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Learn this great method of growing potatoes in what I call "tatter towers."

Potato Towers at Hayes Valley Farm

With planting time almost upon us, I wanted to pass along this great idea for growing potatoes in towers - for very little money!

*Get some chicken wire or old fencing that's about 3' tall.

* Lay it out on the ground so you can cut a piece that's approx. 3' in diameter. Tie ends to make a circular tower (sandwich bag ties are fine).

* Line the inside with newspapers, tarpaper, burlap, cloth, an old sheet, the kids school papers - anything you might have on hand to keep the contents from falling out.

* Fill with leaves. You can mix in a bit of dirt if you have some that you need to get rid of =) If you don't have any leaves - watch the sides of the road to help others "recycle" their leaves =) Also, the city might have collection trucks that will drop off enough leaves to start a commercial potato farm! =)

* Take some potatoes out of your fridge or from the basement. Cut into pieces. The little "eyes" that grow if you leave them setting to long is where the plants start their growth. You want at least 1 "eye" per piece.

Less eyes = less potatoes - but large ones
More eyes = more potatoes - but very small

So you decide what size potatoes you'd like to have.

* Just stick several pieces of potato down in the leaves & cover. As they grow, you will want to continue to cover the stems with more leaves, because the potatoes grow along these shoots. Wow - what a great way to clean the yard!

* NO MORE DIGGING TATTERS! At the end of the season, harvesting is nothing more than tipping the towers over - uniting the ends & letting the potatoes spill out! You rake the "now" composted leaves onto your garden!

* A great idea for these tatter towers is - line them up in rows, or around the perimeter of your garden for a great living garden fence!