Pros and cons on growing in old tires

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by BeckyW, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    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
     

  3. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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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
     
  4. circlevranch

    circlevranch Well-Known Member

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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!
     
  5. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  6. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tires are considered hazardous waste in many places, so that makes me hesitate before growing food in them.
     
  7. Gailann Schrader

    Gailann Schrader Green Woman

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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.
     
  8. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  9. plantaholic

    plantaholic Active Member

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    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.
     
  10. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  11. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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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
     
  12. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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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. :)
     
  13. sleeps723

    sleeps723 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  14. autumnbloom

    autumnbloom Member

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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! :)
     
  15. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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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??? :)
     
  16. the mama

    the mama loves all critters Supporter

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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.
     
  17. Jen South

    Jen South Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  18. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    Unused/new "railroad ties" like from a garden place do not have creosote in them anymore.
     
  19. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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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!
     
  20. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.