How to grow vegetables in car tires

Updated February 21, 2017

Save those old car tires and use them to grow vegetable plants. One benefit of growing vegetables in car tires is to keep the tires from cluttering landfills. Another benefit is that the old car tires act as a raised garden bed to promote better drainage for growing plants. Using tires eliminates the need to till the ground to loosen the soil. Gardeners with small spaces will appreciate the ease of growing vegetables in old car tires.

Use protective gloves to protect your hands from cuts.

Lay the car tire on a flat, sturdy surface and cut out the sidewall (or rim) with a sharp utility knife. Use your free hand to steady the car tire from flipping up toward you when you are using the knife. Cutting out the sidewall around the car tire will almost double the interior planting space.

Set the car tire in a location in full sun, with the cut side facing upward.

Place a garbage bag flat on the bottom of the tyre's interior. The garbage bag will act as a weed barrier to prevent weeds from growing among your vegetable plants.

Cover the garbage bag with a 2-inch layer of gravel to aid in drainage. The gravel will help drain excess moisture and prevent root rot.

Fill the old car tire with good-quality potting soil that has been amended with compost. Water the potting soil with a watering can to allow the soil to settle. Add more potting soil to fill the car tire if the soil level dropped.

Plant the vegetable seeds or seedlings within the car tire according to the spacing needs stated on the planting instructions. Ensure you provide individual vegetables with the proper amount of space. For example, because they need so much space, potatoes, pumpkins and larger varieties of tomatoes are probably not suitable for tire planting.

Spread a loose, 2-inch layer of weed-free hay or straw on top of the planting bed to help the soil obtain moisture.

Water the vegetable plants once or twice a week with a watering can--more often if the weather turns extremely hot.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Old car tires
  • Utility knife
  • Garbage bag
  • Gravel
  • Good-quality potting soil with compost amendments
  • Watering can
  • Vegetable seeds or seedlings
  • Weed-free hay or straw
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About the Author

Rachel Turner has been writing professionally since 2000, focusing on gardening and home improvement topics. Her articles have appeared online at SlowTravel and in publications such as the "Arkansas Gardeners," "One Step Ahead" and "Writers Now." Turner holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas State University.