I have been a recent convert to Square Foot Gardening. My first project was to create two potato towers (one two weeks behind the other), on my deck. Here are pics of the beginning stages of growth:
For a number of weeks, I had TREMENDOUS growth. My biggest concern was when to start covering the green leaves with more Mel's Mix (since the growth was not uniform throughout...cover the larger stems, means burying the lower ones.) Here is after a few more weeks:
The past week and a half have been brutal weather (upper 90's), and I was watering daily...assuming the Mel's Mix would dry out, since it was not in the ground. We just got done 3 days of HEAVY rains (obviously I didn't water then.) But yesterday I noticed a number of my potato stems were wilting. I think I've lost about 30% of the growth from one tower alone. It looks almost like they are rotting at the soil level. I am supposing I have been overwatering??? It would kill me if I've destroyed half my crop....I was so looking forward to 100 lbs (or more) of potatos, this Fall.
Some more background. I started the towers about 5 weeks ago. The second tower was about 1 1/2 weeks after the first. I put weed block inside, as separation between the soil and wood (wood is stained and sealed...but I want it to last for years.) I assumed you couldn't OVERWATER this soil..as it drained off nicely, through the bottom. I guess I am wrong. Everything seemed fine until we came out of these three days of heavy rains. Yesterday was the first clear/sunny day since....and when I went out to see if I needed to water...I saw the wilting stems. So..no water yesterday. I'm hoping I can keep the remaining (roughly) 60% of the stems remaining in Tower #1. Tower #2 doesn't seem as bad. I assume because it has gotten past the third level of boards..and thus isn't retaining as much water. I had even added PVC piping to the "middle" section of the soil (once I fill the entire tower), so I can be sure to water all the way down.
What do you guys think? Have I destroyed my entire crop, in Tower #1? How often SHOULD I be watering?