Used tires make excellent flower pots for a lawn or garden. If you've saved up many used tires, use them to create a series of beds or a border for your garden. The recycled theme will give your yard a rustic flavor with the whimsical touch that stems from seeing familiar objects in unfamiliar places. Plus, the tires provide insulation that will keep your plants warm even when the weather gets cold.
Choose your tire. Select a tire with a rim if you want the look of a pot on a pedestal or without a rim if you want the tire to lie flat on the ground.
Create a scalloped design at the top of your tire. Use chalk to draw the design. Then use your utility knife to cut the scalloped pattern, cutting away only the inner half of the circles. Then slice outward between each circle and bend back the scallops. This step also cuts away the sidewall, so you'll be able to turn the tire inside out. If you don't want the scalloped pattern, simply cut the sidewall out of the side of the tire using the utility knife to create a straight edge (see References 1, p. 351).
Turn your tire inside out. Stepping on the bottom of the tire to hold it flat on the ground while you flip the other half inside out will help. Once you've turned your tire inside out, you'll have a pot with smooth outer edges (see References 1, p. 351). If you've chosen a tire with a rim, you'll now have the pedestal look (see References 2).
Decorate your tire, unless you want to keep it just the way it is. Paint your tire with white paint, or if you have a number of tires, paint them each a bold color to create a playful look. If you feel artistic, paint on a decorative border of ivy. Then let your tire dry.
Place your tire where you want it to sit. If you have several tires, arrange them into a border or pattern. Then fill the tires with dirt and add some compost if available.
Plant flowers in your tire. Avoid planting vegetables or other edible plants in the tire, since chemicals from the tire could eventually leach into the soil (see References 1, p. 351). For this reason, you may prefer to set your tire flower pots at a distance from any edible gardens.
- "Don't Throw It Out: Recycle, Renew and Reuse to Make Things Last"; Lori Baird
- Clean and degrease the tire before painting it or the paint won't hold. (See References 2)
- If the tire is too stiff to be inverted, you can use it as is, keeping the sidewall intact or cutting out any pattern you wish.
Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.