Container gardening is more than a notion! What was a growing trend has become serious business. With national economy continuing to spin in negative space…with more and more people taking charge of their own health…with eco-consciousness at an all-time high, it makes sense to grow your own vegetables.
If you're concerned about upfront cost, we've gathered the best of the best ideas for container gardening on-the-cheap.
Wouldn't it be lovely to grow veggies in a hand-painted china container? Lovely, but not exactly cost effective! Here are a few ideas on how to obtain cheap-to-free containers.
• Garage Sales – come spring garage sales, estate sales and block sales suddenly sprout-up like stinging nettles. Enlist a friend and make a grand day of treasure hunting. Have lunch and nurture your friendship. Keep your eagle eyes peeled for pots without lids. Or, hit the mother lode with a claw footed bathtub, perfect for your root vegetables. Tip: Don't be afraid to haggle, it's expected.
• Fast Food Restaurants – Ask managers of local fast food restaurants to save their five-gallon containers. You keep plastic out of the landfills and repurpose these containers, which is a brilliant eco-friendly effort.
• Dollar Stores – You'll find dozens of spiffy planters and containers for a buck.
• Thrift Stores – Good places to scout for innovative containers, such as chipped tea pots, bright colored buckets, etc. Think big! You'll need several 3-5 gallon pots to accommodate vegetables with long roots.
• Hardware, Garden or Farm Stores – Cheap source of old-fashioned galvanized wash tubs and half whisky barrels. These are excellent containers for veggies like cucumbers and squash. Tip: While you're browsing, watch...
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...o contain perlite or vermiculite to help the soil preserve moisture and aerate it. These mixes will remain pest, disease and weed free due to heating during processing.
Beginners might prefer using soilless mixtures because they are lighter if you need to move containers about. Many contain fertilizer so you can skip that step for a month or so.
• Water – You'll get a greater yield if soil is uniformly moist. During dry, hot weather you'll need to water daily. Use a watering can and water all around top of container. Keep water away from foliage if possible to discourage disease.
• Food – Use dry organic fertilizer as directed. Apply fish emulsion weekly.
Celebrate your Bounty – Once you've plucked your first succulent tomato and eaten it straight from the vine, you'll be totally hooked on container gardening.
Get growing! It's healthy! It's fun! It's frugal!
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