One of the easiest root crops to grow is potatoes. Plus, they're
fun to grow and a small area can provide a nice yield of this tasty
vegetable. Early spring is the best time to plant them.
Tires: There are two different methods of
growing potatoes in tires. One way is to stack three or four tires, fill
them with soil and plant two to three seed pieces about 1 or 2 inches deep
in the top tire. The black of the tire absorbs and radiates heat, and
there usually is a heavy yield.
Another method is to put a tire on the ground,
fill it with soil and plant the potatoes within the tire. Plant two seed
potatoes, whole or halved, about 2 inches deep. Once the potatoes have
developed 3 or 4 inches of foliage growth, a second tire can be put on top
of the first, Fill in with more soil, always leaving at least 2 inches of
leaf growth above the soil level. Continue to fill as the plants grow.
Once you've filled in the center of the second tire, continue the stack to
a height of three or four tires. Keep in mind you must always leave about
2 inches of foliage showing.
VARIETIES - choose the varieties that fit your cooking needs and taste
preferences. Keep in mind some varieties have special attributes such as
being particularly suited for baking; French fries; boiling or for making
hash browns. Here are just a few of the most popular ones:
WHITE ROSE - probably the best known variety.
This early white potato is nice for boiling; potato salad but is only fair
for baking. It is only considered fair for storing purposes.
NETTED GEM - another popular variety.
Considered one of the best for baking. This late russet Burbank variety
KENNEBEC - another late maturing white potato
variety. An excellent one for fries; chips; baking or hashbrowns.
NORGOLD RUSSET - excellent early variety for
baking or boiling. Does not store too well.
YELLOW FINNISH - this is one of the favorites at our home. It is a smaller
sized potato with a yellow interior of excellent flavor. My wife likes to
bake it in the microwave oven. It is a versatile potato and stores
RED PONTIAC - is a popular red skinned variety
of average quality. It stores quite well.
RED NORLAND - this is a well-rounded red
variety that has good qualities for baking or boiling.
Needless to say, there are many other varieties
that merit use in the home garden.
Last year, we grew potatoes in eight stacks of
tires, using eight: different potato varieties. Each tire stack averaged
11 pounds of potatoes: Some readers have reported yields of up to 38
pounds per stack. Others have reported poor results, averaging as few as
one or two potatoes per stack. Over-watering or the use of too much high
nitrogen fertilizer could be the reason for poor yields.
The reason you can grow potatoes successfully
in this manner is that potatoes develop on stems above the roots. Of
course, it's for this reason that mounding or mulching potatoes is
recommended so highly.
Some of the potatoes that we grew in tire
stacks were: not harvested until January of this year. So the tire stacks
also provided an ideal place to store them throughout fall and winter.
(from www.humeseeds.com/ potato.htm)