This guide is to teach you how to grow potatoes in a very limited space.
The nifty thing about potatoes is as the greens are growing you can continue to bury them and as the plant tries to keep growing up to break out of the soil, it will keep producing potatoes. I am going to show you how to use this to grow a long string of potatoes, and recycle some old tires at the same time.
You are going to need;
- Seed potatoes
- 3-4 tires per seed potato
- Enough soil/compost to fill said tires
- Lots of water.
Once you find your potato of choice, before you can plant them they need to be chitted. Basically this just means making them sprout. If you all ready have some sprouting in your kitchen then ok, if not, you will need to place them in a light, dry place, out of direct sunlight, until they start sprouting. Kitchen counter works well, or near a north facing window.
You will then need to cut them up so there are about 3 eyes per piece.
Your seed potatoes are now ready to be planted.
Now here comes the hard part (unless you plan on growing them in your bedroom, or parents basement) you will need to go outside. I promise this won’t take too long, you will be fine.
You don’t need to prepare the soil underneath very much, but you do want to select a location with good drainage.
Now place your tire flat on the ground, and fill it about halfway up with soil.
Place your seed potato in the middle and cover it with a bit more soil.
Water it well and wait.
You need to keep the soil moist and check on the growth at least every week or so.
As soon as the greens get an inch or two high you will need to add more soil. DO NOT completely cover the plant, leave just a bit poking out of the soil. You will need to add more tires as you reach the top, up to 3-4.
Here is a .gif I made to demonstrate it a little.
When you get to the desired height, let it alone to grow, but keep watering it. Depending on the type of potato you can either let the greens die off, cut them off, or dig them up right away.
When you are ready to harvest, simply kick the tires over, an pull out your spuds.
A few tips to help.
Don’t grow them in the same soil as the year before.
Cabbage will grow in old potato soil well.
If you expect frost, you need to cover the plants with straw or something to protect them.
Some potatoes need to be planted and harvested at different times of year. Do a little research.
Potatoes like lots of sun. The plant NOT the roots.