by Henry Reed
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
Shallots Growing in Recycled Tire Container Garden
Sitting in the garden today under cloudy skies, I reminisced about my time in Junior High and High School.
During this time the last thing on my mind was going outside and digging in the "dirt".
But it appeared that Mom was always thinking about a new planting area she wanted prepared or new plants to install.
I remember asking dad the best way to get started and grudgingly going out and completing the tasks she assigned, but the words and thoughts going through my mind were not very civil or nice. At the time, this seemed to be the worst thing that could happen to me.
I look back now and I am very grateful to my mother and father for giving me a love of the outdoors and teaching me the art of gardening.
Now as I am much older it is very difficult to keep me out of the garden, from working in the soil (not Dirt)and trying to grow every vegetable and fruit I can find for our climate and some not usually grown in our area, too!
Over the years, I have grown plants in containers, in garden plots on the ground, raised bed gardens,in buckets, plastic pipes and other objects.
Today, my garden is based on a variation of tire planters my dad used to make.
He would take old automobile tires and cut triangular pieces evenly around one side of the tire, turn the tire inside out and use it as a planter.
If it was a white wall it would have small white designs on the tips.
Sometimes he would paint the tires white or another color.
There were several occasions when the rim was left on and was used as a pedestal.
My version is a combination of recycled truck/bus tires and a few recycled automobile tires.
Not many have the fancy cuts but they are very functional, environmentally friendly, and rot resistant.
I am in the process of converting the entire garden area to tire planters from the original wood raised bed planters.
We are growing artichokes, asparagus, chard, greens, carrots, cucumbers, beans, potatoes, grapes, various citrus, mirlitons (also known as chayote squash or vegetable pear), bell peppers and the ever present tomatoes(and more)!
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