tired taters

I have limited garden space and a desire to plant potatoes for the first time. Potatoes take up room and have very specific nutrient requirements. They require deep, loamy soil with lots of nitrogen. So, what’s an urban gardener to do? My gardener and rock star friend, Arann, casually mentioned the potato tire method to me some time back and I must admit I haven’t stopped dreaming about it. Now, it is a reality.

The method:

1. Place your old tires strategically about your yard. Crack open an IPA because you just worked eight hours with a three and a half month-old bug. I don’t think you must look all white t when using old tires. I refused to have a row of tires in my yard. Instead, I found cozy little nooks for the potato nests. I did not have old tires all about my house so I made one phone call to a local tire shop who was more than eager to give me the old rubber.

2. Fill the tire with soil and lots of compost. Like almost half and half.

3. Plant your chitted potatoes in the tires. Potatoes should be planted about four inches deep and around a month before your last frost. You should absolutely only use seed potatoes or else your cats will develop a fifth limb or something like that. I didn’t know what chit meant and I mean, holy chit, the spuds kinda just did it on their own. As with most things garden, I wasn’t too careful about it and it worked out swell.

4. When the plant part of the potato is above the rim of the tire, add more dirt and compost and the plant will continue to grow and the old stem will become root and, therefore, more potato. I have three tires for each stack but can always get more if I need them.

Think of it like whoring out a seed. Instead of getting like eight pounds for a plant, you get up to 30! AND, the best part? When spud harvest rolls around, you get to knock over the tire stack and see your bounty instead of digging digging digging.

8 Responses to tired taters

  1. Amy says:

    What a cool method! I’ve never grown potatoes before. This makes it sound easy.

  2. TRB Holt says:

    Hmmmmmmm, maybe I should have grown potatoes. I have tossed many a “chitted” spud, not realizing I was throwing away potential baby taters!I look forward to the harvest.

    xoxo, Mom

  3. jen says:

    so fun to see you talking about this…
    i’ve been hoping to do this also…but husband is not so fond of having tires in my/our yard (our best gardening area is NEXT to the garage…very visible from the street). he fears that we will look sorta trashy. i say…who cares…free potatoes for the summer!
    but, you are saying i should have already planted?? oops. maybe next year.
    how much sun do they need??

  4. Danette says:

    what a great method. My grandmother used to grow potatoes and I remember digging to china for them. This seems much easier and a good use for old rubber.

  5. Amy: Yes, so easy! Grow potatoes!

    Ma: You can’t use just any chitted spud. It must must must be seed potatoes. I don’t know exactly why but I do know that everywhere one reads about potato growing, this message is loud and clear. I like your new profile photo!

    Jen: Not too late. My husband’s grandpa always said to plant potatoes by Easter but many people plant right up to the last frost. Depending on where you are located, you could still have a month or more to get your spuds going. I know about the trashy factor…by the time summer rolls around, there will be tons of gorgeous green plants all around where I placed the tires. I don’t think they will be that noticeable.

    Danette: I know! I can’t wait to knock that stack over in a few months!

  6. joan says:

    Like I said I thought the only use for old tires was to keep the roof of a trailer from popping in a high wind. This will be an interesting process to watch unfold. Garlic mashed are in the future. XOXO, Joan

  7. I don’t have a tire, but I hear garbage cans work. Great topic. There’s an award for you over at my blog. Cheers!

  8. Joan: THANKS for helping to heft the tires.

    Gardeness: shucks, thanks!