I can't stress enough that there is really no reason to do this unless you like the look of the tires this way (we do!) or unless you want to be able to make the tires into different shapes. To use tires as container gardens you really can just drop them wherever you like and fill them with dirt. However, if you like the way these look and want to be able to make interesting shapes with them then follow along...
First off...a before picture. In this picture you can see that the potato tires in the back of the pic already have 3 tires stacked one on top of each other and filled with dirt, while the tires in front are stacked 2-high each. As can be seen in the pic, all of the potato plants are strong and healthy and ready for another tire and more dirt to be added to each.
(I have received comments and emails from people asking why you stack tires when growing potatoes. Stacking tires on top of each other and filling them with dirt as the potato plant grows is the tire-gardening way of "hilling" your potatoes. In a traditional garden, you hill potatoes by piling more dirt up and around the potato plant in order to give the potatoes more room to grow in. By piling the tires on top of each other and filling each new tire with more dirt you are giving the potato plant more room to grow in. Last year I piled the tires on top of each other only 3-high; this year we plan to do all of the potato tires 4-high. I have seen websites and blogs where people have piled the potato tires up to 5 tires high - that's a lot of potatoes!!!)
So continuing on...in order to cut the rims out of the tires you will need a sharp Stanley knife and replacement blades. You will also need a strong husband - bahahaha! Jambaloney stacks the tires in the middle of driveway and uses the stacked tires as a workbench. Here you can see him begin to cut out the rim of the tire. There is a line on the tire that he follows with the Stanley knife.
Make sure to hold onto the rim to make the cutting easier and smoother.
Here he is a finished tire with both sides of the rim cut out (notice monster bike-cart in back!):
And the finished tire laying on the ground ready for the next step - flipping it inside out. As can be seen in the picture....the outside of the tire has the treads and the inside is smooth. We like to flip the tires inside out so that the smooth side shows as the outside of the container garden - does that make sense?
So first....push in the centre of the tire as Jambaloney is doing in the picture:
Next...step on the middle of the tire and start flipping the tire inside-out from the bottom to the top. Sometimes this can take a little wrangling and playing with the tire.
Keeping your foot firmly in place, wrestle with the tire until it is completely flipped inside-out.
And here is the finished flipped inside-out tire ready to be dropped on top of the potato plants and filled with dirt or placed wherever to be used as a container garden.
Enjoy! and stay tuned for more tips and tricks!