Potato Stack

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Growing Potatoes In A Stack Of Old Tires

Pick a spot where you can stack your tires which is out of the way and preferably out of sight. Loosen the surface of the soil just enough to allow for drainage, and set your largest tire in place. Fill the inside of the tire casing loosely with good topsoil, and then set 3-4 potato seeds into the soil. (Use sticks or rocks to keep the casing rings spread open.) Add enough soil to the tire "hole" to bring it to the same level as the soil inside the tire.
When the new plants are eight inches tall, add another tire and soil to the stack, as in the first level. Repeat the process for your third, and if desired, fourth tires. As you add tires and soil to the stack, the 8" of the plant stalk is covered with soil. By doing this, the existing stalk essentially reverts to a root status and the plant is forced to grow upward to once again find the sunlight which it needs. (much like if you were to try to eliminate a dandelion by covering it with a scoop of soil) By raising the soil level this way (in 8" increments) the plant is able to continue growing without suffocation, and at the same time you are creating a 24-30" tap root from which many more lateral roots can develop. Each lateral root can then produce additional potatoes (at 3-4 levels rather than the normal single layer). When you water, be sure that the soil is thoroughly moistened all the way to the base of the pile.
The tires act as an insulator and heat "sink" for your potatoes. This added warmth will cause the lateral roots (where the new potatoes form) to multiply more rapidly, thereby giving you more potatoes. When you need fresh potatoes next fall and winter, harvest the crop from the top tire, and remove it from the pile. More potatoes??? Next tire...
P.S..... You can also use this method to grow your own peanuts, but only in two tire stacks!

- Prepare potatoes as described above.
- Lay an old car tire on the ground. No rim, just the tire.
- Place 2 or 3 sprouted potato pieces in the hole, evenly spaced.
- Cover the potato pieces and fill the tire with amended soil. Water well, then place a second tire on top of the first.
- When the potato sprouts have grown to have a couple of leaves above the height of the second tire, then fill the open area of tire with amended soil and place a third tire on top.
- When the potato sprouts have grown to have a couple of leaves above the height of the third tire, fill the open area of the third tire with amended soil and place another tire on top.
- When the potato sprouts have grown above the height of the fourth tire, fill the tire with amended soil.
- Keep the stack watered and let the potatoes continue to grow. In mid-summer, the potatoes should bloom. - After the blossoms have died, it is time to harvest the potatoes.
- At harvest, place a tarp on the ground beside the stack of tires and push the stack over onto the tarp, remove the tires leaving the soil from the tires on the tarp and remove the potatoes.
- The soil left on the tarp can be “re-amended” and re-used again, along with the tires, for the next growing season.


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Copyright 2000-02 Glenn Ray Eddleman

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