Not long ago, I saw a picture of large woven baskets sitting among raised beds in a garden. They looked so neat, that I thought I’d try make one for potatoes.
Truth be told, I thought of making a couple – but these are a lot of work!
I cut tree branches (about 1.5-2 inches in diameter) into 4-foot lengths. These served as my uprights. I hammered nine of these uprights into the ground in a not-so-perfect circle about 44 inches in diameter. Each upright is buried 8-10 inches.
I snipped what looked like a mountain of saplings and started weaving. By using an odd number of uprights I was able to weave the soft saplings in and out in a continuous circle. Each length of sapling started on the inside of one upright and then wove in and out of three to four more uprights.
It started to dawn on me how many saplings I was really going to need. Hannah and I trooped off into an area of the property where a new forest of saplings were growing. We filled the garden tractor-trailer with the sapling cuttings. Hannah trimmed the side branches from the saplings while I wove them into the basket.
Finally, the finished basket! I stopped when I ran out of uprights – about 34 inches up. For a little extra stability, I topped things off with a run of heavy-gauge wire. Now that I look at it close-up I may weave in a few more saplings here and there to fill in some of the larger gaps.
I’ve lined the bottom with a mixture of loam and chicken compost. Now to decide what type of potatoes to plant!