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Old 02-16-2011, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default My Hops plan... need opinions...

My plan... tell me if you think it's a good one..

I've pre-ordered a rhyzome each of Centennial, Cascade, Magnum, and Willamette... If cash allows, I want to order a second of each..

After talking to a girl I ran into at the LHBS, who happened to work at a nursery and had experience with perrenials (she had heard me asking the clerk about hops and the square foot gardening method), here's what she suggested...

She said for each plant, I should place some 1/4" or 1/2" wire mesh on the ground, and then stack a couple old tires on top of it.. To 'then' fill the tires with the square foot gardening mix (1/3rd peat moss, 1/3rd vermiculite, 1/3rd compost made up from at least 5 different brands of compost), and to install a RZWS (Root Zone Watering System) in each...

She said that this would allow me to use the square foot gardening method, protect the plants from freezing and rodents, and allow the tap root to grow deep... The soil mix on top of the ground would also allow for great drainage, and the RZWS wood ensure the deep roots get watered well....

I was thinking about it after I got back home, and the only caveat I see is that the tires could collect water and cause rot.... but drilling some holes in the sides would cure that...

I'm thinking I could ten set these things about 2-3 feet apart, and the tires would prevent the roots from getting mixed up... If I kept the soil level a few inches below the tire tops, I could fill them the rest of the way up for winterizing...

Build a trellis over it, and I'm good to go.. I like this idea, as the ground here is full of rocks and clay and impossible to dig, not to mention that in some places the drainage is good, and others it's terrible.. but this would allow me to pick the best spot for sun regardless of existing soil...

Sound like a workable plan?

What do you think...

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Old 02-16-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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It sounds like a good mixture however i would just be concerned about using tires, like what kind of stuff its leaching into the soil as its breaking down.

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Old 02-16-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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It's rubber.. Does rubber leach anything? I thought tires were only a problem as far as pollutants go when they were on fire... and that the problem with tires in land fills and what not is that they 'don't' break down...

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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It's rubber.. Does rubber leach anything? I thought tires were only a problem as far as pollutants go when they were on fire... and that the problem with tires in land fills and what not is that they 'don't' break down...
Tires also have the sealants and whatnot that might break down over time. I'm not really sure what all goes into a tire but I know there is more than rubber.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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Well, I did a google search and found differing opinions on the matter...

Here's an excerpt from a good article on the subject... He presents both sides..

The issue raised in the article that I might be 'more' concerned about, is that the very heat retaining properties that tires possess that would protect a plant in the winter and allow for a longer growing season in cold climes such as mine, might also 'harm' the plant in the summer via overheating...


LINK To Qriginal Article

Do Recycled Tires Pose A Health Risk?

According to Charles Sanders, a gardening expert and writer for Backwoods Home Magazine (where you can find an excellent article on using recycled tired in your garden here), that answer is no. According to Charles:

There is no appreciable risk in using recycled tires in the vegetable garden. While it is a fact that rubber tires do contain minute amounts of certain heavy metals, the compounds are tightly bonded within the actual rubber compound and do not leach into the soil. One of the ingredients in the rubber recipe is zinc. Zinc, in fact, is an essential plant element. I also expect that rubber is safer to use than treated lumber that contains copper and arsenic.

Now, let’s look at a differing opinion. According to the Editor-In-Chief at Mother Earth News, the answer is yes, tires do pose a long-term health risk.

Short-term, yes, tire planters are OK, although the soil in black tire planters will probably get hotter than most plants would prefer. Long-term, no, because the tire rubber will slowly biodegrade and release zinc, carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and other toxic compounds into your soil.

The final answer? Well, I looked all over the ‘Net and found differing opinions on this. I went to several gardening forums, read articles, the whole nine yards. And, I don’t have an answer.

Half of the things I read say yes, old tires are safe because they’re “old”, so most if not all of the chemicals and “off-gassing” is gone. The other half said “No, don’t use tires for vegetables”, because they’re always going to leach.

I’ll leave you with one more opinion. This one comes from Paul Farber, author of the book “Tire Crafting”. He runs TireCrafting.com, a great site with plenty of projects on how to reuse tires and give them new life as usable things. Here’s what he has to say about tire gardening:

Because of toxic concerns of the public, more than thirty years of internationally marketing and teaching tire crafting and gardening in tires, I expected to receive a lot of factual tire toxic information. We haven’t.

Most information has been about toxins and health issues in the manufacture of tires, and toxins emitted from tires when they are burned. Some is about tires leaching toxins when they are ground up or chipped for use as fertilizer, or in hydroponics, or as playground buffers or walking trails.

Occasionally, we receive an emotional complaint from an organic purist who will quote from some organic gardening magazine article. From researching the article’s own sources, my conclusion is that toxic evidence was distorted to deceive readers for the purpose of boosting sales. To my knowledge, no legitimate proof has ever emerged that a tire has enough of anything toxic in it to harm humans, and that a solid tire, whith no steel exposed, will leach nothing but carbon and/or sulfur.

So, I’m leaving it up to you to decide for yourself. To be super safe, you might just want to use them for plants and shrubs.




This article is kind of ironic in that it is a microcosm of the whole environmental debate... The "it's okay" argument comes from Backwoods Home magazine which tends to have editorials and what not that are more 'conservative' in their political views, where as the "It's not okay" argument comes from Mother Earth News, which is decidedly Liberal in their political viewpoints...

I tend to side with the conservative viewpoints on the environmental issue, believing that more often than not, the environmental zealots tend to exaggerate or fabricate facts in order to scare people into buying into their agenda of demonizing industries and corporations in general (a deeper socio-economic agenda borne in marxism is at play here, and is still alive and well from the sixties hippy movement IMO)... But I realize that others have an opposite viewpoint on the matter though and feel that they have thought the matter through...

So my tending to be more concerned with the 'heating' issue than the chemical one is in line with that overall philosophy... and would tend to believe sources that have similar world views as mine over those that have world views I generally believe are erronious, propagandist, or subversive in nature...

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Old 02-16-2011, 09:21 PM   #6
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I wouldn't be worried about it. I've never seen or heard about any health related issues with tires. In fact, they grind up tires (remove the steel belting and nylon) and make crumbs for the ground covering of playgrounds.

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:00 AM   #7
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Why not plant them in the ground?

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Old 02-17-2011, 05:10 AM   #8
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Why not plant them in the ground?
Rocks, clay, and the fact that the author of the book "square foot gardening," has made a believer out of me in his soil mix..

When I built my house, I dug most of the foundation myself by hand.. Had to literally use a 60lb electric demolition hammer to do so.. Just a pick and shovel was 'futile'... I live next door to a volcano...

And you have no idea how many gophers/moles/rabbits/etc. there are here...

Plus, the insulating properties of the tires will extend the growing season for me, which up here in the mountains is short already... gets 'em up above the melting snow..

Also, my thinking is, that this constrains the roots 'outward' growth some (allowing them to be planted a little closer together), without inhibiting downward growth of the tap root...
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Damn, where's my arm?.

"You can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends... but you can't pick your friends nose!"
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