Fischer experiments with growing potatoes

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 8/25/99.

Vic Fischer Beauty shop talk turned into an experiment for Vic Fischer, Paynesville.

While getting his hair cut at Ruthie's last spring, Fischer heard about growing potatoes in a car tire. "It is supposed to produce 100 pounds of potatoes from one plant," Fischer said.

Julie Fischer, his wife, purchased one seed potato which they cut into several pieces. "We left the seed potato piece on top of the ground, covered it slightly with dirt, then waited for it to grow," Fischer said.

Once the plant is over a foot tall, a person places a car or truck tire around the plant, leaving half the plant exposed above the tire rim. Then they place some dirt cover around the plant inside the tire. As the plant grows, more tires are added. Fischer has one plant that is six tires high and another is five tires high. The tires he used measure anywhere from 14 to 16 inches in diameter.

"Basically, you never cover more than half the tire. The branches you cover turn into roots which will produce more potatoes inside the tire rim," Fischer said.

Fischer said he has had several people stop by and see his experiment this summer. When he lifts the potato stalks upright, they are as tall as he is.

He was told that to stop the growth of the plant, he needed to stop adding tires to the height of the plant. Now it is a wait and see situation. Once the stalks start turning brown, they will lift off the tires one by one and start harvesting the potatoes.

"I've talked to different people who have heard about the experiment, but they have never tried it themselves," Fischer added.

Fischer and his family are anxious to see what the plant produces in a couple of weeks.

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