Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tater Tire Failure



 
Well, folks. My tater tire project has gone flat. Last week the potato plants looked awfully wilted. I checked them more closely and realized that the main stem was squishy and rotten. I suspect that my growing medium, unfinished compost, was too heavy and wet. I had watered the tire stack pretty heavily when I added the third tire. I thought that it was pretty impossible for me to over water it because any extra water would drain out the bottom of the stack. But after the plant died I kicked the stack over and the compost, especially the compost in the bottom and middle tires, was quite wet. Potatoes like well-drained growing media. Whoops. The compost had seemed quite loose when I put it in but it got heavy once it was too wet.

Guinevere the Hen thought the compost was great for scratching up a tasty treat.
Also, my mom came to visit last week and told me I had planted potatoes too late in the season. I think I planted mine in April and she told me that the time to plant potatoes is Valentine's Day. How did I not realize that? Whoops again. I know what I'll be doing next Valentine's Day! I hope Mr. Chanclas thinks potato planting is romantic. Next time I think I'll try using old leaves or straw as the growing medium. Straw can be hard to come by in this part of the country so leaves might be a better bet.

3 comments:

  1. I'm using straw - I'll let you know how it works out. I planted Mother's Day - my plants are doing really well so far.

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  2. Mine are dying, too, but I think it's the natural die-off that precedes the harvest time -- or at least I hope so. Got mine in the ground around 2/18, and am hoping for a second planting later, too. I've harvested from a couple of plants so far and the yield has been paltry, but delicious. It's my first time with potatoes so I know I've got a lot to learn!

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  3. Pamela, I bet yours are dying off naturally since you started early. When will you do a second planting? I'd love to try again right away but I wasn't sure when the next window of opportunity will be.

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