Red Potato Plants

Tire Potatoes Didn’t Grow

Anonymous added on September 13, 2015 | Answered

We planted small red potatoes that we got from the local garden store in tires. Followed all of the instructions we could find, watering well, letting the foilage grow up and then keeping about 4 inches of it left but covering the rest with soil and stacking a new tire on top. The plants grew heartily, as did the rest of our garden. When the flowers on the plants died off, we dumped the tires to see our bountiful crop of potatoes. There were no potatoes. Not a single one, except for the starters down the very bottom. What could we possibly have done wrong? Thanks.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 15, 2015

This is usually one of two things:

Temperatures may have been too warm, which was true with much of the country this season. Potatoes like to cooler temps. Keep the soil piled up as the plant grows or add a generous layer of mulch.

A nitrient imbalance may also be to blame - such as too much nitrogen, too little phosphorus. An abundance of nitrogen results in lush foliage growth with little to no blooms or fruit. You can remedy this by adding bone meal to the soil to encourage more root growth.

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