Fall Clean up: finally clearing the second tire planter

When we moved here, there were two tractor tire planters in the yard. One of them had been next to a willow for so long, it was actually damaged by the willow as it grew.

You can read about what a job it was to clear that out here, and here.

Thankfully, this one was not as big, and easier to get to!

The other one was likely about 130-140 pounds, so I’d guess this one was probably around 100 pounds.

Not counting any soil inside it.

The first thing to do was pull up the spent, self-seeded flowers, which I’d already done before taking the picture. Then I needed to loosen the soil and clear out the remaining plants, weeds and grass.

There had been a concrete block in the middle of this, to support the bird bath that used to be here. I dug it out to use in the fire pit, leaving a hole behind.

You’ll notice, there is no hole.

Junk Pile’s kittens LOVED playing in the dirt, and filled it in with their rolling around in it.

They were also very fascinated by me working on this, and were even willing to stay fairly close to watch!

Though I could pull out a fair amount of roots, stems and bigger rocks with my hands, it still wasn’t good enough for the soil to go into the retaining wall blocks.

So I rigged a sieve.

This is the mesh from what had been a screen window that would be put over the window to the old basement in the summer. The wooden frame had rotted and broken, so we built fitted replacement. The old wood frame is trash, but the steel mesh worked well for sifting the soil. A slightly finer mesh probably would have been better, but it did the job well enough!

Well enough that I think I will build a new frame for it, for future sifting jobs like this!

After filling the wheelbarrow with enough soil to top up half the retaining wall blocks, I was at a point where I needed to start lifting the tire itself.

While working my way around the tire, I could hear roots tearing as I lifted it!

And yes, this has been here long enough for moss to start growing on it!

Since this tire planter wasn’t placed next to any trees to damage it, it could potentially still be used for something – in a better location! However, as I cleared the soil and roots away, I could see there is still a fair bit of damage from weathering. I was even pulling broken pieces of cable out.

Eventually, after clearing enough soil to finish topping up the retaining wall blocks, I had removed enough soil to actually lift it up.

As you can see, there’s still a lot of soil in there!

Soil that is jam packed with roots.

I tried loosening the soil with a garden tool, but the root mats were so dense, it was hard to break it loose. It ended up falling over in the process.

Which did a much better job of knocking the root filled soil loose!

In the end, the easiest way to clear it was to roll it a bit, pull it back, bounce it, roll it again, pull it back, bounce it…

I finally got it all out! You can see the pile of roots in the back, where I’d pulled out the biggest, vine-looking ones. I don’t know what they were from; they look like they’ve been dead for a long time. Certainly nothing growing in the planter since we’ve been here came from those long roots!

The tire was just been set aside for now. We might still try to find a way to use it, but not as a planter!

For anyone reading this, thinking of re-purposing tires as planters…


Just… don’t! 😀 The tires do degrade quite a bit, they are difficult to work around, and they are a huge job to clean up!

Speaking of cleaning up…

Yay!! No more tire planter!

That thing was such a pain to mow around!

All rakes up and ready to have some grass seed added, next spring.

Another job off the list!

The Re-Farmer

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