Back in April I shared with you how we were trying to grow potatoes in old tires this year. Today I put a second tire on some of the stacks.
As you can see from the photo, the potatoes have grown at very different rates. All of the tires have some compost in them. The ones on the left were then mostly filled with leaves from last fall. The tires on the right were filled with partially rotted sawdust. The tires with leaves were planted about a week before the sawdust tires. The potatoes came through the sawdust first even though they were planted later. The potatoes in the leaves have come up slower, but the plants seem to be thicker and fuller. The plants on the bottom left corner are about double the size of any of the rest. I have no idea why.
Five of the sets of plants were high enough for a second tire today. I laid the tire on top, and filled it with a mixture of partially rotted sawdust and manure. You do need to be extra gentle to be sure and not break off the stems. I had to use my hands to do this, and to fill in the outside of the tires. So, you may want to wear gloves, or at least take off any designer jewelry before playing in the manure. I left an inch or two of the leaves exposed.
Now if these potatoes do what they are supposed to the newly covered stems will send out roots and make potatoes. The plant will send up new stems and leaves, and when they get tall enough I will add another tire. The process will be repeated until there are four tires on each stack. In the fall we should find those tires filled with potatoes. I will keep you updated!