gardening in tires

July 7, 2008 at 5:29 pm 3 comments

Why tires? First off, they’re easy to come by; mine came from an Earth Day cleanup and from my car (after a pothole ripped a hole in one tire). In fact, people keep offering me tires, leaving me tires, etc. I say, “Start your own tire garden!”

Tires are a traditional gardening container in the US and worldwide, especially in developing countries. Tire gardens can be found in rural, in suburban, and in urban America, and all over the world…see examples in Guatemala, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Mexico, Kenya, Trinidad & Tobago, and more.

Tires are durable, convenient, portable, and logical containers, especially when you’re a devotee of Mel Bartholemew’s Square Foot Gardening. A retired engineer (can’t you tell?), Bartholemew advocates laying out vegetable gardens as series of 1-foot-squares and figuring out how many veg like radishes (16), spinach plants (9), heads of lettuce (4), or tomato plants (1) can fit in each. Tires openings run about 17″ in diameter…not far off from the golden 1-foot square. Also, tires heat up and retain warmth.

And to top it off, tires stand in for the ultimate consumer expense: the new car. It’s time to turn that around.


Entry filed under: gardens, tire gardens. Tags: , , , .

Roots of Green Zone: inspirations and issues Making Green Zone: materials and construction

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1.  |  July 7, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Gardening in tires does work, I remember my folks using tractor tires to contain a garden. It was easy to kneel on the tires to pull weeds and maintain the plants.

  • 2. greenzonegarden  |  July 8, 2008 at 2:51 am

    tractor tires would be fun…even more sculptural than car tires. And the Green Zone tire gardens are working wonders. For example, the basil is taller and the lettuce is healthier than the basil and lettuce I planted in my own backyard raised bed garden.

  • 3. Pamela Thompson  |  August 5, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I’ve got 7 tractor tires, 2 truck tires and one dump truck tire that are my garden. We are loving using thes free items to make our raised bed garden. Not all have been planted in this year as we just got 6 of them last week from But we are making plans for expanding our growing for next year. Currently I have blueberries, blackberries, sweet potato, and pumpkins growing in my tires. What a lovely way to use something that others throw away.


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