best idea I've read, for raised beds, from recycled car tires

strawberrygoatDecember 31, 2002

This idea, I came across clearly by accident. I'm getting a hoop house soon, dirt cheap and was looking for information about the construction of one. Retracing my steps, here goes...Google...hoop houses...The 3rd post is "hoop houses for early crops 2002"...scroll down to related articles "permanent raised beds"...choose a topic, top on recycled auto tires for raised beds...from there it walks ya through the tearing down of tires and reconstruction of raised beds from the rubber. I've only been aware of tires being used as is and filled with dirt. Or for potatoes, to fill and layer up with more intact tires. This other idea of the beds being outlined by the tire material seems to be a rugged, sturdy, heat absorbing, clean, smooth and eye appealing way to go. I have 4 of them in the back yard as I post. I've tossed as many, in the past month when I got the snow tires. Any takers on this idea? Have others even heard of this concept? Don't know that I'd dare to tackle the tractor tires available at the farm near by. Sure would be a nice height to work at, though. I'd sure like to know what any of you out there think about this idea and how you'd approach it.

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adrianag(AL z7)

There's cause for concern using tires for borders due to leaching of zinc and other metals into the soil. It's OK for ornamentals but you don't want to grow edibles in them.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2002 at 3:58PM
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tonight I have some information about the effects of using the tires in any kind of garden. When it was brought to my attention there could be anything to be concerned about from the content of the tires, I did a search this afternoon to find all I could, before moving along with my plan to use the tires. I got in touch with the research dept. of the source of the original post on the web. The reply is that any information they have been able to obtain suggests there is no appreciable risk using tires in the food garden. Yes, rubber does contain extremely small amounts of certain heavy metals but one needs to know that these compounds are fixed tightly in the rubber matrix and do not leach. If the tires were that pourous, they would never be able to hold air. Also, zinc is an essential plant nutrient, so there is nothing to worry about in that regard, from that element. There is no risk from petroleum or gas to their knowledge. They also can guarantee that the rubber is much safer to use than arsenic laced treated lumber. Since I wasn't really even thinking about the vegetable part of the garden in the first place, I'm at ease with the information at hand. I've done my homework and got the feed back that will make planting anything I had intended to, with out any hesitation. I'd be more fearful of what the neighbor dog dumps around the garden, than I would an old, worn to the ground, no tread left, tire. Come to think of it, if I use the tires, the dog will still have his way with them. There's where any appreciable risk is, in using those tires.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2002 at 11:19PM
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wpooh(z6a Mo.)

Thanx for the link and your researce strawberrygoat!!! I was so excited to get this info hubby said that tires also attracts snakes to the warmth. He said they like to bed in the warmth that the tires supply. Did you get any feedback on this? Please keep us informed. I still want to try this but I live way out in the country where we have COPPERHEADS! I don't what that HEE! Thanxs again for the link though ...I saved it in my FAVORITES!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2003 at 10:44AM
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yeah, it's in my favorites, too. I e-mailed the same person who is responsible for the study of the tires used in the gardens. To his knowledge, there hadn't been any danger and if there was a possibility of snakes wanting to make a home, there would be a few things to counteract it. If you choose to pile the tires for planting, then the inside could be lined to discourage any snakes trying to get inside. Check any and all tires before even beginning to use them. See, I wouldn't have had that concern because we only have little garden snakes around here. In eastern Washington, there are rattlesnakes but I'm on the west side of the state. It isn't the dry flat lands of the desert type of land. Anyway, check tires. Then choose how you plan to use them. The way I want to do is to use only the actual part of the rubber that touches the road. Everything else is cut away. It leaves strips of rubber to work with. The same idea used to make sandles. When the rubber is in these strips and laid out, they're stapled to pieces of wood at intervals, to make a continuous runner, to be set in place. The length, width and height are all a personal choice. Basically, instead of 2x4's running the length of the planting bed, it's flat rubber. One tire width or more high, to make the border around the planting area. That's how I have intentions of using them. I can't imaging a snake wanting to cozy up to that. I think if I had any snakes around like you do, I'd be gardening inside a warm sunny vault of some kind. No way would I be outside any where near that kind of critter. Hope you still try the tire frame beds.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2003 at 9:02PM
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leah_zone5(z5 Missouri)

I have two inside out tulip tire planters. Mine are full of prickley pear cactus that drapes over the side. They were full of fruit this year. I think this design discourages snakes, I would think they would be simple, but physically hard to make. You would need to know someone who is strong and good with tools.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2003 at 11:10AM
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I plant in tires. I lay the tire on its side. Take a piece of chalk, lay the chalk on it's side over the highest part of the bead on the side of the tire. Slide the the chalk around the tire. Cut the tire on the mark. Without the bead on the tires, you can fill the tire completely with soil and not have an air space. You can fill the top tire with soil, place a plastic mulch over the soil and then place the tire bead back in place. Plant through the slit in the mulch. In early spring, cover the tire with clear plastic to warm the soil. Place the beadedge on the plastic to hold the plastic in place. When the soil warms up, plant in the soil. Put another tire on the top and put the plastic and bead on top of that. Instant hot house. Gardening is a adventure, enjoy the trip.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2003 at 8:50PM
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Can you paint tyres to make them look a bit more attractive in the garden? which paint would be best if you can?

many thanks

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 10:09AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

The toxicity problem with tires is the metal belts that are inside, not the rubber.

When you choose your tires, don't get the ones that are so worn that the metal belts are exposed.

Plain old latex or acrylic paint sticks to them pretty well.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:25AM
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Turned tires are very popular here for feed bunks for livestock, especially large tractor tires. There is a gentleman locally that built a machine that turns the tires inside out, charges $50 to turn tractor tires if you supply the tire. I have seen turned tractor tires listed on Craigslist for $70, very reasonable for a large raised bed.

I had strawberries planted in one, it was great. Just the right height to pick berries and weed. The only down side was, my large dogs thought it was a great place to stand to survey their domain. Also was the perfect height for deer to dine without lowering their heads, the best way for them to eat and watch for 2 venison loving dogs. I have several that I use for feeding my horses in the winter. I have wooden raised beds in my front yard. I am not sure I want tires in the front yard so I haven't taken the horse feed bunks to use for the garden--yet.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 2:20PM
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Here in the deep south where it can really get hot in the summer, Tires exposed to the sun tend to heat up the soil pretty bad and damage the roots so i would suggest that the tires be painted white. A good paint for this is the type that has UV protection built in(Like the coating for Campers and roofs available at HD and Lowes

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:30AM
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I use tires in my garden here at the base of the Rocky Mountains
I paint the tires white to control the temperature and UV exposure.
I also fasten vertical wood around the tire held on with banding material. The finished product looks like a wood barrel.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 10:44PM
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