Introduction: Potato Raised Bed

About: I am a certified permaculture designer currently working as an environmental restoration specialist. I like to tinker with projects and hoard tools.
If you want some easy to grow spuds, all you need are some old, forgotten potatoes from your pantry, unwanted jeans or khakis, lattice, staples, scissors, a light soil, and a circular saw or jigsaw. This whole project took me maybe 45 minutes from start to finish.

Step 1: Have Spuds Gone to Root?

If you do, don't toss them in your compost pile just yet. Select a few (or a lot if you have the space), pick a good spot to plant them, and plop them in the ground. Some peeps say to cut them up, but I have always plopped whole spuds in the ground and never had a problem with them. Then measure out the area around your fresh plantings, in a square or rectangle.

Step 2: Power Tools Are Fun

Measure out the corresponding lengths and widths onto lattice. I used leftovers from a pond pergola. Next, put on some eye protection and grab your circular saw or even jigsaw. I used a circular to cut my lattice. Because I measured out an area right next to an existing fence, I only needed three pieces: front and sides.

Step 3: Grab Your Staple Gun

Layout the lattice board, flat, with the ugliest sides facing up. Leave a 1/4" to 1/2" space between each cut piece. Place your jean material onto the lattice, overlapping by about an inch. Make sure the material covers each gap between cut pieces. The material will act as a flexible joint. Now staple the material to the lattice edges.

Step 4: Trimming

Staple the hanging over fabric (if any) to the top of your lattice, and trim up the excess top over hang. If there is overhang on the bottom, don't worry about it. Soil will cover it.

Step 5: Placement

Take the finished potato raised bed and place over the area you planted the spuds. Cover the inside edges with soil, or hammer poles to the inside corners to keep the structure in place. I waited until my spuds had grown a foot before building this bed, so I was able to backfill and not worry about the structure blowing over.

Step 6: Backfill

Once your spuds start sending up leafy stalks, begin filling the area in the raised bed with a loose soil. Cover the potato plants until just the tips of the plants are exposed. Do this regularly until you have reached the top of the bed. Let the plants grow up over the top, water sparingly, and you will have an incredible abundance of spuds come late summer, early fall. I cover mine with finished compost, peat moss, and sand, just sifting each soil type over the plants and very sparingly misting water over it all.
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