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Small raised garden beds save energy, water, and growing medium! Looking for ways to conserve energy and not dig more than I have to, I covered a large rectangular area with old garden cloth, large pieces of corrugated cardboard, etc. I then arranged old tires, sidewalls removed with a very sharp knife, on the area in an interesting pattern. A hole cut into the garden cloth inside the tire openings completed my new raised planters.
During the winter, I use the tires for small compost piles and in the spring I will fill them up with a mixed growing medium. In between the tires I will cover the area with wood chips so it is an attractive area, and the tires will almost disappear once the plants fill them up.
Source: I adapted my earlier experience with post hole composting and added recent information about raised beds and easy growing mixes from Mel Bartholemew's new edition of "Square Foot Gardening".
By Oldgardener from Thornton, NH
If you can get hold of some old car tyres, stack them up (whatever height is comfortable for you). They make great raised beds for flowers or vegetables. You can fill them part way up with old used compost and top up with new for economy. Great if you have trouble bending or kneeling.
Source: I found the idea in a gardening magazine years ago
By Jan from Grantham. UK
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I need information on how to cut old tractor tires to make a raised bed for strawberries.
Answer: There is a video called "Basic Tire Crafting". From what I hear it is a great resource.
You can use old tires for potatoes as well. Makes harvesting much easier. Might want to use a board, patio or some landscape fabric underneath so it doesn't go through to your yard, then start with one or two tires stacked on top of each other, fill with dirt and plant your starter potato as instructed. You can add more tires and soil as the plant grows so it has plenty of room to create new spuds for you. When it's time to harvest just start removing the tires one at a time, plucking the taters out as you go. I haven't had the chance to do it myself, but my mother is the one who passed the instructions on to me a few years ago.
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tyres can be used quite successfully. It has been said that tyres leach cadmium, not sure about the amounts or which foods are most affected. I have used tyres for potatoes for the last 5 years or so. I find them good from the point of view that I always know where the plants are and also for late crops when it is possible to protect the potatoes from the frosts, to a degree anyway.