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The One Where I Say Potato

We heard about this project and I thought, this is awesome. The rumor is that in a 3’x3’x3′ potato box you can get about 100lbs of potatoes. Whoa! Not sure if that is true or not, but if so, I have to give it a try because, I need 100lbs of potatoes.

The idea is you start your potatoes in the bottom of the box and, as they grow, you add a row of planks to the box and add more dirt. You continue adding so the plants keep growing vertically.

I found these cedar planks at Home Depot that are 5 1/2″ wide and 6′ long. I’m pretty sure they are designed as fence boards because the corners on one end are dog eared. I figured if I make my boards 35″ wide, I can get two of them out of each plank. I need 20 for my box so it took 10 planks.

I like the idea of using cedar since it is naturally bug an rot resistant.


The planks are held together with 2x2s in the corners. I wanted to eventually have 5 rows of planks so I made my 2x2s 27 1/2″.

The interesting part about this project is there is very little assembly to begin with. You actually keep constructing it over time but not until the potato plants grow big enough.

I started by attaching one plank to two 2x2s using a couple of wood screws.


I then connected them together with the side planks. Pretty straight forward. And I’m done! For now. The next step is to fill the first layer with compost from my awesome compost bin¬†and plant the starts.


As my potato plants grew, I added the next row of planks and filled with more compost around the plants, making sure the tops were still exposed to sunlight. Notice my cool potatoes marker we found at the local farmers market in Edmonds.


Eventually I had all five levels installed. In my head I can see the thousands of potatoes getting bigger and bigger.


Finally we couldn’t wait any longer. I basically disassembled the entire box and stored the pieces for next year. My kids enjoyed breaking up all the compost to find all the potatoes.


Not exactly the massive harvest we were imagining, but it was sure fun. Maybe next year we will do a little research on things like when to plant, what kinds to plant. You know, little things like that.


Here are some of the tools and supplies I used in this project. If you are interested in one, click to take a look. You get a fun product, I get a fun commission. Thanks!

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