Monday, August 13, 2012

Flea Market Gardening: Recycled Tire Planter

Sharon Wolff

When I announced my search for old tires, wooden pallets and chipped bowling balls, I immediately sensed worry from my family. I overheard phrases like  "...the backyard... Sanford & Sons...", "...not bringing a dirty tire all the way home from West Virginia...",  "...please don't tell her about that pallet...". People outside the family were even bold enough to shake their heads. One person actually called me crazy.  Chris, I suspect you possess footage of me explaining myself to the hooting Wolff's Flea Market staff as a big old tire was loaded into my van.

To others, this new mission seemed quite out of the realm of normalcy.  Although we are a flea market, picker family, it appeared that no one had ever shown interest in collecting such large, heavy cast-offs, commonly found near Dumpsters or bowling alleys. They were especially confused about the bowling ball, because the few select people who are privy to a certain secret about me know that I should NEVER be in possession of a bowling ball.

So, people wondered and raised their eyebrows.  But, come on, when have any of my creative bursts actually turned out bad? Didn't my 52 pounds of potatoes project work out? True, we ate potatoes for 3 weeks... Doesn't the backyard pallet bench add a dash of recycled rusticity? True it still needs a little more love (and cushions), but it's cool, right? And what about the kitchen Chabinet (bench + cabinet)? It's sturdy, attractive, functional and holds cookbooks and coupons. So, why the skepticism? Was there really a risk that I would accumulate 20 old tires or broken appliances on our quiet suburban lot?

I hoped to design an inverted recycled tire planter, but the tires I found were steel rimmed and thus too difficult to cut and turn inside out. Beware! I am still looking for old soft tires!

Below is a very easy method to make a colorful recycled tire planter using leftover paint and other items from around your house or found at the flea market.

NOTE: Planter is for ornamental purposes only and should not be used for food plants (vegetables, fruits, herbs) as the rubber can break down and leach into root systems.

STEP 1:  Find your tire!
I paid a reasonable price for this nice clean tire at the flea market. Thanks Jerry. You may also find free tires discarded at the roadside (be careful), tire dealers (haven't tried this) or
STEP 2:  Prime!
I used Zinsser brand primer and
 a small brush to reach inside the treads
STEP 3:  Paint!
I used 1 coat of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Glossy Hunter Green Spray paint.
(Free with my Ace Hardware Saver's Coupon). 
STEP 4:  Decorate!
Couldn't decide on a design, so I just used leftover acrylic paint to color a
few tread sections. These are the colors I had at hand. Might have used other colors
but the idea was to work with what I already had.
STEP 5Find your spot!
My wildflower garden is past its seasonal peak, and the tire brightened up the area.
I put it right over  a bare spot. Some online directions recommend placing garden
fabric at the bottom.  May not be necessary if planter is placed over soil.
STEP 6: Fill it!
Mine soil was free from the compost pile
Almost there...

Done! Plants and frog are flea market finds!

My only mishap was when I thought this piece of charred wood in the compost bin was a
 dead mouse and made David go out in the rain to remove it. Yes, I was gardening in the drizzle...don't you?

Notice the bowling ball ladybug? Next project!

1 comment:

  1. As Fred Sanford would say... Oh, this is the biggest one I ever had! You hear that Elizabeth? I coming to join you Honey. Leave the door open, the flies haven't been outside all day. Son, I built this empire for you (watch out Wolff young'uns). Sanford and Son is more than just a name. It's a conditon, a dynasty, an empire. This here is the finest pile of junk of the world. Egads... Wolffys beware.


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