How to Grow Potatoes Using Tires

Overview

For people wanting to save money, growing your own food is one of the easiest and most satisfying methods. You do not need a farm, or much space to grow many common vegetables. Potatoes, for example, can be grown in stacks or columns with the right material used to form the columns. Tires are a good material because they are sturdy, can be gotten for little or no cost, and can be reused, preserving the environment. Potatoes are a good crop because they take up little room and can be used in various ways as snacks and main dishes. Potatoes also are a good source of fiber, potassium and starch with little caloric increase. They also are simple to grow. Here is a basic method of using limited space while growing your own food supply and recycling all at once.

The Potatoes

Step 1

Purchase a small bag of potatoes, no larger than five pounds. This will be your original seed for the potato crop as well as your only cost.

Step 2

Place the bag of potatoes in a dark, dry and cool place at home. Let them sit for 4-6 days, allowing the potatoes to grow sprouts or "eyelets".

Step 3

Remove the potatoes from the bag. Cut each potato into sections, making sure each sprout or group of sprouts is part of a section. The sections without any sprouts can be used for cooking.

Step 4

Put the sections with sprouts in a container and set aside. These are your "seeds" for your potato crop.

Step 5

Wash any sections without sprouts in warm water and allow to air dry. Place these sections in another open container and plan to use with various meals. Use these sections within five days to ensure freshness.

The Tires

Step 1

Get tires from neighbors, garages or anyplace with spare old tires. The roadside is a good place to find your tires for this.

Step 2

Locate a suitable level piece of ground for your tires to lay upon. The ground can be slightly sloping but the tires should be basically flat on their side.

Step 3

Place two or three tires on the ground in any configuration you choose. These will act as your crop base. You will be placing tires in columns up to five high depending on how many potatoes you want.

Step 4

Decide how high you want your tire columns. Each tire can hold up to six sections of sprouts.

The Planting

Step 1

Locate soil with little rock or other objects in it. Your crop will be growing in the soil and needs room to grow.

Step 2

Fill each tire with soil until completely full. Using 15-inch tires you will be needing roughly 15 to 18 pounds of soil per tire. This is the equivalent of two full wheelbarrows. Pack the soil loosely in the tire.

Step 3

Dig six holes each measuring about 4 inches wide and 4 inches deep, placing five of the holes in a ring around the inside of the tire and the sixth hole in the center.

Step 4

Place one potato section in each hole and cover with soil. Pat the soil down over the section until it is firm but not hard.

Step 5

Wet the soil so that it damp but not muddy.

Step 6

Place the next tire on top of the base tire and repeat the above steps. Continue doing this until you reach the desired number of tires.

Caring for the Crop

Step 1

Water your plantings a minimum of once weekly unless it rains. Potatoes require semi-damp soil to grow.

Step 2

Watch for weeds and remove as you would a regular garden.

Step 3

Continue the above steps for up to eight weeks. You should see sprouts coming out of the soil where you planted the sections.

Step 4

Continue watering and care until the plants fully grow, about an additional six weeks.

Harvesting

Step 1

Wait for the plants to become fully grown before harvesting; about six weeks.

Step 2

Remove the top tire from the column and shake out any dirt.

Step 3

Sift through the mound of dirt still on the pile, taking care not to pull out the plant. You should find potatoes in the mound above the next tire.

Step 4

Repeat the previous two steps as you use up your potatoes.

Step 5

Discard soil as you remove each tire.

Things You'll Need

  • Bag of potatoes
  • Tires
  • Garden shovel
  • Soil
  • Water
Keywords: grow, potatoes, growing, small, spaces, tires

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Grow Potatoes Using Tires