Pros and cons on growing in old tires - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 01/24/07, 04:18 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Colorado
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Pros and cons on growing in old tires

Can we talk about this now that it's winter for most of the country?

Being in Colorado there are certain crops that just won't hardly grow - melons being at or near the top of the list. The issue is night temperatures/growing season. The only thing we've managed a harvest with is Minnesota Midget. I keep thinking maybe growing in stacked tires in the answer, even with short season varieties. Easy to protect, soil is warmed quickly. Could even be on moveable sleds of wood.

So here's my question: Is growing in tires healthy? I've seen both sides of this issue. Your thoughts? Your experiences? Line them with plastic?

And yes, I know it works like gang-busters. But I hestitate ...

As always, thank you for sharing the wisdom of your experience and research helping us all become better gardeners.
BW

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  #2  
Old 01/24/07, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyW
So here's my question: Is growing in tires healthy? I've seen both sides of this issue. Your thoughts? Your experiences? Line them with plastic?
Recycling tires for planting flowers and vegetables have been around for a long time with nobody coming up with any reasonable excuse for not doing so. Whatever negative myths have been offered have been shot down. Just eat the vegetables, not the tires!

Martin
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  #3  
Old 01/25/07, 08:09 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Colorado
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Thanks Martin. I think I'll try it this year with melons. I remember years ago an elderly woman at the coast won blue ribbons every year at the Ventura County Fair using that method growing potatoes. I was reading about this method yesterday and the success they have with it in Haiti - using it on roof tops!
BW

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  #4  
Old 01/25/07, 08:31 AM
 
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Maybe try growing things like melons on plastic have you given any thought to this? I'm going to experiment with some plastic this year its worth a try I feel. Im in South Dakota with up and down weather. Good Luck!

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  #5  
Old 01/25/07, 08:48 AM
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If I remember right when I was in CO. Some people would use tires and put clear plastic over the top. tires heat up well in the CO sun,tend to hold the heat, and the plastic helps hold the heat in. You can start with one tire and then stack as the plant gets bigger. There like mini greenhouses.

IF you did melons maybe as the melon grows you could set them on the tire and keep them off the ground and bugs. Just a thought.

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  #6  
Old 01/25/07, 12:02 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Tires are considered hazardous waste in many places, so that makes me hesitate before growing food in them.

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  #7  
Old 01/25/07, 01:31 PM
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When you cut them, turn them inside out, and wash them? There is not any hazardous 'waste' that comes off of them.

Sleepers/railroad ties? YES. Creosote is nasty. Don't use them if you can avoid them.

Tires? No. They are safe. Peppers LOVE LOVE LOVE tires to grow in. Kale does a nice job too... And they are slightly raised and the line trimmer can't destroy them (nor does it destroy the line trimmer)...

I have used the 'rings' (from the side walls) for dog toys, erosion control, etc.

They aren't hazardous.

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  #8  
Old 01/25/07, 01:46 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Y'know, you really shouldn't tell me such things... now I'm going to scrounge for tires, in addition to my constant search for chicken coop expansion materials... sigh.

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  #9  
Old 01/25/07, 05:42 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tennessee
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Hmmm!

At first I guess I thought of some of the old myths. But then when you think about it...they now make "rubber mulch" out of old tires. I've seen it at the garden centers. SO...maybe it is fine.

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  #10  
Old 01/25/07, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantaholic
At first I guess I thought of some of the old myths. But then when you think about it...they now make "rubber mulch" out of old tires. I've seen it at the garden centers. SO...maybe it is fine.
I think that every detractor got shot down when it was pointed out long ago that we've already been eating, drinking, and breathing tires for over 100 years with no adverse effects. And everyone knows that they last a day less than forever after they're worn out! Any later use is a very much added bonus.

Martin
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  #11  
Old 01/25/07, 10:15 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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My tomatoes LOVE them! And everything else I've grown in there too!

Last year I posted a "wanted - used tires" on Freecycle and got an email guy who had bought a dairy farm with 200 tires. JACKPOT!!! I would have gladly taken them all, but he never responded to my phone messages about picking it all up, DARN IT!

One less tire in the land fill I always say - SCROUNGE AWAY!

kids

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  #12  
Old 01/26/07, 08:18 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ohio
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The only reason that I know of for tires to be considered hazardous is that unattended they hold some water and that is where mosquitos breed.

One can cut the sidewall off of a tire with a sturdy knife. I use a lenolium knife. Then turn the tire surface inside out. This gives a round raised bed the size of a tire. You can fill it with soil and put another right on top of it. If you like to do your raised bed gardening at countertop height just stack them 4 high. Most plants will set roots down a considerable distance in good soil. I am able to raise all kinds of things at belt buckle heights using tires for the beds. It is great to go out and get radishes, cucumbers, and lettuce in one handful. Then get a couple of tomatoes in the other hand on the way to the kitchen. It is like having my own salad bar, no waiting.

I have been using tires for about 15 years for the garden. They are real easy to come by, just ask around. Most any tire shop will most likely just load your wagon for you, if you ask.

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  #13  
Old 01/27/07, 11:23 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: east texas
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find u a tire shop that handles big trucks tractors and maybe a dozer. they will gladly give away tire. that just means that they dont have to pay to have them hauled off. they r now recycling them into the highways.

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  #14  
Old 01/28/07, 11:27 PM
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this is so great! I was wondering what to do for my garden containers this year!!! Thanks so much for the tips!

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  #15  
Old 01/29/07, 09:22 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Idaho
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I have a big tractor tire setting out here big enough to use for a horse feeder or a BIG tomato patch! Just come and get it! Outside of Lewiston, Idaho. Any takers???

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  #16  
Old 01/29/07, 11:40 AM
loves all critters
 
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I use my big tractor tire as a COMPOST CONTAINER. aLSO THINKING ABOUT USING ONE AS A CHICKEN brooder. sorry about the caps, but my kitten is helping.

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  #17  
Old 01/29/07, 11:15 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sandy, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidsngarden
My tomatoes LOVE them!
kids
I'll second that! We get plants every year that are 7 or 8 feet tall with tons of tomatoes on them. Someone above said peppers love them too...thanks for the tip, I'm gonna try that this summer.
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  #18  
Old 01/31/07, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gailann Schrader

Sleepers/railroad ties? YES. Creosote is nasty. Don't use them if you can avoid them.
Unused/new "railroad ties" like from a garden place do not have creosote in them anymore.
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  #19  
Old 02/10/07, 09:23 PM
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I'm thinking of snagging some old tires and putting my squash and melons in them. Maybe it will give them enough of a boost to get sturdy before the Squash Vine Borers start in again...

Pony!
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  #20  
Old 02/11/07, 06:31 AM
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how and why do you turn a tire inside out?
you cant just plunk it on the ground and use it as it sits?

also, here in Indy, ground up tires are now used for a semi soft flooring underneath playground equipment in parks and preschools. I think they would be fine to grow your food so long as you wash them first.
I wonder though, lining up fifty tires in a row would be a whole lot less growing area than a raised bed of that size.

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