I saw Tater Towers on Territorial Seed Company's website. I get an ok amount of potatoes, but not as many as I would like. Has anyone tried this? It's $64.00.
Well poop! I was hoping it would work, but I guess I'll stop burying my potato stems, lol! It's all good though TZ, because I'd rather put my effort into the garden that will work to get more goods out of my plants.TZ -OH6 wrote:Sorry to pop the bubble, but it is a gimic.
Potatoes will not do that, at least not the kind most people have access to. Modern commercial potatoes have been bred to put out one batch of tubers close to the stem at a certain point in the season and then die. No amount of hilling will change that tendency. If the varieties did otherwise the farmer could not control size or maturity at harvest time, two things very important to him.
Potatoes closer to wild type send stolons out further from the main stem and the tubers may then break the surface and green up, making them unfit for eating (poisonous). Cultivars that are not so seasonaly adapted will put out stolons that grow into new stems rather than forming tubers, or early tubers may sprout, and at the end of the season when frost kills the vine you have a colony of plants with tubers of several different ages, but the tubers are not necessarily high on the stem.
By continuously hilling before the plant can put out leaves you "may" elongate the section of stem near the base from which the tubers normally form, but that would only stretch out the production within the hill vertically, not increase the number of tubers.
If you want more potatoes give the roots good deep soil and give the tops plenty of room to spread out and absorb light. Two stems per foot of row and three feet between rows gives good results and big tubers, spacing closer gives smaller tubers, too close and total production declines. If towers worked any better farmers would have fields full of them right next to the upside down tomatoes.