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Potatoes on tyres

Message from liz hankins

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Adam thanks for all that info- I agree they went in a bit late but they were sent to me late and are 2nd earlies so I just assumed T& M knew best!
I have now harvested the potaoes from one tyre and had about 12small ones - I have yet to uproot the other as was giving it more time but the leaves have all died now, so I intend to have a rummage very soon.
Next year I might try courgettes in tyres and move them into full sun. I did plant them into real compost at the base on bare earth but higher up they were in compost from bags and yes- I did water every day as had read they need a lot. All in all I decided it was just not cost effective with the amount of compost I bought and time it took to put the tyres together and fill (I lined them with bin liners incase of chemicals).Hey ho!

  • Posted: Thu. 10th September 2009 15:09

potatoes in tyres are very demanding

Message from Adam Rubinstein

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Liz,
When in the ground, potatoes send out a wide network of fine roots to gather nutrients and water. They can't do this in tyres so you have to make up for it by giving them a really rich growing medium and lots of water.
In tyres they will drain very quickly so they would need regular, generous watering if it hasn't rained or if they're too sheltered (by trees).
My guess is that they also don't have enough sun. Being in the shade until 3.00 pm won't be helping them at all. Earlies need to grow quickly so they want lots of sun and rich compost.
Also it sounds like they went in a bit late.
I have also tried growing in tyres with limited success.
My best ever crop of potatoes was from an old potato left in my compost heap, I got 2 carrier bags full. Real compost (rather than the stuff that comes in bags) is really rich and that is ideal for potatoes in tyres, the stuff you buy in bags is really just a growing medium and doesn't have very much nutrient.
I wouldn't hold my hopes too high for potatoes dug up and then re-planted in the hope of them getting bigger. They have a fine network of roots which are likely to be damaged.
I am planning on trying tyres again next year.

  • Posted: Wed. 9th September 2009 22:43


Message from Georgie

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Gill

I can only suggest you follow the advice I posted earlier. If you carefully tip the bags out and they are not ready you can always put them back and wait a bit longer.


  • Posted: Sat. 15th August 2009 20:44

vegatables in containers

General post from Sandra Messham

In forum: Edible gardening

This year I have grown potatoes , peas,broad beans, dwarf beans in bags and they have been great. The only one that didnt work out was Radish they bolted with nothing in the soil anyone know where I went wrong with them.

  • Posted: Wed. 12th August 2009 19:27

no crop

Message from liz hankins

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Georgie
I've had a furkie now and eventually found 4 small new potatoes right at the bottom- none in the earth higher up (4 tyres high!)...That's not much of a crop from 5 plants! But it did feel as if there were possibly more the size of large peas in the earth at the base..I will have to dismantle the tyre piles to see properly.

I sent for Vivaldi but Vales Emerald were substituted and yes- I have found the substitution note says they are 'first earlies' although they only arrived 7 May from Thompson & Morgan.

Does that mean that's all I'll get now or can I feed them something to boost growth?

Many thanks

  • Posted: Wed. 5th August 2009 13:52

I'm a novice too

Message from Georgie

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi again Liz

I grew Potatoes for the first time this year so I'm cetainly no expert. But as I understand it, the terms first earlies, second earlies and maincrop refer to when the potoatoes are harvested, not when they are planted. And as far as I know, the only way you can know which type you have is according to the variety of seed Potato you purchased.

I have also learned that some of the first earlies (and possibly the seconds?) are bred not to flower, so flowers are not always a good indication that the Potatoes are ready to harvest. On other sites I visit the 'seasoned' growers tend to rely on how long the plant has been in the ground (according to variety), foliage dying down and lifting one plant carefully to see if the tubers are ready/or feeling around in the compost.

I hope this helps.


  • Posted: Mon. 3rd August 2009 17:26

Why haven't my potatoes flowered yet?

Message from liz hankins

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Georgie
I am ashamed to say I don't know! Total novice with growing veg and I sent for the potatoes from a newspaper offer-and from memory they didn't arrive until late April or early May so does that make them 2nd earlies or main crop- how do you know?!!
No I haven't looked in the soil- perhaps I should- the foliage is riddled with holes now where slugs(I presume) must be munching- I did keep constant watch over them for the first 6wks or so but have not done so for the past month.
I can't believe how tall they are growing!

  • Posted: Mon. 3rd August 2009 12:34


Question from Vanessa

In forum: Allotments

It's rather sad that my first post should be all about a weed killer but I would be interested if any reader here has been caught out? As it would seem I have !! :o(

The supplier of our manure is considered to be most reliable. He has a farm with horses at livery and is the first to admit he has no control of where his clients buy their hay! So there is no gurantee the manue would be disease free!!

On my plot this year the vegetables that seem to have reacted have been some of my potatoes, and some of the runner beans. Without testing I suppose I can not say for sure that this is the cause of the problem. Certainly with all the rain we have had the plants do look better, and are now growing 'proper' foliage.

I will take pic to show the strange reaction.

I am told that it is safe to eat the veg but I do wonder about it !!! So far I have not dug the spuds yet and I have been eating other beans !!!


  • Posted: Mon. 3rd August 2009 11:27


Message from Georgie

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Liz

Are your potatoes first earlies, second earlies or main crop? And have you tried having a little 'furkle' in the compost to see if any of the tubers are ready to harvest?


  • Posted: Sun. 2nd August 2009 20:25

Why haven't my potato plants flowered yet?

Question from liz hankins

In forum: Edible gardening

I am growing potatoes for the first time and planted them into 2 piles of recycled tyres in May. They are slightly under some trees but get full sun from about 3pm to evening. They are now extremely high and leggy, leaning out of the tyre pile (which is 4 tyres high now) presumably searching for sun? I am reluctant to add any more compost as its costing a fortune (I stopped at tyre 3). ! Should I be worried? No flowers and I keep checking to make sure no potatoes appear above the soil as I have read these are poisonous...

  • Posted: Sun. 2nd August 2009 18:36

Great harvest

Message from Wendy

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Georgie
I've had a great year so far and have grown a lot of veg that I've not grown before. Each success really gives you confidence to try something new. My broadbeans and peas have been great; radish, salad leaves, lettuce and spring onions are planted successionaly as with parsley and coriander and have cost me very little to grow compared to buying them at supermarket prices (plus they taste far more superior). I am now waiting for potatoes, beetroot, calebrese, squash and sweetcorn to mature outside and in the greenhouse I have aubergine and chillis fruiting up nicely and the sweetest cherry tomatoes.

I look forward to hearing about everyone elses crop successes and any recommendations.

Best wishes,
Wendy K.

  • Posted: Mon. 27th July 2009 14:24


Message from Joanne 9919

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Georgie,

You're doing really well considering the small space you're growing in.

Having got the allotment a little late for this year I'm only harvesting Strawberries at the moment.

The potatoes have put on alot of growth in the wet weather and will need earthing up again, and hopefully I'll be digging them up soon.

The peas are flowering and pods forming so it won't be long before they're ready.

I think the first tomatoes I'll be eating are the Micro Tomatoes which you kindly sent the seeds for. I have a tomato on the plant which is just starting to ripen now.


  • Posted: Sun. 7th June 2009 13:29

How's your harvest?

Question from Georgie

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi everyone, I just wondered how everone is doing with their crops?

So far I've had Radish, Spring Onions, a few Peas, Oriental Salad Leaves, new Potatoes and a few Strawberries, and they all tasted delicious. The next crop I'm hoping for is Broad Beans. I'm growing a few plants each of Witkiem Manita and Crimson Flour'd. They have plenty of buds and I'm hoping to beat my record of two ripe pods which was all I managed when I grew them for the first time last year!


  • Posted: Sat. 6th June 2009 19:59

Wrong one!

Message from Kathy C

In forum: Solanum jasminoides 'Album'

Hi, Laura!
Yup, I think you were sent the wrong plant. It is probably S. jasminoides (syn. S. laxum) - the straight species of Potato vine. It has blue-white flowers with yellow anthers like the one in your photo. I don't think it is S. crispum or S. crispum 'Glasnevin' - they tend to be a little more purple than blue-purple. Are you going to contact the supplier? If so, please let me know how you get on - I am curious to know what they do about it! Good luck!
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Sat. 23rd May 2009 19:58

Preventing blight

Message from Kathy C

In forum: Tomato blight

Hi, Clive,
Though we can't control the weather (blight likes cool, damp, wet, weather, this is what I have been told works well in preventing blight:
- Apply a mulch under the plants to prevent water from splashing up on the leaves (water encourages the fungus to grow).
- Water in the early morning - not overnight as this creates a very humid environment aroung the plant and water will be on the leaves longer rather than 'burning off' in the morning sun.
- Make sure there is enough space between the plants.
- Avoid working around the plants when they are wet.
- Remove and destroy any diseased branches as soon as you see them.
- Avoid planting tomatoes where tomatoes, peppers, potatoes or aubergines were planted the year before.
- Choose disease resistant varieties - heirloom types tend to be more prone to blight than newer cultivars.
- Weed, weed, weed!
- Thoroughly clean away dead plants and debris in autumn - this is VERY important since some blights overwinter in plant residue and are soil-borne.
- Feed as regularly as recommended by whichever fertiliser you choose to use - a healthy plant will be better able to fight disease.
Many experts say not to bother with fungicides because once you see the symptoms/signs, it is too late. However, you can use it as soon as you see the first sign of blight. It can't hurt and just might keep it at bay. I have heard that using black landscape fabric has been very effective at preventing blight but I haven't used it myself.
Hope this is of some help. Please let me know how you get on.
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Wed. 13th May 2009 04:47

Designing native plants into a garden

Message from Mark Pumphrey

In forum: Garden Landscaping and Design Forum Event

I believe garden designers should always be prepared use plants that respond to the clients brief and imaginative use of plants can be part of the response. Whilst I can see you are very interested in this subject I can see few situations other than forming a wildflower meadow or natural wild life garden that wild flowers could be introduced into a scheme mixing native plants within the cultivated plants. The main reason for my reservation is the wild flowers are likely to either take over or be lost against the cultivated plant forms. If they take over they would become a maintenance issue making it difficult for the client to control. Secondly most wildflowers would be lost within a planting scheme unless they were planted on mass.

The reason most garden centres do not stock wild flowers will be based upon demand or the lack of it. If they were requested for such plants I am sure they would respond to this business opportunity. As I am not in the retail industry I would suggest you would be best addressing comments about this to the Horticultural Trades Association who are better placed to comment. Likewise they will be able to provide clarification on provenance claims which is always a hot potato not only in this industry but also in the production of food. Terms such as local are always open to interpretation and as such are often used to describe plants that may have travelled some distance.

Mark Pumphrey

  • Posted: Wed. 6th May 2009 18:50


Message from Joanne 9919

In forum: Allotments

Hi Fi,

No tadpoles in my pond. I think I got it in too late for this year.

Work at the allotment is steady. I'm slowly getting it weeded and dug over. My potatoes are in as are some of my strawberries and I've got lots of things in the greenhouse waiting to go in.


  • Posted: Sun. 26th April 2009 07:55


Message from Fi

In forum: Edible gardening

Hi Jo
Guess what - newly shooted seedlings, put them in plastic bags in the mini greenhouse two days ago - checked them this morning and all shrivelled, dead! Back to the nursery I think, or maybe stick to potatoes, sigh.

  • Posted: Sat. 25th April 2009 23:38

My new veggie plot aka 'allotment'

Photo from Fi

In forum: Allotments

Here's a pic of my new 'allotment' at the top of my garden - okay so I have access to a kettle, toilet etc but it's still bliming hard work!
Two little raised beds have brassicas, and salad respectively, large has peas, mange touts, sweet peas and herbs, nearest has runner beans seedlings and seeds planted. Unraised has Charlotte potatoes - yummy salad pots (try to grow the most expensive items to save money). Left of pic has fruit 'aisle' - raspberry canes, blueberry, blackcurrant, rhubarb (tiny yet), James Grieve apple, backed by Greengage trees, loganberries and blackberries. and a little trough of strawberries. Howzat!

  • Posted: Fri. 24th April 2009 21:45

Companion Planting

Comment from Fi

In forum: Gardening for wildlife

Hi all 'edible wildlife friendly gardeners'!
I meant edible veg,not gardeners by the way!
I have discovered a book called Organic Gardening which tells you what to plant to complement/attract relevant insects and butterflies for your veg.
I have now planted nasturtium seeds with my brassicas and potatoes. Also Calendula with my lettuce and carrots. Herbs seem popular with beans and peas, including sage, rosemary and chives. Chives and nasturtium are also good with apples, so I've put some under my tree too. Garden should be a riot come the summer! When I plant out my tomatoes, I'll be putting them with basil and parsley. With the wildlife pond too I must have got something right this year, here's hoping.

  • Posted: Mon. 20th April 2009 21:09