When it comes to growing potatoes with ease, nothing works like homemade potato crates! In fact, it is the only method we use to grow our entire crop, And that includes sweet potatoes, in addition to our regular potatoes.

homemade potato crates
Homemade potato crates make growing potatoes a breeze!

It’s simple, inexpensive, weed-free, and produces plenty of potatoes with little work.  See : How To Grow Your Best Potato Crop Ever

Each time we showcase the process on the blog, we are always asked about how we build our crates.

So today, as we approach another growing season, we thought we would take you through the process.

As for varieties we grow in the crates, Yukon Gold, Beauregard Sweet Potatoes and Purple potatoes have all worked well. Product links : Yukon Gold Seed PotatoesPurple Potato Seed

How To Build Homemade Potato Crates

homemade potato crates
Begin by attaching the bottom slats to the four 2 x 4 legs

We have built all of our homemade potato crates from left over scraps of untreated wood. To build, you can easily use untreated pallet wood, barn wood, or even inexpensive pine boards purchased at a local home improvement store. We have made our crates with everything from scrap pieces of shiplap, to untreated fencing boards, pallets and more. All have worked perfectly well.

The key is to make sure the wood you use is in a natural state. That means no painted or stained boards, and no wood that has been treated with stains or chemicals. Since you will be growing food in close proximity to the boards, it is important to keep any contaminants from seeping into the soil.

The Building Process…

homemade potato crates
Use a 2x board for perfect 1.5″ spacing between crate slats

For ease of instruction, we will show assembly below using basic 2 x 4 and 1 x 4 lumber, which can easily be found at any local lumber store. The process is the same no matter what wood will be used. The key is to leave the gaps on the side of crates somewhere between 1.5″ and 2″. This keeps the soil mix into the crates, and allows for air flow as well. The crate is open both on the bottom and the top.

Materials Needed:
(4) 2 x 4 x 24″
(10) 1 x 4 x 36″
(10) 1 x 4 x 18″

The above materials are for assembling a single potato crate using 2 x 4’s for the legs and 1 x 4’s for the sides. If you will be substituting scrap lumber for the sides, you may need to adjust quantities and spacing a bit depending on the width of your boards.

Create the 4 legs of the crate by cutting a single 2 x 4 into (4) 24″ long pieces. Next, cut 10 pieces of the 1 x 4 into 36″ lengths, and 10 more at 18″ long. These will be the front, back, and side walls to your crate. Once you have all of the pieces cut, it is time to assemble!

Putting the crates together is quite easy, especially with a second set of hands to help hold. We used a nail gun to quickly attach all of the boards, and then went back and screwed in each board with 2″ wood screws for extra strength. Screws alone will work just fine, the nail gun simply made quick work of initial assembly.

We do not use glue on the boards to keep and chance of chemicals leaching into our soil.

Assembly

homemade potato crates
A completed crate using scrap 2″ wide shiplap for slats.

Begin with by attaching a 1 x 4 x 36″ piece to each side of a 2 x 4. Repeat the process for the other side. Next, connect the front and back pieces with a 1 x 4 x 18″ piece on each side. Continue attaching the 1 x 4’s around the frame, spacing the boards at 1.5″. To make this process simple, use a scrap 2 x 4 in between boards to provide even spacing.

Work your way up the four legs of the crate, attaching each board as you go. As you get to the top, space the last board to be flush with the top for a clean look. Now all that’s left is to plant! For more on that process, see our article :  How To Grow Your Best Potato Crop Ever

One final note on using wood safe for the garden. If you will be using pallets, look for an HT symbol stamped on the wood. The HT symbol stands for Heat Treating.  This process takes wood to a high temperature to destroy bacteria and insects in the wood, and uses no chemicals.

Here is to building your own homemade potato crates this year! Jim and Mary. To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.

8 thoughts on “How To Build Homemade Potato Crates – Potato Growing Made Easy!

  • May 4, 2018 at 7:48 am
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    How many potatoes do you yield from each crate?

    • May 4, 2018 at 10:05 am
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      It all depends on how many tubers you plant and what kind of potato that you use. Last year our Yukon Golds yielded approximately 2 large bushels and our Sweet Potatoes over 3 large bushels.

  • May 3, 2018 at 9:34 pm
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    My husband just finished 2 crates and we planted the potatoes last weekend. Just waiting for them to show some green. If this works, it will be the easiest way ever to grow potatoes. I noticed in this post you are putting the slats in a horizontal fashion whereas before it was vertical. Ours look just like the vertical one at the top. Is there any reason you did them a little differently? I’m sure my husband will be wanting to make more. He was the one who pushed for this to be done. He isn’t even the gardener in the family, but this project is his. Thanks so much for all your advice.

    • May 4, 2018 at 10:04 am
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      Hi Maureen and Richard Our very first potato crate was one that we had used for something else the year before (straw bale garden). When we made more, we didn’t even pay attention to the vertical versus horizontal placement 🙂 Either way, they work! I hope it works just as well for you as it does for us! It’s so easy not only to plant but to harvest as well!

      • May 12, 2018 at 5:29 pm
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        Thanks!

  • May 3, 2018 at 9:40 am
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    Just curious. You didn’t mention a thing about potato crates in your book. Why?

    • May 4, 2018 at 10:01 am
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      Hi Gene The publisher and editors of our Raised Row Garden book wanted to focus only on the Raised Row gardening process. We were unable to include any of the other garden experiments that we try each year.

  • May 3, 2018 at 9:07 am
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    Thank you so much for this information! I was looking in your book this past weekend for some instructions on building these crates. Now I have them!

    I am in the process of making your tomato “cages”. But I need over 50 so not sure if I will get them all done this year.

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