It seems like making tire planters are as old as time, but you can step beyond it just looking like an old tire with dirt in it with a little bit of innovation and are a great way to recycle and lower the carbon footprint.
Picking the Right Tire
First, you have to start with the right tire. Not all tires make a good planter. It’s actually older tires that will be more flexible and are easier to work with, whether you stack them, or use them as is or cut them.
You can use a tire with or without a rim. If you have a tire with a rim then you have a little pedestal that is quite charming. You don’t want tires that are too small, and if you choose something like a tractor tire, you will have to remember you are dealing with something very large and not easily cute
Cutting the Tire
Tire planters can be just a tire with some dirt thrown in it, but it’s far more interesting and can contain more flowers if you invert it and cut the tire. Draw a line where you want to cut since you’re just cutting the soft inner edge any sharp knife will do. Wear is set of garden gloves to protect your hands.
You can also use a sawzall, however if you do put on a good pair of goggles. A Sawzall will make the process faster, but you won’t have the control. Safety first.
Once you cut around the circle and remove the inner lip then you can start to design. Take a ruler and a piece of chalk or a bit of white paint and mark around the tire spacing. Make sure the spacing is wide enough so that you’re not doing a lot of cutting or have too small pieces to invert.
A bit of creativity, you can make arching cuts that make the inversions look like waves or cut out triangles that when pulled out make the planter look like a crown. Then pull back and invert the rim. It sounds simple, but this is a lot of hard work. And there are other effective ways to transform your tires.
The easiest way to ornament a tire is to paint it with outdoor house paint. A fun way to do it is to get small samples from the hardware stor and paint the tires multiple colors. Another option is spray paint. It’s quick, it’s fun, and if you can use stencils to create designs or do your own version of graffiti.
Some other ideas are to hot glue rhinestones or glitter or shells on the sides. Another option is to use glow-in-the-dark paint, this is fabulous to decorate an entryway or line a walkway to your home. As it creates passive lighting in the early evening.
Let the paint dry then place it in your yard or your garden, and fill it with soil and then plants or seeds. With the advantage of putting in your own soil, you can mix compost, vermiculite and perlite to create drain-able soil for your plants to thrive. This gives you more control.
The advantage of having your plants inside the tire if you leave the tire a dark color is it will warm the roots. This is great for the northern climates because you can start vegetables early in the season as the roots of the vegetables won’t be affected by frost. This boundary also protects your plants from some pests.
For the cooler vegetables like peas, lettuce, and spinach use a light color. For vegetables that need warmth like potatoes, peppers, and carrots, keep the tires as black or paint it dark colors.
If you use them as a vegetable garden it’s best to line them with liner used for weeds, so that they don’t release toxins into your vegetables.
A motorcycle or bicycle tire can be morphed into any number of shapes and is light enough to hang from a rope.
One advantage of having tire planters in a garden, is that they are recycled and much less expensive to acquire than wood to build a raised garden. And for vegetables like potatoes, you can stack several tires vertically. Another option is to stagnate the stacking like bricks and create a tire wall that flowers cascade down.