Have you been staring at that empty space in your garden, wondering what you can do to make it pop?
There’s an old hack that gardeners have used for decades to add interest to their garden, and it starts at the dump.
No joke. According to RecycleNation, roughly 300 million tires are discarded each year!
While 80% of these are recycled in some way, about 60 million still end up in landfills, private stockpiles, and on the side of roadways.
The great news is that discarded tires make for fantastic landscaping, and one of the best uses for them is to turn them into garden ponds!
There are literally hundreds of ways to arrange and decorate your tire-pond, so the possibilities are virtually endless!
Did I mention it’s multi-beneficial? Not only are you helping to reduce a seriously toxic waste product in the environment, but you are also creating an environmentally friendly space for wildlife in your garden.
Birds, bees and all manner of insects and critters love outdoor ponds, and don’t forget the fish!
It gives them a well to drink from, water to bathe in, and creates the potential to grow water-loving plants that might not otherwise thrive in your garden.
Ready to get started? Here is what you’ll need:
- Large used tire (if you want to go BIG-find an old tractor tire)
- Pond Liner or plastic sheet (between 20-45 mm thick)
- Sand, gravel, and pebbles
- A shovel or spade
- Stones of assorted shape and size
- Plants of your choosing and fish (*optional*)
Once all the materials are gathered, you can begin step #1: Dig
Start by digging a hole just large and deep enough that our tire will fit snuggly into it.
In order to ensure that you aren’t digging too wide, you can place a ring of stones around the tire where you want the pond to go.
Then remove the tire and dig within the confines of the stone circle.
On to step #2: Cut
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When you have your tire in place, take your jigsaw and cut the top lip of the tire out, going all the way around.
You should have just a thin edge left and a very slight curve or “lip” left on top of the tire.
Step #3: Cover
After you have placed the tire and cut out your upper rim or lip, take the pond liner and lay out evenly over the tire.
You should have plenty of excess cover hanging outside of the tire. Take this and tuck it down the outer wall of the tire and pack with dirt.
This will ensure that the liner stays in place as you begin to fill the pond.
Step #’s 4-7: Finish
How cool is that? Making a Decorative Pond From Old Tires! 😍 pic.twitter.com/BwyNd437F5
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Now that your liner is laid and tucked, fill the bottom of the pond with sand and spread to make sure the bottom layer is completely covered and the liner is weighted down.
Add the gravel and press it in with the back of your shovel so that the sand won’t drift up when you fill with water.
Then spread a thick layer of pebbles over the gravel to create a nice finish to the bottom of your pond and give it natural look when filled.
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Place your large stones around your pond and plant flowers, ferns, vines or anything else that suits your fancy. You can even plant water-lilies, duckweed, or any other type of water-loving plant for added interest.
Finally, fill your pond with water (add the fish if you’ve got em), stand back and enjoy your new repurposed masterpiece!