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Post  Pepper on 4/13/2012, 1:11 pm

As a newbe SFG Georgia gardener it is about time to step up and show off (just a bit). This is my first year to garden, my wife is the one with the green thumb. I have helped her with other 'row crop' gardens in the past but guys you know what that was about:lol: . As a newbe I request all the help I can muster esp from the folks here that have BTDT(opps Been There Done That). I have done a ton of research on here(SFG digested the book ,gave one to a neighbor, loaned mine to another neighbor); permies.com/forums, organicgardening.com, gardenweb.com, youtube and elsewhere. I got hooked last fall jumped in with both feet trying to compost:evil: , I still have bags of leaves I never got to. That is a different tale.....

My first venture was tater tires: instead of towers I stacked tires, cheap and quick. p.s. planted on Feb 17, 2012

tater tires Img_0110

I planted 9 cuttings of Red Pontiac potatoes in each tire. Add MM time and wire to stop the squirels and boom.

tater tires Img_0210

Then more time MM and now two tires tall.

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Then more time more MM now three tires tall.

tater tires P4073014

Now to add some hope and patience waiting on them to flower. Unlike a box I can't cheat and steal a few off the bottom but I WANT TOO:twisted: Twisted Evil Twisted Evil .
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Post  HillbillyBob on 4/15/2012, 7:05 pm

sweet looking potato plants Very Happy
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Post  Pepper on 4/16/2012, 10:16 am

Thank you Hillbilly Bob. I am hoping they will flower soon . In my zone it will get too hot in the tires soon, and they may ruin.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/16/2012, 3:20 pm

Pepper, are you saying you intend to grow the 'taters AND cook them in the same container? Just kidding. But when the sun really heats up the tires, would it be possible to shade them somehow, like surrounding the tires with white, heat-reflecting plastic or something? Nonna in Oregon, who's thinking out loud and envious of your sunshine
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Post  Pepper on 4/16/2012, 3:37 pm

Nonna; I posted this to get advice on how to proceed. The white covering may extend my time some. The tires out of the ground will cause them to warm to ambient air temp even without the solar heating of the black tires. I may just have to harvest them before the blooms die off. I really do not know "how early " I can harvest them.
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Post  kbb964 on 4/16/2012, 3:43 pm

You can harvest ( baby ) potatoes as soon as the flowers appear. Full size should be harvested after the plants die back.

I wish you success with the tires, i had considered doing that myself but I couldn't find any . I built towers instead.
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Post  Pepper on 4/16/2012, 3:52 pm

kbb964 thanks for your reply. Since I have added dirt over almost two months wouldn't the 'baby' taters began forming during the earlier levels? It would seem they would have flowered long before had I not forced them to grow taller.
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Post  kbb964 on 4/16/2012, 4:45 pm

hmm...... someone experienced needs to chime in ?

this is an excellent website to read on the potato process. The website sells their own special boxes but they have lots of information too !

http://www.henleypotatotower.co.uk/
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/16/2012, 6:14 pm

Someone out there with more experience correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't late-season potatoes more apt to form 'levels' of additional potatoes when covered with new layers of compost/straw? Somewhere there's a reference to how early-season potatoes produce quickly then gasp and give up, where late potatoes will keep sending out the nubbins that become potatoes over a long time, so are more suited to 'tater towers.
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Post  kbb964 on 4/17/2012, 10:09 am

Yes late season taters are better for towers !
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Post  jponderjones on 4/18/2012, 10:53 pm

I'm very envious. I had thought about using tires. (my son has a couple of old ones just laying around) but didn't do that. I planted some in a discarded clothes hamper lined with weed cloth on 3-18, and it's looking pretty good but not nearly as big as yours. It didn't help that a puppy got in the basket and dug half of the sprouted potatoes up. I kept waiting to see if we would get another frost. Who knew that the last one would be in Jan this year. also have planted two other pots since then. Hoping to harvest some every couple of weeks all thru the summer.
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Post  GWN on 4/18/2012, 11:42 pm

I have tried using tires a few years, but only this year have I learned about determinate vs indeterminate potatoes.
I had always thought a potato is a potato is a potato.
however a thread here has explained that the early potatoes will only produce one set of potatoes, and will NOT continue to produce as you add tires
However if you use indeterminate potatoes, they will keep setting tubers as long as you keep setting tires.

It sounds like red pontiac is a late season potato because pepper certainly seems to be doing well with them.
Congrats.......
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Post  FamilyGardening on 4/19/2012, 1:13 am

hope you will post pics when you harvest them!!

its so fun to dig for taters!!......best part about gardening.....tater tires 3170584802

hugs

rose
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Post  kbb964 on 4/19/2012, 1:23 pm

I just checked my order for Tater seeds........ phew both late season so I should be good to go with my towers
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Post  CharlesB on 4/19/2012, 1:40 pm

Maybe you could use a dolly to move them in to a more shady spot once it gets too hot? How about putting a piece of plywood on the sunny side to keep the tires from becoming ovens?
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Post  Pepper on 4/19/2012, 1:44 pm

Wow I did not know about determinate vs indeterminate taters.

Thanks for the web link on the tater towers I will have to check it out

I will post pics when I harvest them.

I got the tires for free! There is a tire shop/store just around the corner, since these are 'bad/wore out' tires they gave them to me for taking them off their hands.

GWN I thought they were a "New Potatoe" variety therefore early season but this is my first garden so I am just/still learning.

What I need is advice on harvesting: I am in west central Ga it gets HOT here real soon! Should I wait till 3 weeks after flowering and risk ruining the crop due to heat; or go ahead and harvest because of the heat since they are not "in the ground" and enveloped in black???????

Great idea HEET if I can move them to the shade it should help. Any more thoughts?
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Post  Pepper on 4/19/2012, 1:52 pm

OPPS excuse me I should have referenced CharlesB in my last coment not HEET sorry.

I may have to move them soon if they dont hurry up and bloom. The plywood and a dollie might just work but there is more MM than you would think in dem tires.
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Post  Pepper on 5/22/2012, 12:28 am

Wellllllllllll. Sad Evil or Very Mad pale I helped harvest the tater tire tower I gave my neighbor today. SAD is the only thing I can say. He only got about 8 taters the biggest one about the size of a golf ball. There were only a few traces of the vines so I am wondering if his location did not allow for enough drainage. It seemed the plants root system composted itself cause I did not even find the seed potatoes. His tower was at the 90 day mark and the surface plants had fully died back.

My two towers still have some green left so I hope to pull them down this week end. I am adding 2 new beds and hope to use all this MM in them so may wait till beds are ready to harvest
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Post  FamilyGardening on 5/22/2012, 1:17 am

did you use seed potatoes? or store bought old potatoes?

sorry to hear about the small harvest Sad

hugs

rose
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Post  Pepper on 5/22/2012, 1:37 am

Seed potatoes bought at lawn & garden center. He placed the tower in a spot that water tends to puddle. We are both first year rookies, so disappointed but not deterred.
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Post  walshevak on 5/22/2012, 8:21 am

Wouldn't it be easier to set up an shade cloth over them instead of trying to move something that will fall apart. 4 tall stakes around the tires with some burlap clipped over the top and perhaps hanging down the west side.

Kay

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Post  Pepper on 5/22/2012, 1:29 pm

Kay we never moved them. I really was worried about how the plants were looking, afraid the heat was responsible. After reading last years 'potatoe thread' all 12 pages;and several PM's from one of the participants; I just let the tires be what they will be. I am about to build two more beds and will use the MM in one of them. My two tires are in a place that drains well so still hoping. The one we harvested had completely died ( the plants on top) now we know to the core.
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Post  Lavender Debs on 5/22/2012, 1:52 pm

@GWN wrote:....snip....It sounds like red pontiac is a late season potato because pepper certainly seems to be doing well with them.
Congrats.......


Correct, Red Pontiac IS an indeterminant. Pepper should be fine (welcome!).....and if she ever gets flowers...wedge a tire and steal a few.....if not for steel belts you could probably saws-all your way into a lower level.
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Post  Pepper on 5/22/2012, 4:14 pm

L Debs not so fast. I have two towers and my neighbor had one. We harvested his yesterday ...Mad Evil or Very Mad Embarassed only got about 8 one was as large as a small egg the rest down to dime size. Heck the only roots were those attached to the tatertoots, not even a vine going down more than a few inches. I did not even find the store bought seed taters. Read the last few post above.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/22/2012, 9:20 pm

To aid Pepper, anyone know if there are potatoes better suited to the South? Seems like the biggest producers of "Irish" potatoes are north of Mason-Dixon line, like Main, Idaho, Oregon, Washington. Perhaps a potato variety that likes hot weather would be an idea. An Idaho-born gal's guess.
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