Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Recycled Container Gardening

As I mentioned previously, the Lord has been blessing us abundantly with rain. We have had a 18 day stretch of rain daily. Some days more than others, but thoughts of having Beloved build an ark were beginning to take place. LOL

We have started putting wooden shipping crates in the garden to use as planting boxes. We put old hay in the bottom with top soil on the top. These are going to work out great. They end up being about waist high which will eliminate the problem of aching backs or knees from weeding the garden. We are putting weed barrier cloth - a black plastic with tiny holes in it to allow water to drian through - on top of the soil before planting our seedlings. This will further eliminate the need to be weeding the garden so much. The weed barrier also will help to hold in the moisture in the soil. One word of caution however - always place some mulch on top of the plastic if you have very hot summers! If you neglect to do this, you tomato and other plants can get too hot and be burned.

We have plans to add to the number of crates each year. We may end up building some from old pallets also if we run out of crates. Our garden area is about 88' x 108' in size. The crates are about 4' square. We can place a lot of these crates in that area. I am planning to have a portion of the garden area for the vining plants to be planted directly in the ground. Most likely they will be in the back portion.

If you live near a business that receives product in the wooden shipping crates, you may want to consider talking to the owner or manager. Some businesses will burn or otherwise destroy the crates even though they are in very good condition. You may be able to get the crates for a very low cost or free. If you are handy with hand tools, you can also make your own crates using old wood pallets. In our area, the local Ace Hardware & Lumber Stores give away the old wooden pallets. Be sure to specify the old ones as they also have new ones which they sell. We have often gone to their store and loaded up a trailer with a full load of pallets for free.

Looking around, you can find many recycleable containers that would be suitable for gardening. The only criteria being that they can hold the soil & water. Bakeries and restaurants often have plastic buckets that they recieve food products in. These often get thrown away unless people ask for the containers. Put a few drainage holes in the bottom and you have a nice container for your tomatoes or other plants.

Be creative. You may find that there is a vast array of options available to you.

4 comments:

Blessedmom said...

What a wonderful post! I am constantly saving butter tubs, buckets and even wanted to use our old toilet we recently replaced to use in the garden to grow something. lol.

Oh, and I wanted to let you know that I just started a new blog here on blogger, I am also at homesteadblogger, but now prefer it here.

The rain here in Oklahoma has been abundant, and I am so thankful that we have had some beautiful sunny days to enjoy. Talk to you soon.
Love in Christ,
sara

Scarlett said...

I love putting as much as I can in containers. Bell Peppers do very well. We have very little space we can use for the garden, and containers help expand the space alot. Beloved hubby brings home five gallon buckets from work that they get the dye in. He works in a plastics plant for now. We drill holes in the bottom of the buckets, put some gravel in and some soil. I will warn about topsoil. Our was not holding moisture well at all, and we had to remove some and add som potting soil. Amazing how many things you can recycle when you are really looking, and pots that big are expensive.

lady m's lavender cottage said...

I am also a gardener that believes containers can be reused!

I hope that you were able to save some of that rain water for future use in the garden!

We haven't received as much rain at this time here up North.

blessings to your day,

lady m

Heather Haney said...

my dad is using cat litter buckets and hanging them and using some sort of self watering tube
screams.... runs.... no not a toliet!! Donate it and get a tax write off help someone in need of a free loo.