There are few things more entertaining for kids than a garden project, and when one project can also recycle old junk and beautify the yard, what's not to love? Bubbly South African gardening guru Tanya Visser has a blast showing how to help young ones create large garden planters by upcycling discarded tires.
In the video produced by Visser's The Gardener Magazine, she uses PVA primer as a base coat for the tires, after lying down some plastic to protect the grass. A water-soluble PVA is great for kids to use, because when -- not if -- they get the paint somewhere it shouldn't be, it will easily wash off.
Let the kids apply the PVA paint liberally, filling in the grooves on the tires. After they've painted all of the tires, stack them into any arrangement that you'd like, using the widest tire as the base. Make sure the the bottom is lined with a plastic outdoor trash bag, and poke a couple of holes in the bag for drainage.
Next, use whatever paint colors you have on hand to let the kids decorate the tire arrangements. "This is the fun part!" Visser says. "You get to make pickles, dog paws, skeletons -- whatever you really want to!" She "awakened her inner child" for the colorful painting, laughing and admitting that this is the part she's "not very good at."
When the paint is dry, add some drainage pebbles, then good potting soil and bone meal.
Finally, plant your favorite, vibrant flowers for a youthful look. "Think of fun, think of bright, think of easy maintenance," advises Visser with a smile.
"From really drab tires to something quite funky (besides my artwork, of course) I think it's lovely. It's certainly going to keep kids involved in the garden for a long, long time," Visser says. "And remember, when you're bored of it, you rip it out, pop [the plants] into the garden, and put something else in here... Your options are endless."
Please share this article, then gather your leftover paint, old tires and bored kids and see what you come up with!