So this is the first year either of us have ever grown potatoes. Have no idea why we haven’t until now, but just thought it was effort and trouble. That and potatoes are cheap.

We read about growing them in stacked tires. You lay one tire down. Put your seed potatoes in and cover. When the plants get 6” tall put another tire on and add more soil until plants are covered to the top with only the top of the last layer of growth exposed. Keep repeating until the tires are 4-5 tall. Each layer will sprout more potatoes in the new level. So each layer can have a couple of pounds of potatoes.

We started then and got about 2-3 tires tall then the plants died mid-summer from heat and drought. We didn’t water much in hopes to make plants stronger and reduce costs; we have city water, and hadn’t put in our rain collection systems yet.

So we let them sit until we started to cut down the remaining garden assuming our potato days were over. We still had two sweet potato plants and were still green so no big loss.

Once we moved the tires we found about 3 lbs of red, and Idaho potatoes in the dirt. We cooked them up and planted some of the potatoes we harvested that had already started to re-sprout. They are growing will and are not on level two.

Here is a picture of the sweet potatoes we got from TWO plants. Neither of us have ever cooked sweet potatoes, but that is some haul from only two plants. Next year we think we will plant 10 or so potato plots if not more. Trying to scope out more free tires. You would have thought the tire stores would just give them to you. No so. After visiting 4 different places, none would give them to me. And they have to PAY to get rid of them. More of our good ol’ government at work. Regulations prevent them for giving them to us I found out later. Back to good ol’ Craigslist and find me someone trying to get rid of them.

8 responses to “Potatoes

  1. We tried potatoes in tires but they died. They were on a south-facing slope and I think with the black of the tires they just got too hot. It just happened that my husband and I both needed new tires on our vehicles and we told the tire shop we wanted to keep the old ones. Did you cut the sidewalls out of the tires before using them?

    • We didn’t cut of the side walls. It gives stability to the tire stack. It will be needed as they get taller.

      We thought ours died too until we dug them up to move the tires to a different section of garden.

  2. Use chicken wire, tires may contain lead and asbestos

    • Please point to a source or reference. I have done quite a bit or research on this before using tires. I could find no evidence of any leaching or contaminates while using tires for potato planters. Earthships and other compacted earth buildings use tires and have also done research and these are structures that people live in. Most tire making processes do not use lead, rather the weights on the rims for balancing sometimes are lead.

  3. If you would like, we have used tires you could have free. We would be glad someone could use them.

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