4 Tire 'Tater Tower?

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by TXKajun, May 7, 2013.

  1. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    I'm replacing all 4 tires on my new little Ford Ranger and I was wondering if the 4 tires I'm taking off will be enough for any kind of potato tower....where you start with one tire, fill with dirt, plant taters, let em grow till you can add another tire and fill with dirt, rinse and repeat for all 4 tires.

    I'd have to paint them white cuz here in SE NM, the sun would cook the taters before they get dug. :)

  2. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I did it one year, turned out pretty good. Four is plenty.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I heard this was toxic. I was going to do this but was discouraged by some old farmer that said tires have bad stuff in them and it will get into your potatoes.
    cjsloane likes this.
  4. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    Heard the same thing anyone care to chime in on this...
    Motomom34 likes this.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just off the top of my head, I would say that there "MAY" be toxic chemicals in the rubber of Tires, but just how much would leach out, into the Vegetation Growing Dirt, over the growing cycle of one Season, may NOT be even testable, at levels commonly understood to be safe. There is a very easy way to tell. Just take your tires, and put them in a Kiddies wading pool, filled with water, and let them SOAK, for a week. Then sample a quart of the water, and send it to your State Drinking Water LAB, and have an Analysis done on that Sample. Usually the State will do that for Free, if you ask them to. Then you will know for sure just what, if anything, will be leaching out, into the soils in your Growing Bed. Then compare that, to a sample of your Dirt, that you would use, that was sent to the State Extension Agent, to see what Fertilizer, and Minerals your soil needs, to grow the things you want to plant. My guess, is that the trace compounds from the Water Sample will be a couple of Orders of Magnitude below, know safe levels for those compounds, and that there will be higher levels of those same compounds, found in your DIRT. Lots of Talking Heads, and Web Brainiacks, spout lots of BS, on these Issues, but simple Sampling and Good Chemical Testing, available to folks, can ANSWER these question, for REAL. Most folks just never ASK..... .....
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Any chance of your fertilizers reacting with the rubber and releasing something that does not leach in water alone?o_O
    Motomom34 likes this.
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Geesh Bt, that is a lot of work. If someone does all of that, please post the results. I am doing potatoes in pots but I have old tires in the shed.
  8. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    Well I did it and I didn't die from the potatoes. Is it the best thing to use? Probably not, but if it came down to me being hungry and having nothing but a patch of caliche ground and a bunch of tires to grow my spuds in, it's tires all the way baby.

    I also use PAM cooking spray, drink diet soda chock full of aspartame and stand next to the microwave while making microwave popcorn.
    NotSoSneaky and chelloveck like this.
  9. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    Would using strawbales and wrap them in agriculture type black fabric do the same... More labor intensive but just thinking our side the box as to how tire can be replaced... maybe wood stucture...?
  10. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Maybe a better question would have been "Has anyone got any r/l experience with how much yield you get from a 'tater tower vs growing in ground regular way?"

    I'm gonna have the tires, got the space, so I'm gonna go for it. Unless someone can tell me for sure that I'd be wasting my time.

    Also, if I get hybrid 'taters from the store and let them sprout, would they work as seed taters? I can't see why not. :)

    KAS likes this.
  11. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Interesting what will get into your soil (and food).

    Had a lady ask for analysis on her soil the other day to make sure there would be no arsenic in her asparagus. I'd never heard of that before - then I had to research it - but it's possible.

    Good luck with your tater tires. :)
  12. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    You can effectively grow them in anything. Plastic laundry hampers from Walmart, a length of chicken wire formed into a tube and tied off, tires, a tall kitchen trashcan, on top of cardboard and buried in straw and dirt, a bathtub. I did the tires about.... geeze, it's been years. First year we had a grasshopper swarm that decimated them, but the next year they did decent. The potatoes were not large, more like fingerlings, but I grew them entirely on straw which I am told has that effect. Similar results with on top of cardboard buried in straw and dirt. The chicken wire tater tower was two or three years ago, did great although the leaves kept popping out the sides. I had packed the sides with straw and filled the center with dirt, and put the taters in the center. Last year was in a clawfoot bathtub in alternating layers of dirt and straw, and I had so many potato I never did get them all. There's a sprout in it now from one I missed last summer. None of my potatoes have ever been especially large, but there's always been plenty of them. Is it more productive than traditional planting? Probably not, but it's sure a lot easier to harvest them.

    I have never bought seed potatoes. I've always used those red potatoes from the grocery store. Cut 'em, give them a few days to scab, then into whatever I'm growing them in.

    Being root crops potatoes are especially prone to absorbing whatever is in the ground they're in. This is why you can't use sludge on root crops such as potatoes and carrots and onions. It is also why you probably shouldn't use tires. I didn't use tires in the past because I thought they WERE safe, just that I never really cared one way or the other.
  13. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Wow! Great info ditch witch....and personal experience shared. Thank you!

  14. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I have found from personal experience that tyres are more of a hazard to one's health when they are attached to the SUV that has run you over! :( Me on my bicycle tyres didn't have much of a chance.

    For ideas on different designs and devices for growing potatoes out of the ground, google potato tower image.

    Grow 100 lbs. Of Potatoes In 4 Square Feet: {How To} : TipNut.com


    Motomom34, ditch witch and kellory like this.
  15. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    tires are banned from landfills and garbage pit/mounding operations .... they are usually recycled in various products and/or broken down for components .....

    one product formerly being made from used tires was playground matting/crumble to prevent injury ..... now banned because of possible contamination ......

    wouldn't use tires for a growing container for anything that is intended for human or animal food ....
  16. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Tires in the garden, people do it all the time.

    A new use for old tires: A garden using tires by Charles Sanders

    My tire gardens! (And compost questions...) - Homesteading Today

    Grow Tomatoes in an Old Tire - Organic Gardening - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

    My Growing Garden: Potato Tire Project | Bonzai Aphrodite actual potato tire garden with photos

    Tire gardens overseas
    The Resiliency of Tires: The Road to Life Yard in Haiti | Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

    When tires are used in new products that come in contact with soil or water, do they pollute the environment?

    There is no current evidence showing that products containing recycled rubber from scrap tires substantially increases the threat to human health and the environment as compared to the threats associated with conventional products.
    Frequent Questions | Scrap Tires | US EPA
  17. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    I notice the EPA doesn't address the subject of used tires being banned from playgrounds ..... somebody other than the EPA did a study obviously .....

    the remainder of your links don't have any health input ..... one link goes back to a 1976 Mother Earth article .... in 1976 they were still encouraging birthing mothers to have a good stiff drink everyday ......

    there's better and more attractive alternatives than tires ....
  18. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    While I never used tires, I did make a container using old fence pickets. they were the cedar ones from HD/Lowes, but were used and were falling apart when replaced. I cut them up and mad a 2'x3' box (the height of the box was the width of the picket).

    Put one on the ground, set my "seed" potatoes down then covered with dirt/organic material. When the plants were twice as high as the box I put another 'box' on and filled in with dirt, and repeated twice more.

    I didn't have any better yield than if I had planted in the ground.

    As far as old tires goes, I'm collecting them from around the neighborhood and will use them as a backstop for my gun range on the BOL.
  19. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I apologize for being less than bone simple in my post.

    That tires were featured in1976 is just my point, - if these were a bad thing, the news would be full of stories about the health effects. I haven't seen any.
    People are free to make their own choices, of course.
  20. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    They're banned in NY and LA parks and playgrounds. Everywhere else? *shrug* There's a huge tire shredding plant a few hours south of me that takes tires and processes them to be used on playgrounds as crumb rubber.
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