Bright ideas instead of trash (1) - The lazy tyre gardener! Start of a new series!

chrysoliteStarred Page By chrysolite, 23rd Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Organic

Cleverly decorated, recycled tyres can be made into nice planters. And with the "right" system, it's low maintenance, can be done anywhere and produces organic food and/or flowers in abundance.


To start, choose normal car tyres that you find on a rubbish tip or maybe a friend wants to get rid of his/her old car tyres. These are not too heavy to lift and can also be conveniently "rolled" to the place where you want to make your tyre garden. With clever decoration this can even be inside the house, on a balcony, in a garden or even in a field.

Old tyres are an eye-sore to most people, so it's a good idea to decorate them with sack cloth, aluminium foil or maybe paint them green or purple. If you wrap something around the tyres, it has the additional advantage that an air space is created which can keep your plants just that little bit warmer. Once you pile 3 or 4 of these decorated tyres on top of each other, they can even be covered with recycled glass or plastic to make little greenhouses for early planting.

An additional advantage is that tyres are round (state the obvious!). We live in an area where we get lots of gusty storms and for that reason we will never have any other than round constructions for anything. We've repaired other shapes too often after the storms. I'm even thinking of an "egg-shaped" building now, but that'll be another article. Round, oval and egg-shaped is strongest.

Materials needed

  • 3 to 4 car tyres per "plant pot"
  • sack cloth, aluminium foil or paint to decorate the tyres
  • good soil and compost mixed
  • seeds, seedlings or plants
  • guano fertiliser for extra good results
  • small gardening tools
  • watering can

Gardening almost "all year round"

Depending in which climate zone you live, you will certainly extend the growing period with this tyre planter or if you live in Spain for example, you can probably garden all year round with them, protecting the plants with a plastic or glass cover from too much rain and storm, or with an openly woven mat or grid to protect the plants from too much sun.

The super lazy tyre gardener

Well, imagine you have time, but not a lot of money and you consider a garden shovel a torture instrument for your back - like me. Then you just roll the tyres into place, decorate them and start throwing in kitchen scraps and any other organic matter into them. Maybe you find a few earth worms too after the rain, add them and wait until the organic matter is converted into soil.

I started off with 4 tyre pots and added another one every other year. The first one I filled with shop bought soil and compost for "instant gardening success" and the others I filled with any organic material I could lay my hands on. In the bottom I filled in twigs too, and further up grass cuttings, some medicinal herbs, straw, sawdust, some sand and even a bit of clay, whatever I could find. Depending on how much rain this compost gets (or you might want to water it regularly) it might take around a year to convert to soil after which you can add a bit more good soil and guano and start planting.

Here's to gardening success!

Have you got a bright idea how to recycles rubbish? If so, I would be glad if you left me a comment in the comment box below, or sign up free with and write an article about it. I'm sure I won't be the only one who will read and appreciate it.

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Bright, Compost, Gardening, Idea, Lazy, Left-Overs, Plants, Recycling, Rubbish, Seedlings, Seeds, Soil, Trash, Tyres

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