Tire Gardening

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  • #551
    kymber
    Member

    There are several of us on the American Preppers Network and Canadian Preppers Network that do our gardening in tires. Yes, I said tires!

    For anyone who is interested in learning more about tire gardening, you can read the following posts from the Nova Scotia Preppers Network:

    http://novascotiapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/city-prepping-and-growing-your-own-food.html” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false
    http://novascotiapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/02/city-prepping-and-growing-your-own-food_16.html” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false
    http://novascotiapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/05/2009-tire-garden-part-1-and-other-stuff.html” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false
    http://novascotiapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/05/tire-garden-2009-update-mostly-pics.html” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false
    http://novascotiapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/07/tire-garden-update.html” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false

    And here is a post from the Nova Scotia Preppers Network that shows how to cut the tires:

    http://novascotiapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/07/tire-garden-how-to.html” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false

    Enjoy!

    #53740
    Legacy
    Member

    Thanks for posting the info/links on tire gardening! I haven’t had a chance yet to completely read through those links, but I have a question. Has anyone tried the “tire stacks” for growing potatoes with success? We tried this last summer with semi tires, added the dirt as the plants grew as well as more tires when needed, and when it came to harvest time… major disappointment. I’ve never grown potatoes, and I’m relatively new to gardening. So I’m thinkin’ I might have done something wrong.

    Just wondering if anyone had any tips, hints, or ideas?

    Thanks!

    #53741
    IceFire
    Moderator

    Legacy,

    What was the problem with the potatoes? Too few? Too small? None at all? Did some of the underground varmints get to them? If it’s varmints, then lay down chicken wire first, then your first tire, and add the soil. What is your soil composition like? Is it sandy, heavy clay, loamy, etc. Have you done a soil test to check your nutrient and pH levels? there are so many variables, that we need some more information to try and help you resolve the issue.

    #53742
    kymber
    Member

    Legacy…growing potatoes in tire stacks is incredibly simple and easy…if you know all of the tricks! and trust me – i learned from making mistakes – it’s the only way to learn for real! but read through the links i provided…they are detailed and provide pics! last year i did 14 tires and stacked each of the 14 four-high! we got a yield of about 120lbs of potatoes….and for about $20 bucks for potatoe seed…that’s a pretty good investment!

    simply put…you have to ensure that you collar your potatoes (“hill them” is the traditional garden way)….what this means is…when the potatoe plants are about 6 inches above the rim of the tire – you have to add another tire and more dirt. in my experience, collaring them is incredibly important to a successful yield.

    and IceFire is right…we need more info before we can properly help you!

    #53743
    Legacy
    Member

    oh yikes… I KNEW I should have included more info. I was in a big ol’ hurry, and frankly, I’m not used to someone actually potentially having an answer. 😆 I’ll answer within your quotes in another color.

    @IceFire wrote:

    Legacy,

    What was the problem with the potatoes? Some did ok, some did not… will go into more detail below.

    Too few? VERY few. I planted Irish Cobbler, Red Norland, and Yukon Gold. The Yukon’s did the best. There were only about 6 of the Irish Cobbler. lol Paaaa-thetic. None produced more than one tire heighth, although we had 3 semi tires stacked.

    Too small? The Irish Cobbler and the Red Norland were tiny. Like so small I just threw the few I got into a stew (they were delicious!! but too few for the effort). The Yukon Gold, they were all different sizes. There were some very large ones, but also some the size of a marble.

    None at all? All produced at least a few.

    Did some of the underground varmints get to them? If it’s varmints, then lay down chicken wire first, then your first tire, and add the soil. No varmint problems. We’ve got cats, dogs and chickens that keep the 4-legged pests under control for us (for the most part). I DID have problems with my watermelon and pumpkin seeds disappearing, though. Wasn’t the chickens. Great idea on the chicken wire, though! Might go ahead and do that “just in case.”

    What is your soil composition like? Is it sandy, heavy clay, loamy, etc. Clay. Very odd clay. Some is very heavy, some is a little sandier… all within about 20 feet of each other. We used mostly the sandier stuff to plant the potatoes in. We have so much wind around here and live in open farm country that it doesn’t take much for the sandy part of the soil to blow around and bury fences. So we took that real fine, loose stuff for the tires/potatoes. We also added aged/composted cow manure.

    Have you done a soil test to check your nutrient and pH levels? This is something we’ve never done. I want to get a good kit to test the soil this spring. Not sure what I’m looking for, though.

    there are so many variables, that we need some more information to try and help you resolve the issue. Thank you SO much for taking the time to help me here. I sure appreciate it!

    @kymber wrote:

    Legacy…growing potatoes in tire stacks is incredibly simple and easy…if you know all of the tricks! and trust me – i learned from making mistakes – it’s the only way to learn for real! but read through the links i provided…they are detailed and provide pics! last year i did 14 tires and stacked each of the 14 four-high! we got a yield of about 120lbs of potatoes….and for about $20 bucks for potatoe seed…that’s a pretty good investment! That’s a darn good investment… one I’m hoping to accomplish myself! Thank you for helping!

    simply put…you have to ensure that you collar your potatoes (“hill them” is the traditional garden way)….what this means is…when the potatoe plants are about 6 inches above the rim of the tire – you have to add another tire and more dirt. in my experience, collaring them is incredibly important to a successful yield. We did this. I have some questions there, but my screen is going really wonky here. It’s trying to scroll up as I’m typing. lol Will have to ask them later. Well… actually, I still need to go read those articles. lol I’ll probably have my question answered there.

    and IceFire is right…we need more info before we can properly help you! Thank you… both!!!

    #53744
    mmpaints
    Participant

    For me, tires are a side effect of farming. Every year we end up with 6 from the dually, at least 2 from another truck and another from the tractor. They add up quick and are jus great for “container” and or ‘raised bed” gardening. You can set them up anywhere in your yard and they don’t take up very much space. The bounty you can produce with them is really surprising.

    #53745
    Legacy
    Member

    Ok, I read those articles. Kymber… didn’t realize until after I read the first one that YOU wrote them! You did an AWESOME job, IMHO. Also, my question was answered in the final link. Wondered if I added dirt the wrong way. 😳 I think I sorta did. But not sure that would be the cause of all the issues. We had a very cool and more rainy summer than recent memory can conjure up. Nearly everyone lost their gardens this year. We all thought it was the seeds (although we all bought from different companies). However, we all came to the conclusion it was the weather. Would too much cool weather or too much heat bother the potatoes?

    I’ll try to add pics of my potato stacks last year if I can figure it out…

    #53746
    Legacy
    Member

    Ok, dug up the pics… hope this works.

    This was in April (I think?). I did them in a row (never thought about bunching them together like you did, Kymber) and in between stacks, I planted peppers.

    Didn’t write a date down for this one either. I’m guessing end of May or beginning of June?

    June 17th… 3rd tire added…

    July 21… (garlic is in the car tire in the front)

    July 21… this one is starting to die off…

    This one is still big and growing…

    Hope this helps you to see what I did… and maybe what I did wrong?

    #53747
    Legacy
    Member

    @SciFiChick wrote:

    Too few? VERY few. I planted Irish Cobbler, Red Norland, and Yukon Gold. The Yukon’s did the best. There were only about 6 of the Irish Cobbler. lol Paaaa-thetic. None produced more than one tire heighth, although we had 3 semi tires stacked.

    I don’t know why that line caught my attention but I have to ask….. When you say you had 3 tires stacked and they only got one tire height? That could very well be the whole problem. The idea is to start with the first tire and let the plant get well above it. Then you add the next tire and soil…and so on….

    Yeah, did that. Planted them in the bottom of the first tire. Added dirt as I went… and another tire as needed. Keep in mind these are semi tires, not car or pickup tires. Maybe the pictures help? The potatoes only grew in the bottom tire (closest to the ground) although you can see the plants did awesome well above the 3rd tire.

    #53748
    IceFire
    Moderator

    One of the biggest problems in using store-bought potatoes, is that they are treated with chemicals to retard their sprouting/growing. Plus, by the time you get them, they’ve usually been in storage for a Looooong time. I would either start with seed potatoes, or with potatoes purchased from a local farmer.

    Also, not sure where you are at, but at least here in the northeast area, a lot of the farmers got hit with “late blight” which not only affected the tomato crops (pretty well wiped them out), but a good portion of the potato crop as well. It’s the same blight that caused the great “Irish Potato Famine” back in the 1800s. The cold, wet summer had a lot to do with the spread of the blight.

    #53749
    kymber
    Member

    Legacy – thanks for sharing the photos….i looooove seeing food growing in tires! i am not sure why your potatoes didn’t turn out – it seems like you did everything the right way! it may have been the weather or the actual seed potatoes. i would recommend getting your seed potatoes for this year from a reputable farmer in your area. like IceFire said!

    Sci – yer dead right but then you usually are….hey…i’m just sayin….but making mistakes are the best way to learn anything in my opinion!

    #53750
    IceFire
    Moderator

    SFC,

    yep, sometimes our failures teach us more than our successes…we learn what NOT to do! Just chalk it up to experience, and drive on. Experience is a great teacher, but sometimes we need experience to whack us upside the head a time or two!

    #53751
    kymber
    Member

    without a good whack-side up the head or two – how are we ever gonna learn properly???

    #53752
    Shelli
    Member

    Oh my – gardening is one of THOSE endeavors! I was always the kind of person where if I can’t do it the first time right, then, well, I can’t do it! I guess I am going to have to give this a second go-round and chalk it up to experience.

    I have a bunch of car tires laying around (literally – they were here when we bought the house and then we learned why. Our municipality won’t take them for trash). So maybe I will have to give the potato-tire thing a try. Where can I get seed potatoes? I don’t know that we have a local farm that sells potatoes.

    #53753
    kymber
    Member

    Shell – there are tons of places to get seed potatoes in the states….i can get some links later for you if you can’t find any local ones.
    as for tire gardening – it’s very rewarding – first because you are recycling tires and then secondly – because you are growing things in those tires!
    it just doesn’t get better than that in my books.

    let me know if you have any more questions k? i will really try to help you!

    (p.s. i spent 20 bucks this year and harvested 140lbs of potatoes…from tires….just tellin ya)

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