Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tater Tower

Shamelessly stolen from Jane Tunks article in the San Francisco Chronicle:
The landless gardener doesn't have to be limited to window boxes sprouting herbs or containers full of lettuce.

Even apartment dwellers with nothing more than a few square feet of cement can cultivate a small crop. Among the easiest garden projects for a small space is a potato tower, sheltered inside a plastic garbage can or chicken wire. Layering potatoes and soil takes advantage of vertical space, while maintaining a small footprint.

Or the lazy gardener with a weed-filled yard. And a surplus of chicken-wire remnants.

The easy-to-follow instructions are for a garbage-can tower or a chicken-wire tower. See?

Those bulk-bin bag ties cluttering my bottom drawer? Perfect for closing the chicken wire. And for attaching it to the chicken wire fence for support.

I raked up all the old straw laying around the yard for the dry mulch, grabbed some of the pea/vetch mix from the fallow raised beds for the green mulch, and used the old pile of potting soil growing weeds and cat poop for the dirt. Oh. I also had a box of very old, very sprouted potatoes sitting in the mud room. Sometimes it pays to be untidy.

The finished Tater Tower. (That's the duck pond to the left; I refill it with clean water once a week.) Oh, and please don't think I bought the Compost Tumbler in the background—heavens, no! A friend gave it to me; it was too small for his yard. (!)

It was so easy I built a second one before I got distracted. But I still have chicken wire (and straw and green mulch and poop-enriched dirt) so I think I'll build a few more.

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