How to Grow Potatoes in a Recycled Tire How to Grow Potatoes in a Recycled Tire
As an alternative to taking up precious space in your garden, you can grow potatoes in used tires. Potatoes require quite a bit of space, and you also need to frequently add layers over their foliage so the roots don’t get exposed to the sun. Growing them in used tires is a good way to address both problems. Save your garden space for the multitudes of other herbs and vegetables, and turn unsightly used tires into an incubator.
Step 1: Pick a location
The area you select to grow your potatoes should receive full sun. The top layer of the ground needs to be loosened and turned over. Pick a location with few weeds. A patch of dirt the size of a used tire will do just fine.
Step 2: First tire placement
After the dirt has been loosened, place the first used tire flat on it. Fill this tire with fresh topsoil.
Step 3: Plant the seeds
Take your seed potatoes–potatoes that have sprouted–and bury as many as four in the topsoil about 2-3 inches below the surface. Cover the topsoil contained in the used tire with a thin layer of straw.
Step 4: Second tire
After foliage begins to grow out of the soil and the straw, have another tire and more topsoil ready. When it is about 8 inches out of the straw, add the second tire directly on top of the first. Fill the second tire with topsoil as well, making sure that you support the green shoots. They should stick through the top of the second layer of soil. Add a second thin layer of straw.
Step 5: Third and fourth tires
Repeat step 4 for both the third and fourth tires. Always let the green shoots reach 8 inches above the straw so they will stick out above the next tire. Add a layer of straw for each new layer of topsoil. By the time you have stacked four tires, the potatoes should be close to maturity.
Step 6: Harvest
2-3 weeks after the potato foliage has flowered, it is time to harvest the root vegetable. You can choose to leave them in the ground longer for more mature potatoes as well. Use your garden hoe and dig through the layers to reach the potatoes. You can also simply remove one tire at a time to reveal the bounty.
Growing potatoes at home is easy, and if you do it right, you will be left with a considerable yield. Given the right conditions, potato roots will continue to grow and grow. Four seed potatoes can produce dozens of new potatoes. Use quality topsoil, and don’t forget to water the plants a couple of times per week or more if it is very hot. Save your used tires for the next growing season and pick up another set to have two potato patches with a different variety in each.