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(video) Experiment To Determine If Growing In Tires Is Toxic

There has been quite a heated discussion about the toxicity of growing food in tires.  I’ve decided to put the question to test with an experiment.

There are two results I am looking for out of this;
1) Is growing in tires a viable method – what problems and what yields can we get?
2) Is the food grown in tires have any toxicity from the tires?

If you are the person who knows which lab and what tests to order to verify the toxicity of the potatoes, please tell us!

And please rate this video and write your ideas and opinions down below in the comments section.

Note the interview I did with John Jeavons is here:

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This post was written by Marjory

COMMENTS(70)

  • My jury is still out on toxicity, specifically is there enough to matter assuming you clean the tires. If you bury a tire, sooner or later it ends up back on the surface if any air is trapped in it at all. And there is always air. Some tires have emerged from the earth like a zombie 20 years after being buried.

    Why does this matter. Well, said tires look pretty much like they did the day they were buried. Anything leaching much of anything out for 20 years is going to DEGRADE on some level. A 20 year old tire in general is no different than a 2 year old tire, so my contention is not much must be leaching out of them.

    I generally don’t grow in them though, I don’t see much of a reason to. If you want to do potatoes easy, use a box with removable sides, fill it with straw and plant some comfrey next to it. Wrap every seed potato with a comfrey leaf and you have potatoes for as long as you want.

    That said if you want to grow in tires, do yourself a favor, make friends with a reciprocating saw. Cut the side walls out and your life will get much easier.

    1. Robert Schnebelen says:

      A few years back I did grow potatoes in tires. Started with 2, planted potatoes in straw, dirt and clippings, then added tires and filler as they grew…till I got to about 12 tires high…the limit for stability. When it was time I started harvesting in the reverse and was collecting potatoes and discarding tires. Achieved about 20 lbs of potatoes in all.—-RFS

    2. Patricia Tursi says:

      As to tire toxicity, it’s like eating foods…if it ain’t natural and has chemicals…avoid. The soil food web breaks down what you put in soil…if you have healthy microorganisms in your soil …so using anything which breaks down, is going into the food. GMO corn can look pretty..but do you want to eat the glyphosate which studies are showing causes wheat intolerance and the inability to produce D3 due to inhibiting enzyme reactions. I will not use any chemically produced product if I can help it.

      this article pertains to rubber mulch, but tires are broken down by bacteria…and then contribute to soil toxicity.
      http://puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20chalker-scott/horticultural%20myths_files/Myths/Rubber%20mulch.pdf

      Another article http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/recycled-tire-planters-zmaz09fmzpit.aspx

      1. ol' Lawrence says:

        Tires have rubber compounds containing butadiene that when heated by the sun or hot asphalt pavement emits benzene gas. Look up benzene gas….it’s a known carcinogen and produces a high incidence of brain cancers.

        That’s why I won’t use tires for gardening or for building an underground home as some have done.

        1. Oh Lawrence! thanks so much for writing that. I’ve been trying to figure out what to test for…. Any suggestions on a lab to use?

          1. ol' Lawrence says:

            No specific labs….but you might contact Bridgestone/Firestone at their Akron, Ohio campus and ask them for research studies already published by their labs concerning
            butadiene use in tires and outgassing of benzene.

            I used to work for them at the Fort Stockton, Texas Test Proving Grounds….so that’s
            how I know about the benzene. New tire warehouses have to have an air circulation system that exhausts and replaces the entire volume of air every minute to avoid benzene toxicity for those working in the warehouse.

          2. Thank you Lawrence. That is a very useful reference. I’ll give them a call.

            thanks.

  • Dr. Allen S. Hoaglund says:

    Marjory,

    I would contact Mike Adams at NaturalNews.com. He has been doing a lot of testing lately and publishing the results on foods containing heavy metals. he has a lab and I think his interest in foods would be a bonus for his helping you determine the safe or unsafe aspects of growing foods in tires.

    1. Thanks Allen! Yes I know Mike personally and need to get in touch with him anyway. Excellent suggestion.

      1. SHARON says:

        Hi Marjory, did you manage to speak to Mike I would be interested in seeing what he said

        kind regards

        Sharon

        1. Hi sharon,

          I’ve sent several messages to Mike and haven’t heard back from him. He is the one I would trust the most. I’ll keep trying. In the meantime, the potatoes are doing great! I just added a third tire to the stack.

  • Dianne says:

    Years ago, my husband & I had a friend who always grew his potatoes in tires stacked 3-4 high. He always had an abundant yield.
    Regarding testing, have you contacted your county Ag office or a lab that tests for water purity? If they don’t do the testing themselves, they would definitely know where you could go for it. Hope this helps.
    By the way, hay is not what I would use, but straw. Hay has seeds that you won’t really want to have to clear out (like weeding). Straw won’t have seeds & will just add compost & help retain water (all good).

    1. Hi Dianne,

      I hear what you are saying about the straw, but that is really hard to find around here. Actually hay is almost impossible to find also. A smallish square bale cost $11. Ouch! the cost of drought.

      1. Rand says:

        If straw or hay is not readily available in proximity, perhaps you might find a suburban homeowner willing to supply cut lawn grass. Of course you’d want their assurance for no pesticides, herbicides applied to the lawn prior to cutting.

    2. Jacqueline says:

      I live in East Texas and we raise Tifton and Jiggs horse quality hay, and it doesn’t produce any seeds. Try to find some like ours, I use it for mulch here at the house in the flower beds as well as the garden.

  • Yvonne says:

    There is just so much good information in your videos; the prize, for me, in this one was how to get the water out of a tire. No really I never thought of drilling holes in them ..
    A compact vertical garden is certainly part of my plans; so that, I won’t have to put up more fences around here. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and one of the things that is really bad for me is Rubber! Guess I should do a patch test to see if that is a problem with tires which actually have a whole lot of other substances in them these day.
    OK so much for being chatty – just want to say keep up the good work Marjory and all you cohorts “: )

    1. Yvonne,

      Thanks so much for writing in.

  • Ted says:

    Send them to Mike Adams, he has been testing many foods.

  • Johnny says:

    Last year I grew tire taters. Planted 4 lbs of potatoes roughly 3 inches in diameter & at harvest time there were the tinyest potatoes I have ever seen they were no more wider than a half inch.

  • Mike says:

    Marjory, You might check with your local extension service, or ag service center, to see if they can get your potatoes tested. They may be able to get your state Ag university to do the testing. You might want to create a control sample for them to test against. That would be using the same batch of potato starts but put them in a pit or some other “Toxicity-free” container. Maybe a 5 gallon bucket. The idea here is to have a control sample of the same type of potato that has not been exposed to the tires. The lab could test both sets of potatoes to see if there is any difference in chemical composition. If they find a difference, then they look at the difference to see what it is. So that means that you need to use the same dirt in the control sample as you use in the tire sample. They need to be watered the same too. Try to keep everything the same except the container they are in. That will give a true measure of what a tire may contribute to the potato that’s grown inside it. I’ll be you a sack of starters that you will not find any significant difference in the tire potatoes and the control potatoes, at least chemically. You may see a notable difference in yield or size between the groups, and that would be a valuable lesson to share as well.

  • we make robust and very durable rain barrels and composters for urban gardeners

    the LDPE thick wall plastics are what last for decades

    Crugar Tuttle

  • terry grizzelle says:

    when i purchased Bodark tree last week, gentleman suggested putting chicken wire in hole to prevent gopher attacks on the young trees roots. maybe this could be additional defense against those creatures
    for those root vegetables, i think tire great idea, hoping to use for the beets which are way too expensive to purchase. And of course, potatoes, since anything but organic is so laden with pesticides..
    just wondering if the wire might be easier if i try carrots (ps no need to publish unless grammar and such could be improved for better presentation.)
    Terry

  • Gail S. says:

    Hi Marjory,
    I grew some sweet potatoes in a tire a few years ago here in southern Maine and they turned out great. They didn’t get too big, more like fingerlings, but they were the best sweet potatoes I’d tasted that year.

    However, my method of tires and tater’s was ala Paul Farber’s contribution via his book “Tirecrafting”. circa 1986.

    The tires I used were some I’d found in a ditch on my property not long after we moved in. They were the old kind without the steel belts. First we drilled a hole 3 Inches in from the rim hole large enough to get a jig-saw blade into, then cut out 3 inches of the rim. Flipped it over and did the same to the other side. Then with a little finesse, turned the tire inside out. So now the part that had been the rubber on the road surface was now on the inside next to the soil and compost we were using to grow the potatoes. We figured that any toxicity would have leached out onto the road surface way before now.

    And you can stack 2 to 3 tires like this one on top of the other and not have to worry about water and soil getting caught in the inside, which is now the outside. Hope this made sense. OH, plus you get more height from each tire doing it this way.

    Hope this helps.
    And for more info here is the URL for which I used and will continue to use recycled tires for growing things in.
    http://www.tirecrafting.com/FAQ.html

    There is no ”away” for which to throw old tires. They end up someplace, and in my gardens as raised beds is as good a place as any, and I’m 61 years old and still in relatively good health. I’ve even grown cantaloupes and herbs in them.

    Best to you, love your ideas and videos!
    Gail

  • Walter says:

    Just a note: your tires look like pickup tires. I use 18-wheeler tires – 2 per pile. I do not remove any water (providing it is fresh) and no holes because the plants suck up any water in the tires. I have planted cole crops, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, shallots, parsnips, etc. in the tires. I find that 2 high make weeding easier. Each spring we remove a 5-gal bucket of soil and replace with compost. Also, we don’t plant whole potatoes, we cut ours and just throw them and cover with dirt. We do not need to mulch here in Maine.

  • Jack Marley says:

    Hello Miss Marjory
    I don’t know anything about the toxicity of Tires but I grew potatoes years ago, no problems living so far and no reported problems so far. Anyway I watched several growers of Potatoes on line. People were growing in Buckets, Cardboard boxes, Plastic Storage containers, hay bales, all kinds of items to grow them. So Good Luck and I’m looking forward for your growing plan and the test results you end up with.
    Thank you
    Jack

    1. HeatherTwist says:

      Ditto that. There are a whole lot of ways to grow potatoes. I did try tires, but they are heavy … too heavy for my old hands anyway. Fiber bags work rather nicely, and are easy to store, and last forever. And you can make your own if you are inclined (any polyester or nylon material and thread works).

      Tires have some advantages maybe in stability and ability to block heat? I don’t know: those aren’t things we were looking for.

  • Isaiah says:

    Throw that electric drill away and take a saws all and cut the side wall clear out stay just below the tread so you dont run into the steel belt on both sides then go ahead with the planting then if you can find tires the next inch size smaller it will fit inside of this one. what you’ll have is actually a large rubber band on edge.I have left one side wall in for the ground side several times that may be ok on sandy soil. itsd not real hard to saw the side wall out with a sawsall.
    Isaiah

  • Steven says:

    Tires area PAIN! First, it is tough to get the whole cavity filled with dirt. Second, it is tough to get all of that dirt OUT of the cavity at harvest time. Did I say it was a pain? Better to use the tires to make a compacted dirt structure with. That way you only have to fill the tires ONE time.

  • J.D. says:

    My concern would be that tires have a smell to them. Smell indicates that something is coming off of it and getting into the surrounding stuff. I’m glad you got around the water issue though. Also if you haven’t already gotten an answer about where to take them for testing; is there an USDA place or college with an agriculture department that would do testing nearby? One last thing, I’m interesting in your stacking of tires idea. How does that work? How do the plants get enough light? Thank you for your videos and good luck.

  • TommyD says:

    I can see that one uses tires to provide a better growing medium than might be available on your piece of ground. It takes time to improve the soil in a large area.
    I was just wondering; to harvest, you just kick the tires over and pick out the taters?

  • susan says:

    Variables to consider: Type of tire: Cheap brands more toxic?; Foreign brands over domestic?: Age of tire; Type of potato: young fingerlings may take up less toxins than longer maturing kinds. I have always heard that tires were toxic- hence my bias. Being very chemically sensitive, I can’t stand the smell of old tires heated by the sun. The dirt should be tested, also for leaching toxins. But the dirt factor can be tested at any tire dump, without polluting your soil. I have also heard that greens, especially collards and chard pick up toxins the fastest. Plant chard or collards around the outside edge of the tires and test them, if you don’t have extra tires to use as a planter. I would think in our TX summers, triple digits for 60-75 days, tires would just get too hot. Consider running stakes through or along side of tires to increase stability in height. Good luck!

  • Loved the video & look forward to your test results. I had to laugh, when you discussed getting water out of tires. I’ve flipped them all over the yard, like a lunatic, & still had to use rags to get the water out.

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for all your research and for sharing with others. I look forward to your results.

  • Wendy says:

    Will be interested to see how they grow and the final toxicity test. This would be great for my dry, gopher riddled area.

  • My best guess is that you may find very little toxic materials in your ‘taters from the tire grow-beds. Considering how difficult it is for landfills to get rid of tires, since they really don’t have the slightest cooperation about breaking down in sunlight or buried in the landfill, there may be very little transfer of material into the soil. Probably far less than raised beds bordered with pressure treated lumber, for sure.

  • Mary Himmer says:

    This is from a scientific friend and not my field. I just wish it were not toxic:

    There growing evidence that just playing on ground up tires is toxic. Environment and human health, inc has info on the toxicity concerning tires in that case. If you want to test, they could steer her in that direction. There is also a problem with the turf made of tires grows MRSA, so besides the toxicity, there could be bacterial contaminate problem.
    Finding enviro testing is difficult and expensive for a good test. Not all are equally sensitive. There are so many more worthwhile ways to spend time and money.

    1. Gail S. says:

      While I agree that burned or ground up tires could be toxic, I have not read anything to the contrary about tires that are intact.

  • Laurie T. says:

    The moderator of the OrganicHomesteadingGardening Yahoo Group wrote several years ago of some testing of his tire gardens that he did. They concluded that the tires were not toxic. I couldn’t find it in the past messages. Maybe you could write to him?

  • brett wilson says:

    Hi Marjory
    I have tried this potatoes in tyres 2 or 3 times with great plants but only 3 or 4 very small potatoes not good return for the work but that gardening
    Brett

    1. Thrivalista says:

      @Brett: Lush plant growth and small tubers indicates nitrogen levels were probably too high. Mebbe too much animal manure in the compost mix?

  • whisperingsage says:

    I grew in tired for 2 decades and never had any issues. I used bunny poop compost and didn’t use any of the local deficient sand. The heat ussue was something I wanted in the early and late parts of the season to make a warmer microclimate in frost times. After I got married my husband banned the tires and converted to plywood in much larger boxes.

  • Sue Blake says:

    I have never used tires, but have used burlap sacks. I have gotten a good yield with sweet potatoes.
    nailed sacks to our wooden fence or run a pole through middle of sack. Very interested in use of tires….

  • Bonnie says:

    Thanks for a lot of great ideas. I live by the sea in Italy, and sometimes I see old tires, and a lot of other trash, on the beach. (It’s a problem we’re working on.) Mike Adams of Natual News has a lab that tests for toxic metals and would probably be interested in your project.

  • donna c says:

    thank you so much for doing this experiment for the community. I await the results.

  • Kyle says:

    You’re going to have some real problems with the growing in tires as you plated them in the video…..I tried exactly what you did about 8 years ago, and basically all my plants got root-cooked.
    The next year I found an instructional site that told how to prep the tires – you MUST cutout the sidewalls, turn them inside-out, and ten PAINT them white! (As you mentioned you might do in the video) That isn’t a “might”; it’s a MUST. Also, I suggest painting the upper inside lip of the tires by about 4″ as well – this will greatly add to your success. I used those same tires for several years with a great deal of success – they are essentially “raised beds” without all the expense of the boards…and they last, and last, and last.
    Cannot comment as to the ‘toxicity’; never had the food tested – it just wasn’t a concern at the time…and I haven’t had any adverse reactions that I/we noticed…and both my heads and all 3 eyes each agree 🙂 .
    We grew beans, peas, corn, sunflowers and squash of several kinds.
    Tomatoes I grew in buckets, so as to allow taking them inside at night in the fall, greatly extending the growing season.
    Potatoes I grew in a large, green plastic trash can – ‘taters were small but plentiful, while the plants up top looked like a rainforest.

  • Debbie says:

    Last year I used 5 tires to plant tomatoes and potatoes in here in the far Northwoods of Wisconsin. We had no spring and went from winter straight into summer and the summer was so cool that in my raised beds, we had very little in the way of eggplants, tomatoes and peppers…except in my big black tires! The tires collected the heat and with mulching, we had a very bounteous crop. Very little weeding was a great plus, too. Here, where the weather is often cold, even in summer, we use whatever we can to gather heat and sun. For me, these tires have done the trick. I haven’t heard any of my friends raise concern from the tires leaching chemicals (we are just so happy to help our pocket books from high produce prices up here that maybe we need to talk more about that), but perhaps some type of liner could be used to alleviate that potential problem.

  • Beth Oquist says:

    Good idea and observation about the drainage. I wouldn’t have thought of that. I’m looking forward to following this and your success/lack of success with it.

    I live in a humid environment (the U.S. Pacific NW close to Puget Sound) and grew potatoes in a box for several years. I found they actually thrived (in this environment anyway) on neglect. It was very easy to over-water which caused rot inside them. If I left them essentially alone through the summer they always produced some lovely tubers with no internal rot.

  • John says:

    Hi, Is there any way you could lower your monthly membership to 5.00 per month, I live on an extremely fixed low income and would like to become a member of the GYOG family but I just cant afford 10.00 per month.

    Please let me know
    I have enjoyed all the videos Mis Wildcraft youtube videos
    I also download all of them for future viewing and reviewing.

    thankyou for your time.

    John Weakland

    1. Hi John,

      Yes, I am working on setting up a reduced pricing just for people in your situation. Give us some time – this tiny organization is quite stressed to its vcapacity just keeping up with getting out mateirals.

      But John, I really do hear you – and the many others whom I’ve spoken with.

  • Vikki says:

    To get the water out: Put one tire half-way on another one, then bounce the top tire like a teter-totter. Most of the water will splash out with about 10 bounces.

    I am using tires to build a 5 ft. solid structure wall and will plant strawberries at the top. Also, am planting dwarf mulberry tree and some other low berry bushes in a stack of two tires for back-saving harvesting. Unless you have monsoon conditions, I think that any water that ends up in the sidewall area from normal rainfall will just wick up with the compost that you fill it with. Any water in the sidewalls may prove to be helpful in summer droughts.

  • Maddog says:

    THEY WILL LEACH TOXINS! It is impossible for them not to. The question is HOW MUCH. I guess the second question is “how much are YOU willing to consume and feed to your family?”. In this modern, industrialized world – we are literally surrounded by toxins. Every vehicle on the road produces toxins. Most cleaning products (ALL COMMERCIAL cleaning products) leave toxic residues. Those amazing grease-cutting dish soaps leave really nasty toxins; they adhere to plastic containers and can often be tasted in the next dish you store or serve in it.

    [Have you ever watched one of those CSI shows where the killer thinks he’s cleaned off the knife, or cleaned up all traces of blood, or removed all traces of his DNA? But then the forensic team goes in and ALWAYS finds something . . . ]

    There will ALWAYS be trace levels of Dawn on your dishes, chemicals in the plywood and pressure treated wood, toxins in the exhaust filled air we breath, in the water we drink – anything from fluoride to arsenic to dozens of poisonous FRACKING chemicals. (Chemicals cocktails that are so bad that the Natural Gas & Oil companies refuse to publish – and that’s okay with our government and all of it’s health and pollution control agencies.)

    A lot of comments above indicated that “they’ve grown in tires for years without any side affects”. I’m sure they’d say the same thing about the factory-polluted or exhaust laden air that we breath: “I haven’t grown that 3rd eye yet!” The corporate AG giants guarantee us that GMOs are completely safe; and both the USDA and EPA are backing them up. And Roundup is perfectly safe … as well as the chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. And the saturation of antibiotics and hormones in 90% of the meat produced in the US – not to mention the same pesticides, herbicides and fungicides stored in their fat – is ALL OKAY. That’s what they say … “no discernible side affects”.

    How many years did it take the so-called health experts to tell us about the chemicals being leached from carpet, sheet-rock, and now all the plastic bottles we’ve been sucking on for 3 decades?

    If you dig up a tire that’s been buried for 20 years – and it still looks the same – try looking at it under a microscope! If we’ve learned anything it’s that “what we can’t see is more dangerous than what we can”.

    My god, isn’t this why we all started growing and raising our own groceries in the first place? It’s not a question of IF … It is a question of ACCUMULATION … a question of how long.

  • John R says:

    Marjory, I can test he potatoes for you. You will need to send me about 20-25 lbs. I prefer the Yukon Gold. I will tell you the results.

  • Tom Kelly says:

    Howdy Marjory: I just put in a call to Oregon State ‘University, Ag. Department, to see what they could tell me on this tire issue. I am waiting now for a callback from them, as I shared that we were concerned about the toxicity issue and “glowing in the dark, for two weeks, after eating your favorite tire grown tater”

    Also, for some reason after reading your draining of water in old tires, The “reciprocating saw is indeed the best bet, I would suggest a fine cutting metal blade, as it won’t jerk saw out of your hand if you should hit a side wire in the side wall. Also noted that after harvest, tires don’t hold air, when you replace them on old pickup truck??!! 🙂 hee hee!

    Keep up the good work, Sincerely,Tom

  • AJ says:

    Marjory,

    Need to test for excessive zinc and lead plus any heavy metals.

  • Gail S. says:

    This is from Paul Farber’s website:

    “Aren’t tires toxic? How will that effect my flowers and vegetables?”

    “There are organic puritans still quoting an international environmental magazine, Organic Gardening, Jul-Aug 1997, article headline “TIRES ARE TOXIC” “WARNING: Using old automobile tires around your plants (in any form) is hazardous to the health of those plants!” It then went on to justify the article from two sources, USDA researcher and compost expert Rufus L. Chaney, Ph.D., claiming that zinc released from tires is toxic to plants, and “A recent study in Australia claiming tires are toxic to petunias & impatiens.”
    Mr. Farber contacted Dr. Chaney soon after the article appeared. Dr. Chaney told him that this magazine miss-quoted him. He said that he knows of only one toxin in the rubber of a tire in its solid state, and that is zinc. Zinc leached from burned tires, ground-up tires and the tire dust washed and blown from highways is toxic to some plants and many aquatic plants and animals in acidic soil and water (pH 6 or below). He said humans require zinc, and zinc is used in fertilizers to neutralize alkaline soils. He also said that zinc will not escape from a solid tire, but when a tire is left out in the weather for a few decades (30 years or more) it might decay and release its zinc.
    Mr. Farber tried but could not locate the “recent study in Australia” but from his test gardens, he has photo proof of petunias and impatiens vigorously overflowing the same ten tire planters and in the same soil (adding only yearly loss) every year for more than thirty years.
    Consider this: From the 2007 U.S. Geological Survey, “each year, approximately one million tons of tire rubber dust is washed and blown from our highways.” This must integrate with our water, soil and air. No doubt, a substantial amount of tire dust is accumulating in everyone’s “organic garden”.
    Mr. Farber is aware of another scary article. “Toxic Components Leaching from Tire Rubber” is the headline to a six page research study including text, charts and graphs proving their points, published on line, 3 May 2007 by Springer Science + Business Media, University of Goteborg, Sweden. It had nothing to do with gardening in tires. It was about zinc from tire dust killing bugs that fish feed on. Their conclusions were the same as Dr. Chaney’s. Solid tires do not leach zinc.
    If anyone has documented proof that shows a danger of toxicity from solid tires, Mr. Farber would like to be contacted with that information. Mr. Farber has been using tires for a container for his vegetqables for over 30 years. If there is legitimate evidence that this practice is harmful he would want to know for his own health as well as for those who have planted their vegetables in recycled tires at his recommendation. You may contact Mr. Farber at retired@tirecrafting.com.

    Personally, I would be more concerned about what falls from the skies via geo-engineering, and what kind of soils I am growing the potatoes in. If you would test anything for toxicity, test the water and soils prior to using in any kind of container. Just my humble opinion. ~ Gail

  • Liz says:

    I am confused why my you would drill holes for drainage in the tire and then put a board on the ground. I just set up 12 tires in squares of 4. (We have access to a LOT of used truck tires) I will also plant in the middle between the 4 tire square. I put landscaping material, that water can drain through, on the ground. Since potatoes don’t really grow sideways, I figured filling inside the tires was a waste of good soil, so I cut strips from boxes and made a circle of cardboard in each tire to keep from filling inside the tire. I’ve never done this before, but my sister has planted in tires and was successful. My only concern is harvesting and cleaning up the dirt from the tires and what to do with it until the next year.

  • Judy says:

    Hi Marjory

    After my treated wood (arsenic) deck burned near my gardens, I had my soil tested at an LCRA lab in Austin. I don’t know if they can test vegetables or not, but here is their contact information. I hope you get good results.

    Judy

    Lower Colorado River Authority * P. O. Box 220 * Austin, Texas 78767

    3505 Montopolis Drive * Austin, Texas 78744 * (512) 356-6022 * (800) 776-5272 * (512) 356-6021 FAX

  • Heather says:

    Just a thought, you might think about growing some potatoes in a couple different ways.For example, have a control group of potatoes grown not using tires and another group of potatoes grown in some really old tires that have been laying around, not in use for a few years. Just a thought.

    Thanks, this is much needed and brilliant.

    1. Maddog says:

      Heather, simply comparing the plants or the crops they produce – in the test you proposed – would not prove anything. It almost seems oxymoronic, but our modern agricultural industry are experts at growing bumper crops of nutritionally VOID food. Curiously, the techniques that Majory, Jeavons and most Permaculturalists advocate often produce smaller plants and/or less produce – BUT it IS far more Nutritionally Dense.

      The SAD diet is not short on food – after all it’s feeding a nation of obese American. The SAD diet is short on NUTRITION.

  • bargainbetty@embarqmail.com says:

    Viewing your articles is impossible due to black pop up with especial articles to be read if a person logs in or becomes a member of Med 101.

    1. Jason Macek says:

      Betty..we dont have any pop ups running…could you take a screen shot of this and email it to me? jmacek07@gmail.com

  • Happy Camper says:

    Just line your stack of tires up with some good quality (there’s even biodegradable ones) garbage bags before you put in compost and plant in them. Cut the bags so that both ends are open. This will shield your crop from the tires and gives you a much better use of materials. I usually stack 3 and fill the bottom with rocks to use as a water filter (all this after lining the stacks with the garbage bags) I pull the bag and tuck in under the tire on top to secure it. Then fill with compost and plant. The first shovels of compost will pull the bag which helps get rid of the weird tire shape when it has no bag and makes a regular “tunnel” for the compost. It also helps keep bugos out and water in for a longer period of time. Hope this idea helps.

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    Suzy sent in this comment via the suggestion box and I want to keep a record of it here.

    marjorie natnews sent me some info. tried to send you the original but unable to do it. so here is basics of what he sent me try…… eurofins.com Soralabs.com iehinc.com best of luck, susy

  • Rhonda says:

    Marjory, this is a great idea. There is a lot of information about the toxicity of tires but I can’t find any articles where the plants, water or soil were actually tested. Visual yuckiness, chopped tires in playgrounds tested, but nothing except warnings and speculation regarding tire planting. I personally avoid using tires because of all of these “warnings” and would love to see some actual lab test results, positive or negative, to negate or reinforce. Looking forward to your end results later this year!

    1. Kev Man says:

      Its been over 2 years. Quit waiting.

  • k says:

    Check with county agriculture office, or state horticulture office for a test on potatoes.

  • Danielle says:

    I’ve been growing all my vegetables and fruits in tires for years. I’ve had my soil tested at the AG Extension office multiple times and there have never been any signs of heavy metals or toxins in my soil. We cut the sidewalls out on both sides so they don’t retain too much water and the roots of the plants can go as deep as they want into the ground below the tires. We use tractor tires for sprawling plants like watermelon as well as for our asparagus bed. We use car tires for everything else- one plant per tire for things like tomatoes and peppers, squash, etc. Multiple plants per tire for cucumbers, onions, okra and beans. Works great and never had any issues with leaching.

  • Petra Tubbs says:

    I just watched your tire growing potato experiment from 2014, where can I find the video with the conclusion? I have tires, I would love to put to work, provided it’s safe to do so

  • Jerome Brown says:

    Hi, Marjory,
    I’m Jerry in Southern Oregon. I want to try growing potatoes in some tires we have, and just today heard about the possibility of toxicity. I didn’t see any following links from your video, so wondered if you have links to how this came out, and if there’s any more info on the toxicity score.
    Here near Klamath Falls, I maintain a website for a local non-profit, the link is http://www.klamathsustainablecommunities.org. We have information on many aspects of sustainability, and pluses and minuses of things people are doing in places around the world that can help or harm.
    Thanks for your website,
    Jerome (Jerry) Brown

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