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Tire Tower for Potatoes


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 stores well.

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 moderately well.

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)


Recipe: Tire tower for potatoes

Potatoes require deep soil and a tower of old car tires provides the depth.  Hereís what you need:

4 to 6 old car tires
garden soil
sprouted seed potatoes
organic fertilizer

  1. Prepare the seed potatoes. Cut sprouted potatoes so that there is an eye in each piece. Harden the potatoes by storing the pieces in a paper sack in a dry place for a couple of days. They are then ready to plant.
  2. Pick a level garden area that gets full sun.
  3. Mix the garden soil with the compost.
  4. Set two of the tires on the ground, one on top of the other. Fill them with the garden mixture.
  5. Plant the seed potatoes.
  6. As the plants grow, carefully add another tire to the stack. Fill the area around the plants with more soil. Youíll bury some of the plant but make sure some of the leaves stay above the ground.
  7. Add soil and as many as three more tires, one at a time, as the plants grow. If the plants stop making flowers, stop adding more tires.
  8. After flowering, the plant will die back. When it looks dead, itís time to harvest. Lift the tires off the stack and dig through the soil to find your potatoes.

    Note: Fertilize regularly while the plants are flowering. Mix liquid organic fertilizer (like fish emulsion) in a watering can. Fertilize the tire tower at least every other week.

Another garden idea for used tires



©2007 Harper Farms


©2007 Harper Farms