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Tire Hothouses Help Start Plants Early
Bud Bullard of Sigurd, Utah, says you can use old tires to create mini hothouses to get an early start on your garden.
    He has access to front-end loader and rock truck tires and uses a reciprocating saw to cut the tops back to the tread to maximize space. But any size tire works, he says.
    Depending on the weather, he fills them with vegetable plants in March or April, waters them well and covers the top of the tire with Plexiglas.
    “Condensation will build up if the top of the tire opening is completely covered,” Bullard says. The extra moisture is helpful especially when the plants are young.
    He waters whenever the plants look droopy and monitors the temperature carefully.
    “As the days warm up, prop the glass up with a brick or stick during the day. At night, let the glass back down,” he says. “When the chance of frost has passed, remove the glass and enjoy neighbor envy as they see how thick and hearty your plants look.”
    Bullard says he has planted in tire hothouses for 20 years and planted a variety of vegetables including peppers, squash and tomatoes. He plants 6 to 8 tomato plants in the largest tires and likes to plant squash in smaller tires.
    Besides starting plants early, the tires extend the season, Bullard notes. When frost threatens he covers the plants with the Plexiglas.
    He keeps the soil in the tires over the winter and adds fertilizer and turkey mulch (sawdust and turkey manure) in the spring before planting.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bud Bullard, P.O. Box 570071, Sigurd, Utah 84657 (ph 435 896-8324).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1