Different ways to grow potatos.....

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by blufford, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Would like to hear from gardeners who, because of poor soil have grown their potatos in hay bales or in other ways.
     
  2. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Stack up old tires, fill with straw, compost, whatever. As the potatoes grow, add another tire to 'hill' them up. They come out nice and clean, and no digging! Just tear down the tires.
     

  3. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Greetings from Montana! We have no soil...only crushed granite! I am planning on growing my spuds in stacked up tires filled with compost this next spring. My grandad did it in Michigan and it worked well for him>
     
  4. Simply Mom

    Simply Mom Member

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    Wow I didn't know you could do that!! Guess I really am a beginning homesteader! :D That will work well for me since I will only have a tiny yard at our new place. Definatly something to try! Thanks!
     
  5. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This sounds great, but won't the tires be toxic to the environment? I thought about this for making a greenhouse but some said that the tires would not be good for the soil???...Joan :confused:
     
  6. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    I never thought of that (toxic) but I think you could get around that by lining the tire with garbage bags, both outside and in. Good point!
     
  7. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Joan- I do not think the tires would be anymore toxic with spuds growing in them than they are running all over the ground and into the water supply of the planet? Running on roads wears tires off, esp dirt roads, but tires just sitting there filled with dirt should not wear off at all though they may get some dry cracks over the years. I think as long as you don't burn them then you are not poluting anything. My grand dad used this method for over 50 years and died of old age at 95.
     
  8. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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    We have been growing potatoes and everything else in tires for 16 years now. Works real well.

    There is nothing in a tire that is toxic that I know of. Tires are the most "all natural" thing around. The big objection is that: they are ugly, they hold water where mosquitos breed, and they give off a toxic smoke when burned.

    The solution is paint the tires if you like, and have more time on your hands than you know what to do with. Cut the sidewalls out of the tires so that they can't hold watter, and will be much easier to handle. Now if you really have a lot of idle time you might want to join a group reasearching birth control for mosquitos. Oh yes one more thing, do not burn your tires.

    I like to mulch root crops with straw just before frost (fairly deep) and then dig potatoes, etc. late into the winter.
     
  9. WV Rebel

    WV Rebel Well-Known Member

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    And the higher you "hill," the more potatoes you get, as they grow out from the stem of the plant. About 6 or 7 tires high will get you about a bushel of spuds.Don't forget to fertilize once a week. 1 tablespoon to a gallon of water. I use 20-20-20.

    We grow red and yellow potatoes. Try them in your potato salad or for your Freedom Fries, next time. The white ones are tasteless and yucky.
     
  10. .netDude

    .netDude Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, another newbie question...Are you saying that as the plant gets taller, add another tire filled with compost/dirt? Do you initially start with one tire?
     
  11. WV Rebel

    WV Rebel Well-Known Member

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    Yes and yes, and 1 or 2. I keep "one or two tires ahead" so I can put a window screen over them to keep out the potato bugs when they come.
     
  12. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    That's a terrific idea. Thank you for sharing that. I did the tire thing for potatoes. My dad used to use sawdust from his shop. I'm not a woodworker. I'm a petstore geek. I used ferret bedding. Carefresh is a recycled wood fiber used for small animal bedding. It's essentially the cellulose attic insulation but cleaner with less dust. I bring home bags of the stuff that would otherwise be tossed in the trash. It's used so it's loaded with fertilizer and grows wonderful things.

    I've gotten four harvests this year from my potato tires, only four tires high. When the vines died back, I removed all but the bottom tire. I left the bottom potatoes each time and they grew back three times = four harvests. I dug out the last of them this morning. We've gotten well over a bushel. We started in late March this year. Not bad for three shrivelled spuds from the pantry.
     
  13. coventry49

    coventry49 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any used tires... would this method work with a large plastic trash can, maybe with some drain holes drilled in the bottom?
     
  14. thelendleys

    thelendleys Member

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    I was wondering if anyone has had any luck growing potatoes in or around Tennessee during the winter using any of the previous discussed methods.....or if anyone has in suggestions on doing so..........Thanks Brandy :D
     
  15. stumpyacres

    stumpyacres Well-Known Member

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    the tire thing is a snipe hunt - it doesn't work...
     
  16. MOgal

    MOgal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't want old tires around my place. You can find plenty on just about any rural road here in Missouri but when you get ready to dispose of them through legal (ecological) means, it costs a pretty penny. If anybody knows of a "grace day" when they will be accepted at approved dump sites for free in central Missouri, let me know please.

    Having said that, last year I set up a circle of wire mesh and lined it with brown paper feed sacks to keep the vines from growing through the mesh. I planted just as described for the tires adding mulch and compost as the vines grew. The potatoes were very nice but didn't require a lot of work to grow or harvest.

    I have read, don't remember where so can't cite a reference, that tires leach zinc into the soil. Then I read somewhere else that they didn't. Another source said that even if they did, it wasn't in toxic amounts. Like a dog chasing its tail. Regardless, I don't want them around for the hassle of disposing of them and of storage in the off season. Unless they are on a useful vehicle, I think tires are just plain ugly.
     
  17. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    I have tried to grow potatoes before with only little luck...then i came across an article that said to grow them the easy way...you just have to till ground so that it is free of weeds and dirt is loose...add seed potatoes directly on the ground (you dont have to put them into the ground) Cover the seeds with a heavy amount of hay...when you see green growth, add more hay...add the hay at least 3 times, I did mine only the 3 times and i had the best potatoes i have ever had...I was a bit suprised but happy about it.

    Belinda
     
  18. GREEN_ALIEN

    GREEN_ALIEN Sunny, Wet, Tornadoey SD!

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    It is a snipe hunt for those that don't do it right. We did six stacks of five tires each and the worst one had 72 lbs, the best had 93 lbs.

    I guess I got my snipe??

    GA
     
  19. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    those are some impressive numbers...you must be like me and eat lots of spuds--i prefer them oven baked, brown and crispy, and smothered in Ketchup!!!

    I'm growing spuds this year, so i'll have to think about this method...
     
  20. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    http://www.i4at.org/lib2/garden.htm

    They did it in 50 gal. barrels so plastic garbage cans should work.

    Coventry
    How far from Red Lodge are you?