Today I decided to pretend the temperature is a balmy 60 degrees and install at least one of my potato towers. I went to Home Depot the other day to get the lovely green wire that Mavis Butterfield of One Hundred Dollars a Month used for her potato towers. Alas the cheapest I could find was $45.00 so I opted for some chicken wire I had on hand and some fallen bamboo that I had found to stabilize the sides. Free is impossible to beat. My potato tower does not look as fine as Mavis's, but I can live with that. (I hope my neighbors can too.)
Below is a photo of my potato tower:
I cleared away the compost down to the cardboard in the bottom of my raised bed and set the chicken wire cage inside. Then I shoveled the soil back inside the cage and put straw on top of the soil and built it up about four inches all around on the sides to make a nest.
Next, I shoved about 4 inches of compost on top of the straw.
Then I placed my potatoes on top of the soil as you can see in the photo below;
As a final step, I shoveled about four inches of soil and straw on top of the potatoes. Now my potato tower looks like it did in Step 1. When the potato plants are about 6 or 7 inches high, I will once again cover them in soil and straw just up to within an inch of their tops. This process of layering with soil and straw will end when the potato plant begins to bloom. At that time, some of the potatoes on the bottom level will likely be ready to harvest.