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Tire Container Gardens

Tips on using a tire for your container garden.

tire used as a container for flowers

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Container gardening doesn't always have to mean buying more pots. Using an old tire for your flowers is a great way to change things up.

Container gardens can be made out of just about anything that can hold soil. They are perfect for growing flowers, vegetables and fruits in small spaces. One type of container people use all over the world for their container gardens is old tires. Since they are easy to find, last a long time, and are easy to move, old tires seem to be a smart choice for a container garden.

However, how safe is it to plant vegetables or fruits in an old tire? Old rubber tires degrade over time and leach harmful chemicals into the soil.

If you’ve decided that you definitely want to plant a container garden in an old tire, try these tips:

  1. Keep it from contaminating the soil underneath it by laying it down flat on wood or bricks to prop the tire off the ground.
  2. Line the inside with plastic to keep the soil away from the tire walls.
Give us your opinion on Tire Container Gardens.
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Unfortunately there is very little validated data on what, or how much (if any) harmful chemicals are leeched into the soil. And, I have found NO peer reviewed, validated research that confirms what toxic chemicals (if any) actually are absorbed by the plant AND into the fruit.

Yet article after article either warn against using tires quoting the same old non-verified "facts" OR promote it as a good idea.

And folks, putting containers (tires or anything else) on wood or other hard surfaces or lining with plastic is not a good practice to start with.

The jury isn't just out on this --- they haven't even been assembled. Personally, I will use other safe containers until some actual research is done on this (on food/container production, not just what is in the ground in a 100 year old dump site).
Norm, Bellingham, WA
Posted: 3/4/2014 7:54:39 AM
We used them as sand boxes
Sue, Chicago, IL
Posted: 8/28/2013 4:40:16 PM
Why risk contaminating the soil? Tire is only one of many options (myself it's not even an option!)There are plenty more to choose from.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 5/31/2013 4:45:40 PM
Beautiful!
Galadriel, Lothlorien, ME
Posted: 3/18/2013 11:43:27 PM

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