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Planting a Garden in Old Tires

I have a few tires set up as retaining wall, and want to plant in them. I am getting some bad vibes about toxic stuff. Could I line them with black plastic (can't find the # for it ) or how about old pool liner? However, that might be PVC and that seems to be even worse! What to do, what to do?

By Ray from Mayer, AZ

Answers:

Planting a Garden in Old Tires

Hi Ray. Well, as a matter of fact, I've been frustrated lately that I've not had time to do my veggie gardens as I had in the past. Previously, I'd been in an area with crummy ground, mostly sorta sandy and "dull." I had a bunch of old tires (a friend years past made a business of cutting 'em, turning 'em inside out (would you believe!) and painting them, they came out looking like ceramic pots!)

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Anyway, back to my experiences. I just took old tires, put some chicken wire in the bottom, so critters like gophers couldn't enter the planter from below and filled them with a combination of the sandy soil/dirt I had, oak leaf mulch (we had an abundance of oak trees around) and some planting mix. I then filled the tires with seed of anything you could think of and my veggies were fantastic! Peas, beans, corn (yes, corn!), tomatoes, carrots, radishes, lettuce, snow peas, beats, and onions, all wonderful!

I just watered them from time to time, if the soil seemed dry, the tires kept the heat in and soil moist, even though above ground. I never even gave a thought to anything like toxic stuff, and no one ever got sick or touchy-tummy from anything eaten from my garden.

And by the way, I didn't go out and buy new seeds every season. I've often had great success with years-old seeds.

So, my suggestion (who am I to give "advice"?) is: Go for it, Ray, and have fun! (I'll be thinking of you at least until I can get my own above-ground tire-garden started again!) (04/02/2011)

By AuntieBim

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