We just had our first frost last week and I dug up my potatoes grown in a tire stack. I was disappointed to find only 6 potatoes. I planted 3 seed potatoes in the initial tire, and partially covered the greens, as they appeared to a final height of 5 tires. Any suggestions as to what went wrong. It would be helpful for next years attempt. Thanks.
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Guy from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
I don't know about growing potatoes in the tires, but I do know that certain kinds of fertilizer encourage a lot of top growth on your potatoes, and so they do not grow as many potatoes. Perhaps this is what happened to your potatoes. Also, sometimes potatoes just do this -- produce a couple of really big potatoes, and not a whole bunch. It may have to do with the kind of potato you planted as well. Have a talk with other gardeners in S'toon, and see what is a good type of potato. I suspect, since you didn't have an abundance of little potatoes, that it was the amount of fertilizer or type of potting soil.
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I have no pictures, however I start with one tire and this year I am using a very loose soil of straw and peat moss. Last year I used potting soil and found it too dense, so my potatoes didn't produce much
Plant the seed potatoes in the first tire about 3 inches deep. When the leaves and greens get about 10 or 12 inches high, place another tire over the first and fill with soil again, leaving about 3 inches of greens showing. Again when this growth gets to 10 or 12 inches repeat process, until you have 4 or 5 tires. Leave until the first frost, which we get in October. As you need them, just dig them up. Hope you are successful. Guy
Well, from the responses I think I may have used the wrong soil. I used potting soil and it compacted "too much" I think. I like the ideas of dwmoar using sawdust, and of Sue using recycled shredded paper. Next year I will try the looser materials. Thanks so much for all of your input. BTW the potatoes I did get were huge and great !
I had no luck with potatoes in tires. I had great sucess planting potatoes in rows as usual then when they start to come up cover them with about 6 to 8 inches of straw. When you need potatoes just lift the straw get what you need. You don't have to keep hilling them up or anything. When you have dug them all up just till the plants and straw up and get ready for next year.
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