An Ingenious Way To Maximize Your Potato Harvest

If you are thinking of growing potatoes, but are hesitant, do not do so! Potatoes are very easy to grow. Even better, you can grow them with the help of upcycled material. Even if you don’t have a ton of space, you can grow hundreds of pounds of potatoes in tire towers.

This guide will tell you how to get the most out of your space with upcycled content, so let’s get started!

What are tire towers and how do they work?

Potato tire towers are exactly what they sound like. Can you imagine a powerful tower made of used tires piled on top of each other? Now imagine that a lot of potatoes are growing easily inside it.

These work so well for growing precious, precious tethers, because potato plants produce really well when grown vertically. As the aerial (upper) parts of the plant grow, they continue to form root branches. These develop into delicious tubers which we love very much.

As a result, growing in towers means that you can double or triple the crop yield with plants in the ground.

Tires are ideal for these towers due to their stackability. As the plants grow you can continue to plow new. Just put soil as needed around the stalk. Then, at the end of the growing season, you pick up the tires one by one again.

what you’ll need:

  • Many used car tires: Choose tires that are approximately the same size. If you have some that are larger than others, use them as the lowest level. As the plant continues to grow, you can use smaller ones from above.
  • Heavy gravel or medium-sized rocks: These are for drainage at the base.
  • Soil with extra compost: Potatoes do best in loose, well-drained, slightly acidic, loam soils. Use soil that is ideal for raised beds and container gardens, as it performs better drainage and does not compact. Work well aged manure in it before putting it in tires.
  • Potato slices, or small seeded potatoes with many buds in their eyes.

A note about used tires: If you live in a cold area, you may find used winter tires while searching for materials. Do not use them.

I once made the mistake of building some towers with winter tires. They still have their marks. There are vicious little spikes on things that can cause a lot of damage if you brush them. They are even more vicious for children and small animals that can bump into them.


Okay, now those potato tires start towers — first, places. Potatoes require a lot of sunlight to grow properly. Choose one of the sunniest sites on your property, and lay at least two inches of heavy gravel or medium-sized stones as a base.

Potato plants will rot when they get “wet feet”. Make sure they have plenty of drainage at the bottom, and you will avoid this issue. The last thing you need is to recreate your version of the great Irish famine in your backyard, such as with a water frost Phytophthora infestans.

Place some tires on top of this gravel and place them. Then stack another level or two over them.

Pour your compost-rich soil a little more than halfway. If you are using two tires to start, fill one completely, followed by an inch or two. Likewise, if you are using three tires, fill one and a half, and add a little more for good measure. Water is sufficient, so the soil is moistened but not saturated.

After this, take four medium or five small seeded potatoes or slips. Pour each of these about 1.5 to 2 inches deep into the soil. I like to use five of them, so there is one in the middle, the other four in the main directions. Once they are pushed inside, cover them with a few more inches of soil. Light water again.

Plant maintenance

As your potato plants grow, you need to put soil around the base of each stalk. This prevents any potato root from exposure to sunlight. We need to keep them immersed in the soil because they can produce toxins.

Remember how potatoes are part of nightshade (Solanaceae) Family, with tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants? This is because all these plants have a toxin called solanin. You will find it in green tomatoes: as tomatoes ripen and turn red, solenine is destroyed. In the same way you will find it in green potatoes.

Have you ever had stomach ache after eating green potatoes? Yes, that’s why. Also, if your potatoes are exposed to sunlight while growing, they will turn green. This toxin is great for removing bacteria and various insects, so they do not prey on tubers. Given the gastrointestinal issues and difficulty in breathing, it is less terrible for human consumption…

So, long story short, stack the stalks well on your potato plants. When they rise about four inches to the top of the tire, stack another tire at the top. Foamed, rinse, repeat. You can stack these potato tire towers during the growing season. You will know that it is time to harvest when the leaves of the plants lose color and start dying back.

At that time, as mentioned, you have to remove the tires one by one. Then, you can separate the clay mounds and remove the tantalizing tubers from the inside.

We have an amazing guide here that covers everything you need to know about growing potatoes. Refer to it if you need help choosing varieties or troubleshooting issues with your plants.

Some Notes on Safety and Health of Tire Towers

There are many pros and cons to growing any type of food in rubber or plastic. Some people do not like to grow food in used tires or tire towers because they have chemicals inside. So is it a bad idea to grow potatoes in tire towers?

Of course, this is a reasonable concern. Yes, tires are made of materials you do not specifically want to swallow. They are eroding and closing over time, leaching many chemicals and metals into the environment. This means that they will also go into the foods that we grow in them, and by extension, into our bodies.

He said, it takes a long Tire breakdown time. It usually takes 50 to 80 years for a tire to malfunction. This means that the chemicals being released into the food-growing soil within them are actually negligible. The chemicals are left more with friction and wear, such as when they are actually on cars.

Using tires to grow food means they have less landfill waste. In addition, they can be convenient for growing large amounts of food in small areas, especially when not great for digging in local soil.

A large part of my own food growing experience has been in severely deprived areas. When you have little to work from the beginning, you take advantage of everything you can. The weight of the pros and cons of growing potatoes in tire towers, of course, is up to the individual.

Generally, when people have to choose between feeding their family and worrying about extremely mild chemical exposure, the former wins.

Do your research to determine if you feel comfortable growing this way. Then, you can make an informed decision about your tire-based food-production efforts.

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