If you are like many people who have extra tires laying about, something fun you can try is growing strawberries in tires.
Tires can be costly to dispose of, not to mention are difficult to recycle, so finding an alternative use for them is a great way to not only decorate your garden but practice eco-friendly reusing and recycling as well.
You can usually get used old tires for growing your strawberry crop for free – which is way less than the price of new containers for gardening, so it is cost effective as well.
What You Need to Know About Growing Strawberries in Tires
One of the most important things to know about growing strawberries with tires however is that the tires will attract and hold heat quite a bit, so you’ll want to plant them in a place that does not get too much heat, otherwise they will not grow to their full potential!
Strawberries need about 6 hours of sunlight a day, so we recommend placing your garden in a place that gets either early morning or late evening sun. You may wish to paint your tires to help them not attract the heat of the sun.
Now, there’s a few different ways to go about this, but probably the easiest thing is to use them in a stackable tiered planter. One way of doing this is to use about 3-4 tires and stacking them together to make what resembles a larger scaled strawberry planter.
You can stack them as a pyramid, or stack them together and cover with dirt. You can see exactly as how it was done here, with the tires stacked up making smaller pockets in which the strawberries can grow.
Once the plants start growing and blooming it can look quite nice. You could also choose to paint on the outside of the tires to make them nicely colored – we’ve seen everything from your basic white to brightly colored orange, blue, green, red, and purple tires which adds a nice eclectic to feel to any garden.
Not only does painting your tires add to the uniqueness, this will also make them less of a heat target for the sun, so will hopefully help in keeping the plants cooler as well.
For this style of growing, all you need is a tire and then follow our same directions for Growing Strawberries in Containers.
One of the benefits of this method is that you can also take the winter precautions of mulching with straw or pine needles so your plants will last for a few years.
Be sure you use a sandy soil mix for the potting soil and are very vigilant about watering, since as we mentioned earlier, the tires keep the soil very warm and strawberries actually like very cool temperatures.
It is also idea to start with strawberry roots instead of seeds, as the roots will be a better choice for getting your plants to start quickly. It can take a year or more before your strawberries start producing fruit!
Are Tires Safe to Use for Strawberry Plants?
One concern that many people have regarding using tires as planting containers is the chemicals in tires and whether or not they would leech into the plant beds and pose any health threats or risks, especially since strawberries are a consumable product.
There is relatively little verifiable information on this to give a certain answer on whether or not it is safe to use the tires. Fortunately, we do find this all natural tire to be kind of promising, as it is made with orange oil instead of petroleum and other chemicals.
So, if you switch to using all natural tires for your cars, then you’ll be able to be a tad more confident in knowing it is safer for plants.
We do think however before you discount the use of tires as planters completely you consider that plastic is also made from petroleum, and so is food dye and a number of other preservatives in the foods you eat each and every single day.
So if you’re not going to use tires as planters because of the potential leeching, you’d better make sure you’re not eating those same chemicals in your foods! (It is scary when you start reading labels and researching what those ingredients actually are!)
Anyways, we hope you enjoy this one of many creative ideas on our website, and if you complete a project for growing strawberries using tires or have another method you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!