Sunday, February 28, 2010

Truck Tires and Tubers

I'd pretty much given up on growing potatoes this year since we didn't have a new garden plot for the mounds. Then I happened upon a solution that, though old news for some, was good news for me.


So, I got seed potatoes from our feed store, learned how to cut them with at least two eyes on each piece, and set them out until yesterday when we were ready to begin.


The idea is to build your first mound in an old tire, wait til the plant tops are about 8" high then add another tire, repeating the process until the mound is 4 tires high, a sight that is not all that unusual in my neighborhood. (Even so, I've hidden them behind my husband's wood shop for the refinery's eyes only.)


The first potato plants' growth is sort of stunted when more dirt is piled on and it becomes a root again, climbing upward toward the surface, sending out more roots laterally to make many more potatoes. It sounds as though the warmth of the tires aids the process.


When the top potatoes are ready, you remove the first tire to harvest that crop. Then the next tire's plants will have formed tops and be ready for harvest, etc.


So, my space problem is solved (I have enough space for a big truck tire in my back yard) and it's contained and away from my dog that lives to dig.

Don't ask me how long this will take, or if we'll have enough spring this year to really grow 4 tires worth, or if I planted the seed potatoes deep enough, or anything else, because all I know is the stuff on this one website. I'm making the rest up as I go.

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