Growing Potatoes in Tires

This is a page about growing potatoes in tires. Tires make great potato planters. As the plants grow, you can easily keep adding tires to build a potato tower.


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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

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 7, 2008

As we have to garden in raised beds here in AK growing potatoes seemed out of the question due to space limitations, until someone gave us this tire idea.

You begin with one tire and fill it with soil. I planted about 6-8 "eyes" per tire. Be sure you fill in the "cavity" of the tire as well. When the plants get about 8 inches tall. Add another tire then fill it with soil as well almost to the top of the plant. I just leave about 3 inches sticking out. Be SURE to fill the inner tube fully and not leave air pockets. You can add one or two more tires if desired. I would suggest a three stack.

When the plant is forced upward it is creating a longer tap root thus putting out more little taters. The tires create a heat "sink" which is a warm moist environment for growth and they have a lot more room to grow insided the tires than planted in the ground.

When it comes time to harvest you can remove one tire level at a time, with the other tires creating an insulated "keeper" until you need them.

Of course HERE I may have to harvest them earlier because of the cold but in the lower 48 or most places at least they should keep a long time without being disturbed.

I have photos if anyone wants to see them. Just send me a private email and I will send a shot. AS a side note. I have used ProMix in my tires as we ran out of topsoil and I have had great success with Pro Mix in the past in my greenhouse and for general purposes.

The advantage is that I wet it and before I add it to the tires and it is saturated with water. So I know from the get go that my soil is good and wet to begin with and easier to keep wet because of all the perilite/vermiculite in the Pro Mix. I like it that it does not harden like "dirt" tends to do especially you have clay in you dirt at home.


Potatoes in Tires

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: (01/19/2005)

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel

Potatoes in Tires

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.

By David M.

Potatoes in Tires

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)

By Laurel

Potatoes in Tires

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)

By Sue

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