Friday, April 8, 2011

Frugal Raised Vegetable Beds

We had to buy new tires for our older son's truck. That was not so frugal, but it had to be done or his vehicle would not have passed inspection.  His tires are extra BIG, 33 inches in diameter to be exact. Rather than pay the additional fee to the tire store to dispose of them, I brought them back home to try something I read about in a now discontinued blog.  I was going to reuse them to make raised beds for my vegetable garden.

Here is my younger son who happened to be home cutting out the sides of the tire with a reciprocating saw:

Thank God for power tools! :)  As you can see from the photo, they are quite wide. Since these are heavy duty truck tires, I believe they are also quite sturdier than regular passenger vehicle tires.

Here they are in my garden after the sides were cut out and dirt shovelled in:

The one in the foreground was planted with shallots, which tend to be expensive in the supermarkets.  I remember reading somewhere that you save money planting vegetables that are pricey.  The other three were planted with three different varieties of cucumbers, slicing, pickling and an oriental variety I planted last year that I saved seeds from a cuke that was allowed to mature on the vine.  That means I didn't even have to buy the seeds! :) You can't tell from the photo, but the seeds in the second bed germinated just since this morning when I went to water!

And here is another shot of the rest of the beds:

The two beds with the darker soil is from last year when I purchased bagged garden soil.  That can get expensive really quick, so this year, we purchased a truckload of dirt.  It probably is from a riverbed or somewhere like that, so there is no organic matter in it.  I was not sure how the seeds would germinate in such a medium, but so far, everything appears to be doing nicely.  I just need to make sure to fertilize it once or twice during the growing season.  When the compost in the pile you can see in the background is ready, that will be mixed in so I hope the garden will do even better in the following years!

I will be adding two more tire beds later this summer when my husband's truck needs at least two new tires to pass inspection on his vehicle.  Tires are not cheap, so why spend extra money to the store just to get rid of the old ones?  These babies are pretty much indestructible, so these will be in our garden for years to come.


  1. I love using tyres to plant in. Mine are just normal car tyres stacked two high and used each year for a varying array of veggies. I have a roww of 10 stacks outside my back door.

    The vegggies always seem extra lush and come on so much faster than their counterparts in the normal raised beds.

    I envy you your nice big truck tyres, if only my sone could get to keep his when his HGV needs new tyres....but unfortunately we live too far apart!

    Sue xx

    Sue xx

  2. Hi Sue! Thanks for stopping by. I was going to try to find some more of these tires. I plan to call the tire store to see if I can get them for free, if not for a few dollars. At least it's worth a try. . . But yes, these tires are quite nice as they are very large. I suppose the plants do better than regular raised beds because the black color helps retain the heat. Maybe not so good in my sub-tropical climate. . . I need to look into that.

  3. Lovely blog! Am off to the local garage later where there is a big pile of discarded tyres, as our local dump has just started charging for taking them...could be onto a winner here!! Fostermummy X