May 12, 2011

Tire Potatoes

Greg and his cousin, Mike, think I'm nuts.  This isn't breaking news, for sure.

Who can blame them when I talk about planting potatoes in verticle planters using old tires?

My friend Janet and I were discussing ... oh who knows... anything and everything... and somehow we got on the topic of gardening. She told me about this idea of stacking tires to grow potatoes vertically to increase your harvest. I was intrigued!  She hit all my buttons with this idea - recycling, thinking outside the box, getting more harvest for less effort.
"Generally, a stack of four or five tires that are progressively filled with some good compost and a couple of pounds of seed potatoes will produce around 25 pounds of potatoes."
I convinced Greg to give it a try so this past weekend, we got busy with the tires!  I only put three seed potatoes in each tire.  After 13 tires, Greg cried uncle and said we'd plant the rest of the seed potatoes in the dirt the old fashioned way.  Smart man... Let's do the math: 13 tires, all needing to be stacked at least 4 high = we need a total of 52 tires! I didn't think about that part!

Well, the first layer is planted. We have plenty of time to find tires for the second layer.  Mike is convinced this won't work. I'm not 100% sure it will, but it's worth a try.  And if Mike's right, I'll just hand him another beer while I think about my next crazy idea.

Cut one wall out of the tires and place that side down in the roughed-up soil

Try to make them level or you'll have problems as your stack gets taller. I'm not so good at leveling.

Add your seed potatoes and nutrient rich compost and let the potatoes get to work

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