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Hello, my name is Cathleen and I am an urban homesteader from the Central Coast of California. I was going to plant my potatoes using the Square Foot Gardening method, but someone steered me towards the tire-stacking method for potatoes. She told me that I would get a greater yield. If I could get some more input on this, I would appreciate it. Thank you.


My husband and I are working hard to someday drop the word "urban". And with greater luck, we can put in a different location than Central Coast.
 

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I did the tire thing for the first time this year. Worked very well, but I don't have a lot to compare it against. For one, I didn't have to worry about weeding. Harvest was simple; push the stack over, and pull the potatoes out of the loose compost / soil.
 

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From TheGardenHelper.com:
Four tires + Two pounds of seed potatoes + Good soil = 20-30 pounds of winter potatoes
The best thing about the tires is you can put the potatoes in places that aren't normally part of the garden. On the sides of a walkway. Next to the driveway. whatever..as long as they get sun and you won't forget about them (you do need to keep adding soil/compost and make sure they have water)
 

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What was your yield? I am very, very limited on space.
I planted a few pieces in each stack (4 or 5), each stack was either 3 or 4 tires tall. Could have kept going higher with the tires, but got too busy in late summer to keep up. Each stack yielded probably close to a quarter bushel. I added composted manure with each tire. Some potatoes were good sized, but a bunch were small. I didn't really dig very hard though, only felt through the dirt above grade with my hands. Probably would have more had I been more diligent about adding additional tires, and searching for them during harvest.
 

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Always remember that the most important thing about growing potatoes by any method is the soil under the seed piece. The plant will never produce roots above the seed piece nor will it produce tubers below it.

Martin
 

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I would think the tires would be expensive and hard to fill with enough soil, especially if it isn't handy already.

It doesn't sound like the OP has fourty acres available to dig soil.

Clove
 

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Can get old used tires for free around here, you have to pay to get rid of them.
 

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I would think the tires would be expensive and hard to fill with enough soil, especially if it isn't handy already.

It doesn't sound like the OP has fourty acres available to dig soil.

Clove
If you think carefully about what was stated in my previous reply, then finding enough dirt would be no problem. The tires don't need any. The only place where soil is needed is below the seed piece. The tires are only needed to hold whatever medium is used for tuber development which is always above the seed piece.

Martin
 

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I have my tires set up just one high and a mixture of natural soil and compost is with the seed, and I planted about 2 inches deep at most. First question, it has been two weeks, no sign yet of growth, did I go too deep? Second question, what is the best medium to put on top for the tubers to grow in. I put glass on top too, maybe they are getting too warm? Days have been in the high 60s and nights in the 40s.
 

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I have my tires set up just one high and a mixture of natural soil and compost is with the seed, and I planted about 2 inches deep at most. First question, it has been two weeks, no sign yet of growth, did I go too deep? Second question, what is the best medium to put on top for the tubers to grow in. I put glass on top too, maybe they are getting too warm? Days have been in the high 60s and nights in the 40s.
If you put glass over them, you probably don't have to worry about what medium to use. Don't need any for baked potatoes!

Tuber production medium can be just about anything organic or otherwise. May be sand, sawdust, hay, straw, shredded leaves, shredded Christmas trees, or whatever. Needs to be kept moist so that the end of the stolons never dry out. If they do dry out, that's a signal to the plant that they must be above ground and therefore no need to produce any more.

Martin
 

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I'm going to suggest cardboard boxes again- Mine are going great guns and I had to fold up the down-folded lids, tape them up with strapping tape and mulch to the top of them! I have a batch of boxes sitting alongside my leach field and a batch sitting down on the beach of the lake!
 
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