How To Ecologically Clean Unwanted Spoked Rims For An Herb Garden

If your spoked tire rims are in good condition, take them off before you haul your old vehicle to a salvage yard (such as Four-Twenty-Two Auto Wrecking). The spaces between the spokes make perfect sections for that herb garden that you have always wanted. The rims can be used in your yard, on your patio, apartment balcony, even in a corner of your kitchen after your clean and repaint them. It's a very cool way to separate your herbs and create a conversation piece at the same time! 

Why Not Simply Use The Tires?

You may be tempted to use only the tires to house your chosen varieties of oregano, basil, rosemary and other favorite spices. That is fine. You can do that if your don't mind corralling your spices together and hunting through what you need when you harvest. One drawback is that your herb garden can grow into an unruly mess, making them hard to sift through and cut for drying or throwing into your evening meal. Another drawback is that your herbs can absorb that old tire smell if they are grown in a hot climate where the sun bakes the rubber. It never fails to happen when you have a guest with a sensitive palate!

Then Use Some Ecologically Safe Elbow Grease

Cleaning your tire rims without using a bunch of chemicals that can harm your herbs (and you) is economical when you use an acid like distilled vinegar and an alkaline substance like baking soda. You can buy both at your local market for a couple bucks depending on how much you think you will need to clean. Sure it takes a bit more effort for stubborn road dust, but note that you will also get less of a chemical reaction. Just some bubbling when you mix the two natural agents. 

Why Not A Commercial Spray?

Think about it--if the spray dissolves your rim dirt in a few seconds and you don't get it entirely rinsed off--what will it do to your plants? Tire rims are usually made of an alloy (a combination of two or more metals) and not a single metal like aluminum. Alloys are made for high temps and high pressure of car weight and driving. Sure spraying them with a chemical will clean them without breaking down the alloy, but that isn't the goal.

Cleaning them with natural agents made into a paste, using a toothbrush to get into crevices, and spraying the rims with water before using a rag or a sponge to rid the rims of excess dirt is a good safe cleaning project. It's safe for the kids to clean the rims, while you are preparing for painting the rims and planting the garden.

If you like the look of the bare rims and are feeling assured that any factory powder coating won't come into contact with your herbs, then don't paint. If you want some color, buy your favorite ecologically safe paint product and give it a few coats, allowing the paint to dry between coats.

Plant, Plant, Plant

You will likely have four to eight sections to plant your herbs within your spoked rims. Once the prep work is done, simply fill the rim with potting soil and plant each herb into each individual section. Soon you will have your garden and be able to quickly cut off what you need for your meals. 

No detangling intermingled herbs!