Learn how to make inside out tire planters for your garden. These planters are made from recycled tires that you cut and flip inside out. Save tires from the landfill and create fun garden art with this tutorial.
How to Make a Tire Planter
Millions of tires are discarded every year in the United States. With so many tires headed to the landfill or recycling plants it’s fun to think of creative ways to reuse them. I showed you a few months ago how to grow potatoes out of tires.
Today I am going to share a tutorial on how to make flower or vegetable planters out of old tires. But this is a project with a twist, you’re going to flip your tires inside out! Whether you have a large yard or just a tiny balcony to garden on you can make these rustic tire planters with (relative) ease.
Now I realize that old tires in the garden may not be everyone’s idea of stylin’ outdoor decor but I like rustic, junky, old gardens. I also like using free materials. I am cheap, plus my goal is to have the tires so overflowing with lush foliage that you don’t immediately know it an dirty old tire.
Are Tires Toxic for Gardening?
Short-term, tire planters are okay, although the soil in black tire planters might get hotter than most plants would prefer if they are in direct sun. Long-term, the tire rubber will slowly biodegrade and release zinc, carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and other toxic compounds into your garden soil.
Is it safe to grow vegetables in old tires?
How much leaches from tires? Without analyzing the soil, we just don’t know. How much eventually makes it into the vegetables? Without testing we don’t know. What we do now is that plants are quite adept at absorbing substances from the soil in which they grow. To be on the safe side plant flowers in your tires instead of food that you will eat.
Materials for tire planters:
- Old tires
- Paint (optional)
- Potting soil
Tips for Making a Tire Planter
1) Get yourself some tires. If you don’t have any old tires lying around try Craigslist. People will be begging you to take their old tires away or you could try calling around to some auto shops. They will probably have some tires they can give you too .
2) Take your tire and cut away the inner part of the rubber. Use the natural grooves in the rubber as a guide. If you ever bought one of those fancy Ginsu knives that claim to cut everything from steak to slabs of marble now is the time to dust if off and put it to good use. Please be careful. Nothing ruins a fun DIY project faster than a trip to the emergency room.
3) Now you are going to flip your tire inside out. This is more difficult on tires without rims. Use your feet for support and pull the trimmed edge up. Consider calling a friend with big muscles over to help. The older the tires are the easier this will be
4) Tires with rims are slightly easier. Flip the tire upside down so the trimmed side is face down. Sit in the middle and pull the sides up with all your might.
5) Now that your tires are inside out give them a good spray down with the hose and clean off all the gunk.
6) If you want to paint your tires now is the time to do so. Make sure they are very clean and dry before painting. I like my tires pretty plain Jane which is why I left them au naturale. A google search will bring up tons of inspiration for bright fun colored tires that look like flowers and such.
What type of paint should you use on tire planters?
- Prime the tires. Prime with a spray primer suitable for rubber. This will also help the pain adhere to the tires.
- Use a durable, non-toxic outdoor paint. The paint can be brushed or sprayed on, which is easier. Commercial grade paint for industrial and marine use will be the most durable, but any, non-toxic latext paint outdoor paint will do.
- Choose light colors. Black tires absorb more of the suns energy and can get hot if you place the tires in direct sunlight, which is not good for the plants or children. Painting tires with light colors reflects light and helps keep things cooler.
7) Place your tires where they will have a permanent home. The tires without rims wont have bottoms so they will not be easily moved. Tires with rims have a bottom so the dirt won’t spill completely out. They will however, be quite heavy.
8) Fill your tire planters with potting soil and add your favorite plants.
9) Water liberally and watch your plants grow! Sit back and admire your new planters and feel good knowing not only have you created free rustic planters for your garden, you also just saved unnecessary waste from the landfill.