My Super Production Potato Patch.

When I plant potatoes in a regular garden bed, I dig a v-shaped ditch, plant the potatoes in it and then fill in the dirt from both sides to form a ridge over the planted spuds. That puts them about one foot under the ground and you will wind up with the amount of yield, one foot of roots can produce. With the limited space available for potatoes in my garden, the yield from it has consistently been too small.

Some late potatoes will continue to grow roots when you hill up soil around them, as they grow taller. These extra roots produce potatoes for the entire growing season.

Now picture the amount of potatoes, 2.5 feet of root length would bring forth. I am looking for 2.5 times the conventional harvest per square foot.

With this in mind, I set about to build my super production potato patch.

I did not feel like spending a lot of money on material, when we have oodles of useful stuff growing in the woods around here.
I went out there and found three 6” diameter dead cedars and cut them down. After cutting the logs into four foot length, I peeled them.

With my skill saw, I made two opposing two inch deep cuts down the length of the logs and then split them in halves using an ax as a wedge, driving it in with a sledge hammer.

With my skill saw, I cut two opposing 2" deep cuts down the length of the log and split them.

With my skill saw, I cut two opposing 2" deep cuts down the length of the log and split them.

I cut the logs into 4 foot length and peeled them.

I cut the logs into 4 foot length and peeled them.

On the flat side of the split logs, I marked two parallel lines, as wide as possible and trimmed the edges of the logs to make them straight and parallel for a snug fit.

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I set the split logs into the ditch and filled in with dirt around them.

I set the split logs into the ditch and filled in with dirt around them.

On the lawn, I decided where I wanted this patch to be located and drove a small post into the center of that place. Using a string and a sharp stick, I marked out a six foot circle. I dug a 3” wide and 6” deep ditch following this circle.
I planted my half logs in this ditch, filled in with dirt around them and stamped it down leaving a 2 foot gap for the door.

Next, I marked a line with a level at the height of 30 inches above the ground and cut the logs to this line. Sections of two by sixes nailed to the top of the logs, finished off the structure and tied it all together.

The door has an overlapping piece on the inside, to take the pressure of the soil and is locked down with two lag bolts.

The door has an overlapping piece on the inside, to take the pressure of the soil and is locked down with two lag bolts.

Using a level to mark a line about 30" up from the ground, I cut the logs to the same height, nailed sections of 2x6es around the top and then fitted the door.

Using a level to mark a line about 30" up from the ground, I cut the logs to the same height, nailed sections of 2x6es around the top and then fitted the door.

The door was then fitted into place with an overlapping crosspiece on the inside to take the load of the soil. The purpose of the door is to allow me access for harvesting. I can remove the door and run the soil and potatoes out onto a tarp on the lawn.

For the worm farm, I got a 3x6 foot piece of chicken wire and formed it into a 18" diameter roll.

For the worm farm, I got a 3x6 foot piece of chicken wire and formed it into a 18" diameter roll.

This completed the patch.

This completed the patch.

To finish the patch off, I marked an 18” circle around the center pole, lifted out the sod, got a 3x6 foot piece of chicken wire, formed it into an 18” diameter roll and set it into the hole. A few rocks around the bottom of it, held it in place and with that, the patch structure was completed.
I lined the bottom of the patch with news papers to stop any attempt of the remaining lawn grass to come through. On top of that, I dumped the unrotten part of my compost heap for some organic matter. It will have ample time to rot during the summer.
The finished portion of the compost had already gone to the garden beds.
After covering this stuff with some soil, I planted the potatoes and topped them up with about a foot of a mixture of peat moss and top soil.
Now I sit back and wait for the spuds to sprout. When their heads are showing, I will continue to fill the patch with soil, right to the top, following the plants up as they grow. It will take about a yard of soil to do the job.
The chicken wire roll is the home of my new worm farm. I added some shredded news paper for bedding followed by some soil and all the kitchen wastes. A hand full of worms got the farm started.
It should help the spuds with nutrients and moisture.
I have never done anything like this before and am very curious to see the results.

To be continued as things progress.

The spuds are up!

The spuds are up!

April 24th

The spuds are up!

They have come through about 15 inches of soil.

Quite a feat!

 

May 15th

Another 12 inches of soil were added to the patch

Another 12 inches of soil were added to the patch

The potato plants grew fast and I added another 12 inches 0f soil to the patch

 

 

June 6th

The patch is blooming. Spud production is happening!

The patch is blooming. Spud production is happening!

The patch is in full production mode.