Q: I was inspired this year by ECHO (Educational Concerns for Haiti Organization) Farms in Florida to do a tire garden! They are doing great things for global farming!
With tires there is always a fine line between usefulness and “the unkept look of a junk yard” so I decided to do my best to make it look nice.
This project cost me approximately $100. The only thing I paid for was soil, paint, landscaping fabric and seeds.
Why a tire garden?
- The tires are free (Tire shops have to pay to get rid of old tires so they will give them to you for free)
- If you paint the tires a light color they will not get as hot
- Tires offer great water retention
- If you fill up the tube area of the tires with bottles you reduce the amount of soil needed.
- Or, you can cut the tires and eliminate any wasted space.
- Tires can be stacked for people who like to grow potato plants by covering them with soil.
- $35 for 1/2 cubic yard of organic soil by the truck load
- $20 for supplemental potting soil that was needed towards the end of the project
- $8 for mushroom compost filler additive
- $0 for our own compost filler additive
- $5 for 1 gallon of paint from the clearance rack at the home depot.
- $8 for 2 cans of spray clear enamel to help the paint on the tires.
- $10 for landscaping fabric
- $18 for bagged mulch
- I already owned most of the flower pots and I find them over time at yard sales and thrift stores.
Tips I learned…..
- Go to a mom and pop tire place instead of NTB. Chains can not give you very many tires. I got 14 from a mom and pop shop just by “stopping by” one day.
- Ask for “low profile” tires. They give you the same (or larger) hole than regular tires but have less tube space which is not usable.
- You can avoid this all together and cut the tires, but I think this makes them look more junky.
- Ask friends and family to save bottles of all sizes for a few weeks before the project.
A: Very nice!
Some folks argue that shredded tires can leach toxic materials into the soil but I am not convinced this is true for whole tires such as you are using.
If anyone has evidence that whole tires are somehow harmful to people or plants, please contact me.