We’ve got a few tyres in our community garden that we’re reusing and keeping out of landfill to grow some potatoes in.
This method of growing potatoes in a confined space, vertically, is inexpensive and a great alternative to the traditional way of raising potatoes in rows.
All we need to do is:
- pick a sunny spot in the garden for our tyre stack
- give it good drainage below the tyres (so that potatoes don’t get water-logged)
- stack up two or three tyres and fill them with some damp soil and compost to just over half way up the depth of the tyres
- place our 4 seed potatoes about 2 inches deep, with the shoots facing up
- add a couple of inches of soil on top and water
Then remember to water them when we water our other plants.
As the potato plants grow, we will continue to add soil around them and introduce the final tyre.
Around 6 weeks later we should see our young potato plants peeping out of the top of our stack of 3 tyres.
We’ll be able to take “new” potatoes just after the flowers open, but if we wait until the foliage has turned brown, we can cut off the stems and wait a few days to pull up the plant with our main crop of potatoes attached.
Just recently, one of our more artistic Planting Up volunteers came up with a brilliant idea for this year’s potato tyre stacks… She suggested we have some fun making them look more attractive by painting them.
A great opportunity to get creative
We can paint them any colour we like and even give them colourful patterns (using stencils) if we like.
So that got us thinking…
Just how far can we take this?
Here are some of the tyre up-cycling ideas we found to inspire us with what to do with ours this year…