Growing potatoes in tires

kansasheadhunterAugust 15, 2007

This year I tried something different.I planted potatoes in old truck tires.I read about it on another site and figured I'd give it a try. I planted 4 small cut pieces of eyed potatoes in one tire directly on the ground.A week or so later the plants started growing.When the plant got about 10 inches tall I stacked another tire and added more dirt covering the plant except leaving 4 to 5 inches of it exposed.As the plants grew I just kept adding more tires and dirt.I ended up with a stack of tires roughly 5 feet tall.The plants still grew another 12 to 15 inches beyond the top tire.The plants grew and bloomed as normal as they would have in the ground.Yesterday I figured it was time to harvest.I started taking it apart and there was not a single potato in the whole stack! I have no Idea what could have went wrong? I followed the instructions and the plants grew like crazy.Has anyone grew potatoes like this?What could have went wrong? I have no idea what kind of potatoes I planted?I got them from my mother-in-law.They were just medium sized white potatoes.The were left in the bottom of her potato drawer and started growing eyes.Anyone have any knoledge on growing potatoes?

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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Perhaps too much nitrogen. Perhaps harvested too soon. Did you dig in the ground below where you planted? In theory there should be nothing there but what does theory know about it?

I have grown potatoes in tires. Tires are sometimes used as worm bins in vermiculture. I've wondered about both at the same time.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 1:53PM
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Well, I didn't grow my potatoes in tires, but I planted them in tall plastic barrels, with holes in the bottoms. I had about seven, with several different types of potatoes in them to see which ones would do the best. Just like, you as the vines died down, I turned over the barrels and I got about 10 medium potatoes total. This was just an experiment for me and it failed. The ones that I planted in the ground , did much better,

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 9:00PM
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Is there such a thing as a hybrid potato that will produce?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 9:44AM
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What I meant to say was, Is there such a thing as a hybrid potato that will not produce?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 11:19AM
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Although potatoes will sprout, they may not necessarily produce new potatoes even with healthy plants. If you can plant both starter potatoes from your farm store plus a few from the kitchen, that would be a good experiment. I have had no problem growing Yukon Golds from saved potatoes. Come spring I put them in egg cartons in good light and then when good growth is showing, I plant them. I won't use tires as they do leach petroleum distillates and I'm an organic gardener. I have grown them in fire rings, and plastic tubs where the bottom has split. For some reason I always miss a few plants and then I have volunteers the following year. Another thought; ph should be between 5.5 and 6.0, no higher.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 6:52PM
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The thought that hits me here is the hight. May have forced the potato to grow more plant than potato. Try a couple of tires and some kennebecs.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 7:55AM
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OK gardners,
I experimented with planting potatoes in a stack of 3 tires last year and learned quite a bit about it.

First, some fundamental about potatoes:
1- potatoe do well in an exceptional acid soil, with PH of 4.5 to 5.5

2- Number two, potatoes , although can apparantly grow in hot weather, but they will not produce tubers if the soil temperature exceed 74F.
So where I am, Atlanta, Ga area, from july till the end of August is too hot for potatoes. That is why my tire-tomatoes yield was poor. I got about 5 good size, five medium and five tiny potatoes.I planted toooo late, like in May.
This year, after learning my lesson well, have planted my potatoes in march. As of now (March 27 they are out of the ground. I plan to harvest them in July, or when the soil temperature reaches and exceeds 75F.
Then I will plant a fall crop to be harvested in late NOvember or early December, before heavy frost.

my advice:
- check your soil ph. It should not be more than 5.5
- plant them as early as you can.
- Avoid over feeding with Nitrogen.
-add compost/organic matter/wood ash to your soil.
- Avoid hot summer. WE know now why potatoes grow in places lik Idaho, New York, Northern California!!!???
The South is not an ideal place for growing potatoes.
But stil I do it as a challenge. This past winter I even
made maple syrup. It is probably unheard of in GA.
You have to play by the rules of mother nature, you cannot fool it!!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:31AM
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For those who don't have or like to use tires there is always all that "compost" setting at the end of many gardens. Those potatoes will grown in a pile of moist leaves.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 9:06PM
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I am pretty sure I know what happened. The potatoes probably started to grow normally, but then they got tired. I am not an expert, but if I was, that would be my expert opinion.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 9:50PM
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In June, I planted seed potatoes in tires. The tires are currently stacked 4-5 tires high. The potato plants appear green and healthy. I have hilled the potatoes, so 4-6" of green growth is visible. I am tired of obtaining tires and purchasing dirt for the potatoes. At what point am I able to stop stacking the tires and adding dirt without damaging the potato growth? Do I stop hilling/mounding the dirt and allow the green growth to continue? When are they ready to harvest? We are in Ohio. I am a new gardener and have no experience with potatoes. This has been a fun experiment (..and expensive one from buying dirt!) All of the information that I find is useful, but I cannot find resources re: when to stop stacking tires and adding dirt. Any information is valuable. Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:30PM
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There is a good site here about growing potatoes vertically.

Not all potatoes will grow up. It takes a potato where the potatoes will grow above the original potato planted. The Russet potatoes I bought from Vitamin cottage all grew at the same level as the original potato and so it would be a failure planting vertically.

I don't know what kind grows best vertically. Or even of any kind that does. But I'm almost certain none of the potatoes you buy in the store will. The reason is, the farmers prefer them to grow at one level so they are easier to harvest.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 3:53PM
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Hi I just recently learned about growing potatoes in tires. But I have already planted them in the ground. In may 2011 my plants are now about 2 ft tall and flowering. Is it to late to start putting tires around it. Any tips? By the way it is now April and I live in new jersey.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 8:09PM
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i grow potatoes in a two tire stack. i had four stacks, with a yield of only fifty pots. of different sizes. any advice on how to increase my yield??

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 1:32AM
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I am going to try and grow potatoes in tire stacks this year too. Because potatoes are a cool season crop and my garden gets full sun from sun up to sun down I am worried about the soil staying too hot for potatoes. I plan on making four stacks of tires and two of those stacks I am going to paint the tires white with regular latex primer (i have some leftover and this is a great way to use ot up!). My logic is the white paint will decrease the amount of heat the tires absorbs. Im worried about the soil drying out too. I think i am going to leave a soaker hose across the tops of the tire stacks. Im building a rain barrel system so i think the soaker hose idea will work and not jack up my water bill.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:42AM
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I think growing a potato that way would prove tiresome. Have to move them all back out each fall to cultivate, and tires full of dirt are heavy.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 4:11PM
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