still remained. How would they stack up (oh, ha!) against the towers???
That’s the tater tower at the end of the growing season, and again I waited until the greens had dried up and died down. I actually waited quite a while . . . all the way up until yesterday morning! That’s okay though, because it’s been dry here and potatoes won’t rot in the ground unless it’s really rainy. It hasn’t been rainy, but boy has it been coooold! Waits and I bundled up and got to work:
First layer, nada.
Beautiful winter birdies! They came out to investigate while I worked . . .
And Waits went exploring inside the henhouse . . .
I finally hit pay-dirt in the third box down/second from the bottom (*sigh* all too familiar).
. . . while Waits tried to make friends.
All in all, the three potato plants resulted in – collectively – a measly quarter-colander of spuds. Sad trombone! They were a bit bigger on average than the other bunch, but still on the small side:
BUT, at least now I know, and as far as I’m concerned it’s official. From now on I’ll be growing potatoes the old fashioned way – right in the ground!