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.
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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I don't know if our poster is still on any of our lists because this was from 2003. There is a picture of tires and an explanation of planting in them at:
I have grown potatoes in a plastic garbage container filled with sawdust. Just plant you seeds in the bottom and as the plant grows keep covering with sawdust. When it is time to harvest it is simple to dig through the sawdust for the potatoes.
I live in Anchorage and have 8 snow tires which cannot be used for their original purpose anymore. I got excited at Johnson's Tire when I remembered planting potatoes in tires. A worker there said he' heard about it and it worked for whoever he was talking about. My husband groaned as he thought we could get rid of the tires. I'm planting tonight - I know it should have been earlier but I had a hard time breaking down and purchasing seed potatoes at $9.95 when I would need a couple. The earliest my Dad bragged about planting potatoes was April 30 and that was in aa regular garden. I would love to see pictures of your potatoes. Thank you. (06/02/2008)
I am doing the potatoes in a tire. I start with dirt on the first layer and as I add another tire. I used shredded paper that I get from the doctor's office, so the potatoes aren't in the dirt. It seems to work well. I am doing this for the first time and can't wait to see if it works. Then I am recycling two used items that would go some where else and it cost nothing. (06/29/2008)