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Building a potato pyramid yourself can be a lot of fun, especially with children, and at the same time extremely practical. The boxes save space and are an alternative to growing potatoes in a larger bed. In this way, larger yields can be achieved even in smaller gardens. But how can potato pyramids be built and what do you have to pay attention to?
Not much space in the garden or the potatoes should even be grown on the balcony? Then it helps in the height to build. And that is exactly what can be very decorative with the potato pyramid. The advantages of potato pyramids are therefore as follows:
Due to the several levels, you can plant significantly more potatoes in a small footprint. This saves space and allows cultivation even on the balcony or in a smaller corner of the garden.
A few boards, a few screws or nails - done. Even if you don't have a lot of manual skills, you can build the pyramid yourself with simple means and little effort. Even children can get involved.
A pyramid with three to four tiers can produce around 50 kilograms of potatoes. Of course, this also depends on the variety, substrate and cultivation conditions - but the yield is surprisingly high for the small area.
Whether made of simple wood or colorfully designed - the potato pyramids are decorative simply because of their shape. This allows them to be used as a space-saving alternative and garden ornament.
Potatoes thrive best in sunny locations. You should therefore choose a bright location for the pyramid where no larger plants cast too much shadow on the potatoes. The north side or in the shadow of a building are extremely unsuitable places.
Potatoes are one of them heavy feeders. That means they need a lot of nutrients. You should therefore choose a rich substrate for the culture. If the soil is used up, it can be prepared with rotted compost or appropriate fertilizer, for example.
It is ideal if the substrate is already enriched with the chosen agent in autumn before the potato plants are planted. In this way, the nutrients can settle and be better distributed. In addition, they are already processed by microorganisms in the soil, which can also facilitate and improve absorption by the potato plants.
Build your own potato pyramid
Only a few materials and utensils are required for construction. These are:
- Four wider strips or boards of the same length per tier
- Screws or nails according to the thickness of the boards
- as needed angle
- Hammer or cordless screwdriver
The boards form the framework of each floor. Four boards, each about 1.2 meters long, should be chosen for the bottom floor. For each additional floor, the boards must be correspondingly shorter.
Building the potato pyramid - step by step
Building potato pyramids is not difficult and requires only a few instruction steps.
1. Lay out or saw four boards or strips of the same length. The boards should be at least 20, better still 30 centimeters high. An even greater height is recommended for the lowest floor.
2. Make a square frame out of the boards using nails or screws. Alternatively, you can also use angles that you can fix to the inside of the frame and thus ensure greater stability.
3. When the first frame is ready, lay it flat on the ground. Impermeable garden foil can also be placed underneath as protection.
4. Fill the frame with soil. You should solidify these well, for example by tapping or stepping on them with your hands or feet.
5. Now the next smaller frame is to be made. The boards for this should be between 10 and 30 centimeters shorter than on the floor below.
6. The frame is placed across the corner on the lower floor. The corners of the upper frame are therefore in the middle of the lower edges.
7. The frame is filled with soil and prepared as in step four.
8. When all the tiers of the pyramid are prepared, put the potatoes.
Potato pyramids can have two, three, four, or even more tiers. How many levels are possible and useful depends on the size of the boxes and their size differences. With a side length of 120 centimeters on the lowest level and a size difference of 20 centimeters on the next level, you can easily stack five boxes. These then have the side dimensions of 120, 100, 80, 60 and 40 centimeters.
Extra tip: The seed potatoes should be 20 to 40 centimeters apart.
From growing to harvesting
After building the pyramid, you should consider the following steps:
1. The soil temperature should be around 8 °C. In addition, the soil should not be too damp and there should be no continuous rain at the beginning. If necessary, you can also cover the pyramid.
2. Prepare a hole in the substrate for each potato with your hand or a small shovel. The seed potatoes should be planted at a depth of ten centimetres.
3. As soon as the first shoots appear, you can almost completely cover them with soil. This piling up provides protection and increases yield. Piling should be done about every two weeks until flowering begins.
4. When the above-ground shoots wither, you can harvest the potatoes.
Potato pyramids look all the more decorative the more tiers they have. However, you should take into account that a very high height of the pyramid may mean problems with watering, piling up or harvesting.
For a particularly decorative look, you can dye the boxes or design them in different colors. Patterns and floral motifs are also possible - whatever you like is allowed. However, you should make sure that the paint used is suitable for outdoor use and also does not contain any toxins that could migrate into the earth.
The more numerous and larger the individual floors are, the greater the harvest, of course. If the side length of the base is about 120 centimeters and three to four tiers are created, a yield of up to 50 kilograms can be expected. Of course, the success of the harvest depends on various factors, such as the selected potato variety, the weather, the quality of the soil and care.
Compared to cultivation in beds, however, the harvest yield is very high, as the following area calculation makes clear:
A square bed section with a side length of 1.2 meters has an area of 1.44 square meters. With a distance of 30 centimeters between the seed potatoes, you can plant about 16 plants. With a potato pyramid with four levels, more than 30 seed potatoes could be planted on the same base area.