Years ago, it was common to see Rubber Tire Gardens on rural farms, at least in my neck of the woods. Car tires were sometimes used for this purpose, but they were easily disposed of when you took your car into to buy new tires. More often, you saw Rubber Tire Gardens made out of large tractor tires. Today, with the assortment of tires available on farm tractors, yard tractors and trailers, four wheelers, and so on, there are many sizes available to the average gardener. With the know-how, you can easily learn how to build your own homemade Rubber Tire Gardens.
Why would you want to use rubber tires to make a garden with? There are many reasons. First, tires are easy to acquire. If you don’t have any old tires to use, you can visit your local tire stores. Tire stores often sell for cheap, or even give away, used tires their customers have brought in.
Second, since rubber is a durable material, it lasts for years and years to come. Rubber tends to dry rot after a time of being exposed to the sun and other elements. But even then, it never breaks down and decomposes. This is one reason why mulch that’s made out of ground up rubber tires is so excellent. Once its put into place, it never has to be replaced.
Third, homemade Rubber Tire Gardens, by the very design of a tire, creates raised flower and vegetable beds. Raised beds have advantages over planting flowers or vegetables directly into the ground. You don’t have to dig into hard ground and remove rocks and weeds to clear an area. Less weeds tend to grow inside Rubber Tire Gardens. The drainage of water is better, and you save your back by not having to kneel, or bend over as much, to take care of plants in the ground. In fact, if you use large farm tractor tires for your gardens, you can actually sit on the side of the tire and take care of your plants in a rather comfortable fashion!
To build your own homemade Rubber Tire Gardens, you’ll need to decide what you want to plant and where you want it to be located in your yard. If you want a large garden, a farm tractor tire works well. Car tires work well for medium-sized gardens, and smaller tires, such as those that fit a four wheeler vehicle, are best for individual plants.
Whether you paint or otherwise decorate the tires before you use them, is your own personal taste. In the fashion world, the color black goes with everything! However, in your yard, the black color of the rubber tires may not blend in to your liking. So, you can use a good enamel paint to decorate the tires you use. Just make sure that the rubber is clean, free from oil and grease, and is dry, before you apply the paint. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before you begin to build your homemade Rubber Tire Gardens.
The tires I’ve seen that were used to plant in were used as they are. By leaving the sidewalls intact, the tires are sturdier. But, you may choose to use an electric saw to carefully cut out the sidewalls of the tires.
Then, once your tires are ready for use, decide on the first location of your Rubber Tire Garden. Measure the width of the tire you’re going to use. Clear off large debris, such as rocks, in a round area the tire will fit onto. The rubber sides of the tire will help keep weeds and grass at bay. However, to avoid having weeds grow up on the inside of the tire, you may want to lay down a piece of black garden plastic on the ground. Or, once you’ve put the tire in place, you can fill the bottom with a layer of mulch.
Finally, lay the tire in place and fill it with clean soil. You can then either sow seeds inside the rubber tire or use young plants to make your garden with.
I’ve also seen ingenious people use rubber tires to protect saplings they’ve planted in their yards. The tires are excellent in protecting the trees from accidentally getting mowed off.
Once you build a homemade Rubber Tire Garden, another beauty of it is that it can be moved, or removed, without a lot of work, if need be.