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.