Recycling Tires and Growing Flowers

Things are really growing around here.  Finally.  What a long spring that was.  Joe just finished planting beans last week.  I do not have any witnesses or photos, but if you saw a man doing backflips as he left a soybean field south of town, that was my husband celebrating being finally finished planting soybeans.  Don’t tell him I said that.

Other things growing.  My son’s legs:


We love John Deere boots. Not so in love with the ‘flood-ready’ look going on. Good thing there is a kid’s clothing store in my family.

Our kitties:


The tamest kitten of the four. He looks a lot like his mama.

Our calves:


We’ve been leading them around with halters so they will be ready for the fair.

We’ve also got a special flower project that is growing.  I set a goal for myself to clean all of our outbuildings this summer.  Huge undertaking.  Joe and I aren’t pack-rats, and I do clean in them every now and then but it is still tough.  My reward for finishing cleaning out our hoghouse which includes sorting through all the kid’s outdoor toys, was to take the time to upcycle these:


We kept these 3 tires as they were still in great shape. The fourth tire became junk by just one of those fluke-type things while cleaning the heifer yard. We have since traded skidloaders so now these really aren’t of any value.

The first job was to clean the tires and I won’t swear on here, but it was a manure-y type of job.  No photos of that….I like my camera way too much.  Then, we painted the treads red with a brush.  This took a lot of motherly patience as Vince and Liv wanted to use SO MUCH paint.  No pictures of that step either.

I had some potting soil left over from my other flower pots and found some compost (if you will) while cleaning corners and crannies in the old hoghouse.


My neighbor gave me some bulbs 3 or 4 years ago.  Wow, do they multiply!  Canna lilies grow to be huge, usually over my head.  I had a beautiful row in my vegetable garden last year that I was hoping to take a photo of…but the frost beat me to it.

Here’s a link if you aren’t sure what they are.

Each fall, the tubers need to be dug up and stored inside.  Here is what they look like.


I cut this one into 4 or 5 pieces. One green little sprout per piece.

Next, Liv cut out a circle of weed-stopper fabric to lay in the bottom of the tire.  I thought it would be a good idea to keep the soil inside in case we need to move them for some strange reason.  Then, we needed to fill them with soil and I realized I didn’t have nearly enough.  So Vince took some gravel that had accumulated in the granary and  put that on the bottom.  We then put some dried manure in as well.  I was a little leery if this concoction would allow anything to grow but…


You can just barely make out the green growth coming up!  We planted them on June 15 and this photo is from June 25.

The fantastic part of this location was it’s proximity to a water hydrant.  Bonus!  I also walk right past it to push up heifer feed every morning, so no forgetting to water it.

My next thought would be to put a rod of some sort with hanging flower baskets over those 2 poles that protect the hydrant.  I think Joe could weld something for me for my birthday, right?


Photo taken this morning, June 27.  I just love my 2-year-old’s chubby little hand in there. I can’t believe how much the plants have grown in 2 days. So neat for the kids to watch.

I hope I didn’t put way too many bulbs in each tire.  I guess we’ll find out!

Lastly, one little tidbit, I did a video blog!  It is of me standing in front of our dairy talking about giving tours to the public:  Huge thanks to AgStar for pushing me out of my comfort zone with a video blog!


4 thoughts on “Recycling Tires and Growing Flowers

  1. Great job upcycling Rita! I have big plans for 2 old water tanks in front of our barn. A tip for next time, you can put empty plastic bottles or broken up styrofoam in the bottom of your planters, and then add your soil on top. Takes up extra room, allows for drainage, and isn’t so heavy if you every need to move it! (not that you would be moving those tires without machinery anyway!)


    • Those are both fantastic ideas to fill up planter boxes and I will have to remember that….I was just grabbing for the nearest things to where I was and wasn’t thinking “outside the box”. I am excited to see photos of your water tanks someday. Actually, I removed fence posts from our old tank while cleaning and could use a little inspiration.


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