For people with limited space, poor soil, or who want to recycle, there is an easy solution to the problem of growing your own vegetables. Car tires can be recycled as vegetable planters. This type of gardening can work well for root vegetables, bush plants and some smaller vine varieties.
Set a tire on its side on the ground. Wear goggles and gloves while doing this step. Use one hand to hold the tire down. Use the utility knife to cut around the sidewall facing you; cut away the sidewall where it meets the tread. Remove the sidewall completely so that there are only the sides and bottom of the tire.
Slice the cut-out sidewall into four equal pieces. Set the remaining half of the tire in the permanent location with the cut-out side facing up.
Place the garbage bag into the tire so that it covers the hole. Set the four cut rubber pieces on top of the garbage bag around the outer edge of the hole.
Put a 1-inch layer of gravel in the tire. Make sure the gravel covers the entire bottom of the tire. This will be the drainage for the soil.
Mix together the soil and the organic compost so you get a ratio of 2:1 or two parts soil to one part compost. Fill the tire with the soil mix, starting around the walls and working in towards the center. Fill to the top of the tire planter.
Plant the vegetables in the tire planter. Follow the spacing and depth directions for each specific vegetable. Use one tire per vegetable type (carrots in one tire, radish in another tire).
Repeat steps 1 through 6 for each car tire you want to grow vegetables in.
Water your tire garden so that the soil within each tire is moist but not damp. Avoid standing water in the tires as this can drown plants and seeds. Water once weekly until plants are well established. Then water to keep the soil from drying out. Test the moisture of the soil by putting your finger into the soil an inch deep; if you feel moisture the soil is damp and doesn't need watering. Each plant and tire may be different so remember to check each tire.
Stake tall plants such as peas and tomatoes. Set up a tepee trellis for vines, such as cucumber and beans, to grow up: place four even-length stakes along the inner edge of the tire; rest the top of the stakes against each other so they form a tepee in the middle. Tie the tops together.
Put the chicken wire around the outside of the tire to keep deer, rabbits, squirrels and other pests from eating your food.