Potato can be grown without soil in limited space; know about wire mesh tower method
Cultivating potato in kitchen garden is not as hard as it sounds. Potato farming does not require much space and not even soil. We can grow the plant in metal wire mesh cylinders filled with dry leaves. In this method, we can cultivate potato required for household easily.
Making mesh tower
The metal wire mesh should have 5-feet height and 2-inch gap. Cut the Mesh in 1.5 metre width and then paint it well. Bend this mesh in cylindrical shape to make the tower.
Cut a PVC pipe with 0.75-inch diameter in 5-feet length and close its bottom with endcap. Put holes in 3.5-inch gap to release water. Fix this pipe in the middle of the mesh tower.
Filling mesh tower
Spread hay in 4-inch thickness inside the tower to prevent the potting mix from leaking. Then spread dry leaves and shove them inside using a twig. Add cow dung powder, organic fertilizer or diluted Jeevamritham. Then plant one layer of potato.
Repeat these steps till the mesh tower is filled. It takes about 10-12 layers to fill the tower. The plants can be irrigated through the PVC pipe fixed in the middle of mesh tower.
Collecting potato seed is easy. The portion where sprout emerge on potato can be cut and planted in the mesh tower. Keep the potato in fridge to make it sprout faster. While planting, the sprout should be visible on the surface.
October and November months are ideal for cultivating potato. It needs regular irrigation. Shade net should be used to protect plants from direct sunlight. As roots does not grow deeper, frequent irrigation is required.
Adding neem cake will help fight pest attack. Ash and cow dung are good fertilizers. Neem oil emulsion is ideal for pest menace. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not required.
When the leaves start withering, it indicates harvest time is nearing. Potato can be harvested after 80-120 days of planting according to the variety of potato grown in the tower.
Sultan Bathery native Varghese is a farmer who successfully used wire mesh tower method to cultivate potato at household. He is ready to make wire mesh tower for interested people. He can be contacted at: 9744367439.