19 Tires: When the Rubber Hits the Rhode. Odendrons - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

19 Tires: When the Rubber Hits the Rhod. Odendrons

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Julie Holgate - Valley News Live -
Even the guys aboard the City of Moorhead's Clean-Up Week tire truck stopped to stare at my collection in the driveway. Nineteen tires. Dirty, rimless but saved from wherever old tires go when they leave your boulevard. This girl was recreating a Pinterest post, using your old tires as the foundation for a flowerbed. Here's how easy it was:



 1. Must do: Clean 'em. I used TSP and hot water, gave them a good rinse, drilled holes in the bottom for drainage, then let them drain and dry on my driveway. Heads up: old tires are dirty -- wouldn't wear white for this, if I were you.

 2. Another must: P.r.i.m.e. There's a reason smart people prime before painting. A good bond between what you're painting and what you're painting with makes your work look better and last longer. I brushed on white latex primer from a can for the large surfaces, then white latex spray primer to get in the treads. Time to paint. I used Krylon spray for plastic. Each $5 can covered three tires with two coats each, although I didn't spray the bottoms which no one would see. Time from primers to finish coat of paint: about 45 minutes, but it was breezy that weekend.

3.  But then I got lazy, maybe a little cocky, and look what happened when I bypassed both the cleaning and priming steps. One light overnight rain and my key lime Krylon looked like it melted off. Clearly, a do-over and a lesson learned.

4 & 5. Escape-proofing the project. I planned a three-tier planter and put the first four tires right on the ground, but the top two tiers needed something to keep potting soil from falling through. I used pieces of window screening on the bottom, braced with scrap wood -- in my case, old paint stir sticks to give the screen support. Then, coffee filters over the screen to keep soil in while still allowing for drainage. Potting soil and plants are next.

6. When snooping around for this project, I came across two things that seemed like good ideas: Keep paint colors on the tires on the light and bright side so your planters don't soak up heat during the hottest part of the season (remember how hot it was in 2012?), and think twice about planting edibles in an old tire if you're worried about chemical contaminants that were used during the manufacturing process.

It's been nearly two weeks since the tires were planted and all seems well: things are draining, plants are thriving. Oh, and the paint is sticking like nobody's business.

Questions? Comments? I'm at julieh@valleynewslive.com
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