Get an early jump on the gardening season by using old tires as planters. The tires help warm up the soil faster, which speeds up germination and plant growth. They extend the planting area of the garden without a lot of extra digging because they can be placed directly on the lawn. If you don't like the look of the tires, plant fast-growing annuals like marigolds around them.
One to Two Tire Planters
Decide where the tires should be placed. Flowers and vegetables need a sunny spot. Shade lovers should be planted in the shade.
Put a 1-inch thick layer of newspapers on the ground or on the lawn, underneath the tire. The newspapers will kill the grass and weeds underneath it. Eventually the paper will decompose and add organic matter to the soil. The roots of the plants will grow through the newspaper. Place the tire on the newspaper.
Fill the tire with potting soil. Add slow-release fertilizer as the package directs and mix in well.
Place the plant in the middle of the tire, or plant three seeds in the center of the tire. Thin to the strongest seedling.
Tower of Tires
Build a taller tower of tires for plants that vine and are heavy feeders. Fill the first two bottom tires with composting materials such dead leaves, grass clippings and kitchen refuse of vegetable and fruit peelings. The ingredients will turn into compost as the plants grow.
Tamp the compost materials down. Pound in the stakes equal distant around the inside of the tires. The stakes should be as long as the tower is tall plus 6 inches. Place two more tires on top of the bottom two. Make sure the stakes are inside the tires. Fill with potting soil. Water well to settle the soil. Add more soil if required.
Plant cucumbers, tomatoes, melons and vining squash like spaghetti or acorn in the towers, two plants to each tower. The height of the tower gives the vines more area to grow without taking up more square footage of the garden. By the time the season is over, the materials at the bottom will have decomposed.
About this Author
Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.