Tomato plantsWe have been growing tomatoes and peppers using this method for several years and have always had a huge crop of vegetables every year. We make homemade salsa and have so many tomatoes that we are able to supply our relatives, friends and neighbors also.

Things You Will Need

1. Old, used truck tires

2. Clean fill dirt

3. Outdoor potting soil

4. Miracle Gro

5. Tomato plants and pepper plants

6. Gardening tools, ie. shovel, planting spade

You can get the truck tires from your local tire dealership. We have been getting ours from Les Schwab for years.

Once you have a few tires for how many plants you want, next get some good, clean fill dirt. We get ours from places in our area where they have excavated from the irrigation canals, but wherever you can get some good dirt is fine.

Set the tires in a place where they can get plenty of sunshine. Fill the tires with the fill dirt and mix in some good quality outdoor potting soil.

Now you are ready for your plants. We get the tomato plants when they come out in the gallon containers-you can get them at places like Bi-Mart, Wal-Mart, etc. We prefer Early Girls because they mature faster. You can do the same with the pepper plants, but with them you can get more plants to the tire. Only one tomato plant per tire. We are having a larger garden this year, so we grew most of our pepper plants from seed in the greenhouse.

Pick a good day to plant, warm enough to not freeze at night and check the weather forcast to make sure you won't be having a big storm the next day-especially be careful of wind. Wind will do a lot of damage. Once you have the plants in the tires, be sure to add a lot of water. After they have been planted for a week or so and are looking good, fertilize the plants with miracle gro according to the directions. Now watch them grow and enjoy flavorful tomatoes that you grew yourself. Nothing beats going out to your yard and picking fresh vegetables. They taste wonderful and aren't covered in chemicals.

Tips & Warnings

We discovered that using the tires as planters works great because the tires hold in the moisture from the watering and also the heat from the sun. On hot summer days, be sure to water at least once a day, sometimes twice if it is extremely hot. My husband is a firm believer in lots of water and the Miracle Gro regimen every few weeks to get them going well. The plants will grow to over 6 feet tall and are great producers. One other benefit of the tires is that they are above the ground so they are easier to maintain with less weeding and easier to harvet the vegetables.

One other thing to watch out for when the plants are new is the wind. If they are planted and you are getting a wind storm, protect them with empty five gallon buckets or whatever you can find that will be above the plant. Where we live, we get a lot of wind, so we have developed methods to protect the plants until they get strong enough and large enough to withstand the wind.