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How To Make DIY Tyre Planters: Recycling Old Tyres Safely

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Correctly disposing of tyres is important legally speaking and for the environment. These clever DIY tyre planters can repurpose your tyres in safe, fun ways.

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  • How To Make DIY Tyre Planters: Recycling Old Tyres Safely

At Autofusion, we believe in doing our part for the environment. That's why we offer free disposal of your old tyres when you book a replacement set through us. From here, we can take steps to see your old set recycled into:

  • Carpet underlay
  • Playground surfaces
  • Laminate flooring
  • Sports pitches
  • And more!

However, if you want to keep your old tyres, it's possible to make something beautiful with them. Tyre planters are a great way to decorate your garden, save money on building materials or disposal costs, and ensure the base materials of a tyre don't end up harming the world around you.

Here is an easy, step-by-step guide for transforming your old tyres into eco-friendly planters:

How To Make A Tyre Planter

To begin crafting your tyre planters, you will first need to prep the tyre, invest in a primer, and then choose the right paint. An exterior-grade primer is crucial for sealing the tyre and helping the paint to stick. After that, acrylic art paints are the best option, as they will adhere to the rubber surface more effectively.

  • Ensure the tyre is clean, so the paint and primer can adhere firmly. Remove as much dirt and mud from the tyre as you can. A hose will get the worst off, then use a damp cloth to get into the tread grooves.
  • Once your tyre is dry, add the primer: This should be 2-3 coats across the full tyre, so it's sealed against the elements and the paint can hang on more thoroughly.
  • Allow the primer to dry for 1-2 hours. This will give it time to set and soak in.
  • Now paint it. This will dramatically affect the overall look, so be thoughtful with your colours. Royal blue or bold red, or muted colours like pastel green or white, can set the tone for this decorative planter.
  • Consider using more than one colour. You can add a pattern or even draw an image onto the tyre. Consider also painting the inside, as the black rubber may still be visible in areas when the plants are in. Painting the inside of the tyre a different colour than the outside can make this work to your advantage.
  • Paint a thick layer around the whole tyre. The paint will be impacted by the weather, so ensure you are applying a thick coat that will adhere well.
  • Once you're done, check for missed spots, and then let it dry for 3-4 hours. This should be in a dry area that's protected from rain.
  • Now your tyre is ready for planting. Move your tyre to its permanent location, since it will often be too heavy to move once you've filled it.
  • Once you're happy with its position, you will need to line the tyre. This is crucial to its long-term functionality as a planter.

How To Line Your Tyre Planter

Lining the tyre is crucial to ensure no chemicals seep out of the rubber and into the soil. Likewise, this improves the overall lifespan of the planter.

  • Choose a material that allows water to drain through. This may be a sheet of plastic or a piece of hessian material.
  • Alternatively, create drainage holes. This will keep your soil from becoming too damp or your plants from rotting in standing water.
  • If you choose hessian, you can secure it in place with a staple gun. The hessian allows the water to drain efficiently.
  • If you choose a plastic sheet, poke a few holes in it using a screwdriver before you secure** it**. This will prevent water from sitting in the bottom of the planter.
  • The lining doesn't have to be secured - it can sit at the bottom of your tyre instead. Just make sure that you don't move your tyre planter once it's finished, as everything could fall out of the bottom.
  • If you hang your tyre against a wall, it doesn't need to be lined. You can put your soil and plants straight onto the rubber, though you may need to drill some holes for better water drainage.

How To Hang Your Tyre Planter

If you intend on pinning up your tyre like a hanging basket, this can be done easily by yourself.

  • First, buy an industrial hanging hook
  • Ensure that the hook is wide enough for the full tyre to sit on
  • The hook must be able to hold the tyre's weight (usually between 10-15 kg) as well as the weight of the soil and plants when they're wet
  • Next, decide on a place for your hanging tyre planter
  • Screw your hanging hook into the wall, checking that it's secure
  • Hang your tyre onto the hook and check that you're happy with the position

How To Grow Plants In Tyres

Once you've lined, placed, or potentially hung the tyre, you can add soil.

  • First, put in drainage stones or pebbles
  • Add your compost or soil on top

As for the plant themselves, this will depend on how your tyre planters are situated. If your tyre is hung on a wall:

  • Fill it as you would a hanging basket

  • It's a good idea to use brightly coloured plants that will trail down the wall

  • Popular hanging plants include calibrachoa, lobelias, begonias, and petunias.

If your tyre will be laid down on the floor, then you should:

  • Fill it as you would a plant pot
  • Perennials or small shrubs are best suited for a tyre planter
  • A large plant or shrub might not grow in a tyre, because it won't be able to dig its roots very deep
  • Plants that work best include cyclamen, pansies, and chrysanthemums

Share Your Work On Social Media

With this guide, you can build a tyre planter collection, using multiple tyres in different colours and all filled with different plants. If you create one, we'd love to see the results. You can tag us on Instagram at @autofusionrepairs or Facebook at @AutofusionUK.