Next Row Of Tires Planted

tires planted in gardenWith the row of potato sets planted in the right side row, the tomatoes are the next to be planted.

A total of twelve tomatoes have survived and thrived in containers and it is well past time to get them into the garden where they will be able to stretch out their roots and their tops. About half of the plants already have tomatoes set on and hopefully they will not get too upset about this move which could cause the plants to drop the fruit rather than growing to the ripe stage.

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Feline Supervisor

As I was setting up the tires for as the framework for the row of potatoes, my feline supervisor tested each tire in the row. Momma Cat is the oldest and I believe wisest of the barn cats, she is also the friendliest (when she is not in a swiping kind of mood) and definitely the most curious of the gaggle.

I haven’t quite figured out her motives but suspect that she may be testing for balance to make sure each tire is firmly level on the ground, or if she is determining the sun intensity on each tire plot, or if she was just wanting to get her behind warmed as I plodded and placed tires along the string row marker.

Tired Potatoes

Now that the front garden plot has been worked up with first the tractor then finely tilled with the walk behind rototiller, the row of tires has been placed one swath wide from the northern edge of the plot.

Row of tires in a freshly worked garden.The row of tires are where I will plant my potatoes. The extra swath of dirt will be tilled weekly and the fine dirt will be used to cover the potatoes as they grow.

The vertical growing potatoes can have extra tires stacked on top, but only one or two more. If the stack gets higher than that the potato plants get choked out and the end result would be a pile of tires filled with dirt but no tubers (I learned the hard way).

There are several advantages to growing potatoes in tires, it makes weeding easier (this is very important to me). Also the plants and tubers are neatly contained so if someone wanted to help with weeding they would be less confused about the difference between spud and weed. The tires make a good barrier for those ground dwelling rodents that are attracted to the below ground goodies. And the best advantage is that for harvest, all one has to do is flip over a tire or two and the spuds are right there in the open instead of digging with a shovel and missing some good ones.

Small Potatoes, Harvest That Is

The amount of potatoes from one hill.The plants that were dying back from lack of water have completely died now so I dug up one of the tires to see if any potatoes formed before the plants shriveled completely.

I had planted Yukon Gold variety and usually they do quite well in my tires instead of hills. I was surprised that we did get a few good sized ones, but the harvest is only about half of what I usually get out of a mound.

Still Harvesting Potatoes

The wild weather of winter has hampered the enjoyment of fresh produce from the garden but hasn’t wiped it out completely.

I still have about five hills of potatoes left in the garden. These are the ones that I planted in the tire stacks, see the blog Potato Update

The tires are stacked around the potatoes as the plants grow. Weeding is kept to a minimum and each hill on average grow more potatoes than basic in the ground planting. Continue reading