DIY project: Build a vertical Spud Stacker for growing potatoes for only $35

Freshly spuds are glorious but can take up coveted growing space in the veggie patch. This Spud Stacker encourages vertical plant growth and tidily contains backfilled soil, with shiplap frames stacked on top of a base frame and pegged corners for stability.

Words & Photos: Julie Legg


6 x 1.8m (130x19mm) shiplap fence paling
6 x 450mm (45x45mm) wood pegs
80 x 35mm screws

Equipment: Rule, saw, drill
Cost: $35.00


Measure and cut each 1.8m shiplap into 3 equal lengths.


To create the square base frame, measure and cut 1 peg into 4 x 90mm rectangular blocks for each corner. Take 4 shiplap pieces and form a square; place a 90mm block inside each corner to sit flush at ground level. Screw shiplap to the blocks with 4 x 35mm screws per corner.


Measure and cut remaining pegs into 3 x 120mm blocks. To make the top layers, build each frame in situ while balanced on top of the base frame. Allow each corner block to sit on the adjoining block below, screwing each side flush to the corner block.


Repeat for all 5 layers. To allow for any mis-measures, number the layers.


When cutting equal lengths, cut the first length 10mm shorter than required, then use as a template for all the others. This will avoid accumulative errors, given that sawing depletes the overall length by several millimetres each time you cut.

Repurposing wood will achieve similar results, however the shiplap fencing is cost-effective and will enable each layer to slide onto the frame beneath. The corner blocks assist stability.


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This story is an extract from In Your Backyard: Urban Harvest, a special edition of NZ Life & Leisure, about growing food in small city spaces. It’s packed with advice such as how to start a productive veggie garden, the best crops, creating awesome soil, vertical growing, container gardening, hydroponics, espaliered trees and edible hedges. Order online at

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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