Raised beds are very effective and beneficial from a health point of view. You can maintain your plants easily in raised per as compared to in-ground beds. As you know bending and kneeling are part of gardening, if you have any physical issues then gardening will become difficult for you, to avoid such problems you can install raised beds.
The other most important benefit is that you can maintain the fertility of the soil which is not possible in-ground beds. You can add compost, fertilizer, manure, and other organic materials to make the soil more fertile. You can use different materials to provide all the nutrients to your soil which will result in a better yield of vegetables for other plants.
You can use different materials for building raised beds. Here we are going to discuss how we can make raised beds by using tires. We will explain the method of making beds step by step in detail. Follow the instructions so you will be successful.
STEP 1: ALL THINGS YOU NEED
The first step is the collection of all materials which you need for making a raised bed. The following material is essential for completing this project.
The sizes of different tires are as follows you can choose the size according to your desire.
- The size of tractor tires is 75 and up.
- The size of semi tires is about 36.
- The size of car tires is about 18.
You need mulch for your raised bed. Spread a layer of mulch at the bottom ⅔ of each stack. If you are using tractor tires it means that they don’t need the support of mulch in the bottom. You just need some short logs and use that which is cheaper than high-quality topsoil.
- Planting Soil
High-quality planting soil is needed for the top of the stack but it is recommended that you should use local compost with the soil.
You should use light colors to cover the tires to prevent overheating of soil and the plants.
- Wood scraps
You can use crown cuts from sawmills, straight liner cuts off from hardwood processing. You can also use old fence boards or pallets. If you have wood scraps then you will need a way to attach them. If you are using pallets then it is a great option.
- Seeds or Plants
- Tools you will need
- Chop saw
- Wheelbarrow and shovel
- Pallet bander
- Tape measure
- Corded drill
It is very important to measure all tires before you pick them. One more important thing is to choose the tires which have a common diameter. To stack properly, a tire must match the one below it in diameter. The difference of one inch can be adjusted but more difference is not acceptable for this project.
STEP 2: CUT OUT THE SIDEWALLS
This is the most difficult part of this project. Try to prevent your tires from trapping water because this is the reason for killing the plants. Tractor tires are very easy to cut after car tires and in the last, we have semi tires. Semi tires are more difficult to cut. You need to cut the wall about an inch to have something to screw to.
STEP 3: LEVEL THE BASE
The next step is to level the base, this will help to extend the season because of the heat of the sun and it will increase the growth of the plants.
STEP 4 :
In this step, stack the tires up one by one. You have to take the tires one by one and screw the tires together with three or four screws at each level. With the help of screws, tires are joined together strongly and you can easily fill the raised bed with soil.
STEP 5: MULCH
These steps are 3.5 feet tall and its diameter is about three feet. It means that you need a lot of soil to fill it and it will cost you too much. If you want to reduce your expenses you should add mulch. This mulch will act as a type of hugelkultur. This will help to retain the moisture and nutrients. It will help to amend the soil and become the source of providing all the major organic nutrients to plants.
STEP 6: DIRT
After the layer of mulch, you need to fill the remaining part of the raised bed with dirt. First, you should calculate the amount of dirt you needed for your project. After that fill the top of the mulch with dirt.
Read More: How to Fill Your Tall Raised Beds?
STEP 7: PROTECT FROM THE SUN
Now it’s time to protect the tires from the sun. The rays of the sun are not good for them so you have to cover them from the intense heat. For this purpose, you need to paint the tires. You can choose any color of your choice but it is recommended to put a skin of wood around it.
You can use cedar boards and cut them according to the desired length and tick them up to stack with rubber. You can also use a ratchet strap to squeeze the boards and band the stack with a pallet bander.
STEP 8: PLANT STUFF AND RELEASE THE BUGS
Now your bed is ready you can plant anything of your choice in it. You can grow vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes in it. As you keep it is an elevated bed so you grow deep-rooted plants in it.
It is suggested that you should release some ladybugs which will help to keep your plant healthy. Remember one thing squirrels and birds try will try to steal your seeds before they sprout, so cover them to protect them.
Read More: 28 BEST VEGETABLES TO GROW IN RAISED BEDS
HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS WHEN USING TIRES FOR RAISED-BED GARDENING
The idea of using tires is a great option for making raised beds. In most of the areas, the condition of the soil is very bad. In this case, gardening becomes very difficult, so the gardeners will use it to grow plants in raised beds.
But most people hesitate to use tires for making raised beds. They think that it is not safe to grow edible things in used tires. Indeed, there is no confirmed evidence about this, no one is sure about whether it is safe or not to grow your plants in a bed which is made from old tires.
People who love nature, give a vote in the favor of re-purposing old tires. According to them, it is a good green solution to use tires as planters. They also say that when the tires burn then they release toxic materials into the environment. They argue that as a planter they are safe from being burned, in this way they help the environment.
But those who are against the use of tires as planters say that they are filled with a host of chemicals and metals. According to them, it is not a good decision to grow edibles in such planters. But you can still grow ornamental flowers in tires.