When my husband finished building our daughters cubby house, I realised just how steep the slippery slide he put on the cubby was for a three year old. In truth, I had a little ‘mummy panic’ envisioning trips to emergency with broken arms and split heads. After some convincing, my husband suggested that we look at placing recycled car tyres along the edge that would act as a ‘soft falling surface’. I could see the wisdom in his suggestion and immediately set out to ‘beautify’ the ugly black tyres, by turning them into a Flower Repurposed Car Tyre Garden.
Four easy steps to build a flower tyre garden
We acquired our tyres from the local council tip, from the ‘recycle’ collection bins. If your local tip doesn’t allow for recycling of tyres, go have a chat with your local mechanic or tyre store, from experience, they are usually more than happy to proved a few free tyres. Best of all they’ll have a better selection of sizes!
When you get your car tyres home, roll and drop them into position and fill with a mix of Searles Premium Garden Soil Mix and 5IN1 Organic Fertiliser. I choose to mix both these products to give my flower tyre garden the best start.
Remember to push the potting mix right into the tyre, This will assist with water retention and also give your little flowers additional nutrients and fertilisers to feed on.
HOT TIP: It’s a good idea to give your new tyre garden soil a few days (2-5) to rest before flower planting, as compost products like 5IN1™ can burn the root system of seedlings.
STEP 2: Getting creative
Use old sheets or tarps to place around the tyres to stop excess paint dripping onto the ground. Saves heaps of time on clean-up and keeps your garden space looking great.
HOT TIP: When painting with little people, use a water-based outdoor paint, it’s much easier to clean off little hands and you don’t need to use harsh chemicals like turpentine on their skin.
Wearing a hat, or even a scarf can also assist with easier clean up. My little girl seems to always end up with paint in her hair, a hat saves lots of ‘ouchy’ hair brushing time later on.
When we painted these tyres, we used some old house paint we had in the shed. In truth I was surprised at how much paint the tyres required. They seem to soak it up. So do yourself a favour and have a few litres on hand for this project. Ask neighbours or family members if they have old paint you can use (nothing wrong with a little extra colour!), this will keep your costs down if your sticking to a budget.
Why not get creative and paint spots, strips and rainbows on the tyre garden!
STEP 3: Planting your flowers
Now the fun begins —planting flowers! If your not sure what to plant now check out our Yearly Seasonal Gardening Australia Flower Garden by Temperate (Regional) Zone Guide. Children love this part the best and for small children it’s a good idea to break the activity into a two (2) day activity;
Day 1: Visit your local garden centre and get them engaged in choosing their own flowers. Snapdragons, pansies and gazanias are always great options, lot’s of colour.
NOTE: Because tyres can release certain substances into the soil, it is recommended that ornamental, rather than edible plants are used in this project.
Whilst your at the centre, purchase any necessary watering cans, trowels and garden gloves.
Day 2: Planting. When planting instruct the children on how to grab the seedlings from the ‘base’ of the plant, not from the top. I know my daughter loved to pull the flowers out on her own, so show them once how to do it without damaging the flowers. Let them dig the holes and assist with planting the flowers into position.
I found breaking the activity down kept them engaged in the project for longer.
STEP 4: Mulch & water
Mulching after soil quality is the second most important part to having a stunning flower tyre garden. I used sugarcane mulch and spread to a thickness of 5cm. Mulch assists with water retention and also composts down over time. After mulching I watered the new seedlings with SeaMax Fish & Kelp which is a great product for assisting with plant transplant shock.
Conclusion to our flower tyre garden project
This solution for our ‘slippery slide’ problem has worked fabulously (touch wood), we have had no trips to emergency departments from play injuries and I have witnessed one of my children fall into the tyre garden and walk away unscathed. I’m thrilled that I have created a beautiful little flower garden for them to enjoy, pick and replant in, which also acts as a safety barrier for their outdoor play.How to Grow Sunflowers Annual Seasonal Flower Growing Guide
Hi, I’m Renee and I’m a self confessed fun maker. Whilst I’m not the world’s best gardener (I’ve killed cactus), I believe that getting my kids gardening is one of the most important experiences I can give them as a parent. It’s my way to teach them about the environment, food production, healthy living, science and sustainable practices in a fun and physical way. I love that they are willing to taste our garden produce and that we incorporate many of our garden ‘treasures’ into our craft activities.
So don’t let past gardening failures burden you, we’ve all killed plants and that’s OK. Just get out there and garden with your kids, because….. well….. it’s fun