Now that you have the potato tower built and filled with good compost/potting soil mix, it’s time to plant the seeds potatoes.
Remember, late season potatoes seem to work the best in these potato towers, although I have read that some mid and early season varieties produce well, too.
Some good late season varieties include Bintje, Butte, and German Butterball.
Preparing the Seed Potatoes for Planting
You plant potatoes in a potato tower the same way you would plant them using any other method.
The first thing you want to do is cut your seed potatoes in smaller pieces if it’s needed. You want each piece to be about the size of a lime, give or take.
The most important thing to remember when cutting the pieces is that you want to have at least two eyes per piece. This will ensure you get good plant growth.
Also, you want to leave a good bit of “meat” around each eye, so don’t cut too close to the eyes if you can help it.
Once the pieces are cut you can either let them sit for a day in a dry place, or plant them right away. Allowing the seed potato pieces to dry out a bit can help to keep them from rotting, and protect against possible disease.
If you have had dry conditions recently you can plant them right after cutting. If it has been wet and damp, it’s a good idea to let them dry out.
You’ll know they have dried enough for planting when they shrivel a bit, and form a dry scab over the cut flesh.
Now that your seed potato pieces are ready for planting it’s time to get dirty!
Planting the Potatoes In the Potato Tower
The seed potatoes need to be planted four to six inches deep and the optimum spacing is about twelve inches apart.
The first thing you want to do is create two trenches that are between four and five inches deep and about twelve inches apart.
I just used my hand to scoop out the soil and lay it aside. You can use a trowel if you like.
Next, you want to lay out your seed potatoes in the trench with the eyes facing towards the sky. This is important, you don’t want the eyes facing down.
I like to press while twisting the seed pieces gently into the soil to make sure they make good contact with the soil. Don’t press down too hard, just set the piece into the soil just a bit.
Since the potato tower is only 2 feet by 2 feet I cheated a bit and planted my seed potatoes six inches apart instead of twelve.
Once you have all the potato seed pieces in place, cover with the soil, give the area a gentle pat with the palm of your hand, and water the soil well.
You want to keep the soil continually moist, but not soggy, and in a week or so you should see the plant beginning to poke out of the ground.
The potato tower acts much the same way as a container so the soil may dry out quicker than growing potatoes in the ground. Avoid letting the soil dry out completely because potatoes can be thirsty plants.
If you are interested in building your own potato tower, please check out – How To Build a Potato Tower.