A friend of mine grows spinach, cherry tomatoes and herbs in a recycled old claw foot bath three metres from her back door.

Planting vegetables in a bathtub

She lives in an old redbrick railway cottage with not much space in her backyard to grow vegetables, especially as two large trees tend to overshadow the yard. There are few places where the sun can flood seeds and seedlings with precious warmth.

So this bath became particularly useful as in the initial stages she could move it  around to access the best spot while it is still empty and light.

Just one question: would the plughole provide sufficient drainage? (just joking). Line the tub with gravel.

Inquire at your nearest nursery or hardware store for soil that would best ensure proper drainage. The most valuable element your vegetable bathtub will contain is compost and perhaps the addition of peat moss if you wish.

Mary takes recycling seriously. Next to her bathtub garden is a large green JoJjo tank with an inflow pipe connected to the  the gutter on the roof. This water is particularly useful to water her vegetable garden during the dry season.

Recycling bathwater
Given her penchant for recycling I’ve wondered whether bathwater could be used to water her vegetable garden?

With increased costs of water in cities and towns being so high, it was worth exploring the possibility, so I read through comments related to recyling bathwater on a several sites. Overwhelmingly gardeners’ experience reveals that soapy water (except anti-bacterial soap) does not damage your vegetable plants. Many comments claim that their vegetables actually thrive on it.

Personally, I give Margaret Roberts the benefit of the doubt. In her book, “Companion Planting“, she includes a number of recipes combining herbs, water and Sunlight Soap powder to use as sprays. They soapy element allows a concoction to stick to plants.

I would trust her judgement on this, as she has trialed these recipes over many years. (Margaret is listed in Who’s Who in South Africa, and a rose is named after her.)

Margaret Roberts’ book: Companion Planting

Categories: Agriculture, baths, containers, Food, Food crisis, Growing, healthy, planting in a bathtub, plants, Recycle, seedlings, seeds, Toxic, Vegetables, Warning | Leave a comment


Goodyear Tyre factory

Goodyear Tyres

I recall, while in junior grade at Riebeek College, Uitenhage, our class was taken on a tour of  the Goodyear Tyre factory. My one overriding reaction was to the smell of rubber; I wondered how the workers could bear to breathe the fumes.

Many years later the company’s workers went on strike and burned tyres in protest, as can be seen from the photo below. What chemicals were released into the atmosphere as the tyres went up in smoke?

Strikers burning tyres at Goodyear Tyre factory in Uitenhage

I like the idea of growing vegetables in tyres (American: tires).
Especially as it would settle the question of recycling them. (Unless of course, you’re a sculptor, or furniture designer, as you will see from the photos further down.) However, I came across two sites you may want to view: The 5400 Square Foot Homestead, and Environment and Human Health, Inc.

Instead of recommending the use of tyres in which to grow your vegetables successfully – and if you are keen on recycling those you see on the side of the road or when you dump your refuse – here are some uses for discarded tyres.

Tyre made into a pouffe

You’ll never slip off this seat

A modern toilet seat

Categories: Agriculture, chemicals, containers, eat, Farming, Food, Growing, healthy, Preparation, Recycle, Soil, Toxic, Toxins, Tyres, Vegetables | Leave a comment

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