If you have old car tyres to spare, you don't have to throw them away. They'll make an excellent raised bed or a home for geraniums in the garden, on the balcony or on the terrace.
Used vertically, tyres also make excellent hanging baskets or, when laid flat, planters. But experts from Pelargonium for Europe – which represents several geranium growers – say it’s important to make sure no excess water accumulates in the tyre.
With the hanging variety, drainage holes made in the bottom of the vertical tyre can prevent this. For planters the experts recommend lining the tyre with a waterproof sheet, and punching holes in the bottom before filling it with soil.
Before planting up the tyres, make sure they are thoroughly clean. If you want to, you can coat the tyres with acrylic paints or a flexible varnish to provide a bit of colour. You will need to apply several layers if you opt for light colours.
To prevent the soil from falling out at the bottom, the experts recommend attaching a round chipboard base to the inside of the hoop. A second plate screwed on the outside will make the whole thing even more stable.
If you hang the car tyre vertically on your garden fence, you can choose a combination of standing and hanging geraniums for the hanging basket – this makes your plants look particularly lush.
For the horizontal version, a combination of geraniums and other particularly insect-friendly flowers and herbs will make your planter basket attractive to bees and butterflies.
It is important to pay attention to the care requirements of the individual plants so that they fit together and thrive well. Geraniums are easy to care for and can flower right through until autumn. They like positions with full sun or partial shade and nutrient-rich soil. – dpa