Is gardening with tires bad for the environment?

I have read many articles that suggest using old tires for container gardening. My father is considering making a vegetable garden out of tires. Does the tire pollute the soil and there fore the vegetables? I it is bad to burn tires.. Should I be concerned about the quality of the vegetables? Have you seen any scientific evidence about this topic? Or environmental tests?

One thought on “Is gardening with tires bad for the environment?”

  1. If you already have the tires – I say use ’em. Don’t burn them, however. I can’t imagine there is any concern about the quality of the veggies since what that really depends on is the soil you put them in and how you fertilize etc. They make rubber mulch these days – probably from old tires…

    One critter warning – if you are not going to turn the tires inside out to eliminate the ridges, or if you are going to "store" tires, I would give you a caveat about mosquitoes who LOVE to breed in the little bit of water that usually sits in those ridges. Make sure the tires are packed tight with soil.

    If you don’t have tires already, I don’t see an advantage to this method over any other raised bed method.

    There are lots of unanswered questions that would help determine what the best garden situation is for you :

    Do you want raised beds because you have trouble up and down? If that is the case, build a box (make the bottom out of screening and landscape fabric so water will flow through) and set it on top of some table legs or horses.

    Or is it because you only have a little bit of space? Container gardening is easily done with vegetables. See the book Movable Harvest for really great ideas. You can use pretty much anything you can put a drainage hole in (provided it didn’t have chemicals in it first!).

    Personally, I think anytime you are recycling something for a good use it is worthwhile – but for the love of God – PLEASE don’t buy new tires to try this project out!

    Just in case you DO have a bunch of tires laying around, I attached a link to a site that has many ideas for using them up in the garden.

    Good luck to you and your dad!

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