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greenhouse made from old tires  RSS feed

 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I don't like building and I am not very good at it.
I want to have a greenhouse though and I like the idea of an earth sheltered greenhouse as you can maintain the temperature more evenly.
My idea is to build the walls out of old tires fill them with all the unwanted stones get some old windows for the front and roof and put earth on top of the tires green it.

The first big question I have is that while tires are for free and plentiful they are loaded with nasty chemicals. Do I really want to put that on my property? Does it leach out?
Our whole garden is more or less edible.
 
John Elliott
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According to this page, the answer to your first question is a "no". If you still don't feel comfortable about it, put a lot of wood chips in with the tires and let the fungi in the wood chips mycoremediate anything that might be of concern. There's nothing in old tires that fungi can't handle.

 
Angelika Maier
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Thanks the site is awesome!
However they removed tires from a school veggie garden here because of health issues. This costs a fortune.
 
John Elliott
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Some people are overly superstitious. I'm sure you can figure out some barriers and methods that will make it work.

A little hint for this project: if you can get some Phanerochaete chrysosporium growing on your tires (ideally, it would be where the tire is lying on the ground), you'll be good to go, it will degrade any "toxins" as they are leaching out of the tire material. I was rebuilding my strawberry bed with some old railroad ties, ones that had been lying in the yard, and while I was cutting a tie i happened to turn it over and there was a big colony of Phanerochaete on the underside. The mere thought of old railroad ties gives some Permies heart palpitations, but I just smiled that the fungus was hard at work and would keep my strawberries clean.

The best way to find Phanerochaete to use as inoculate is to turn over big, rotting logs in the forest. If it's got white crust where it was in contact with the ground, that's what you want.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Angelika Maier wrote:...they are loaded with nasty chemicals...


Hi Angelika,

I have read a fair amount of research on both sides of this subject...perhaps more needs to be done. However, of the negative comments about reclaimed tires...more seemed to be misquotes, and hype than actual research of toxicity. Many things that we reclaim have toxic gicky stuff in them...yet much of this is only release if burned...buried in the ground and used in a method of encapsulation...not so much.

I used to be (still have some concerns) a real non-believer in reclaimed cardboard...I have softened on that point, as I have on tires...application, and source/age of material is a big determining factor.

I would love any one reading this to provide research evidence that tires are leaching out toxins that affect the general health of an ecosystem...some ocean reefs are not made of tires as well...they seem to be doing well thus far...

As for a foundation of a greenhouse...I see no issue.

Regards,

j
 
Angelika Maier
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I use tons of cardboard.
For the tires, I would have to pile on a lot of dirt as we do get bushfires.
And second, I would have to fit the windows in one way or the other.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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I only have employed them for foundations and in place of gabion...not the walls themselves. Even in an area with potential forest/brush fires, the cobb and/or lime render would protect them from ignition.
 
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