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Roseamore
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Thank you so much for this wonderful idea.

Good, big container are expensive so I've been scratching my head on how to keep the cost of my gardening down. I can get one of those containers here for $3.

Right now I am clapping with joy.

Thank you!!!!

Roseamore :-()
Patience and plants grow side-by-side.... The art of gardening cultivates them well.

tenderloingardener
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Funny someone should bring up an inexpensive germinating greenhouse thing-just today I looked in some of my seed flats (sounds fancy, but they are just plastic food containers with lids and a bunch of holes punched in the bottom). I had put the lids on and put them on my fire escape, thinking anything that was going to come up would have already. Well, I was wrong about that. Something came up, and since there is only the condyle leaves plus really, really long stems as they have been eagerly seeking light I'm not sure what. I put thyme in there, but when it didn't come up I put some mystery seeds, Nigella, rose, and-this is most likely-Italian parsley. I pricked them all out and put them in a good size pot since they are tap root plants. I'll let you know when I do, but if they are IP now I know how to get them to come up! Funny thing is that just today I sowed some (soaked overnight first) in another soil mix-I thought they were displeased with my last attempt. I'm putting a lid on that sucker right now! :lol:
Shawna

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albopepper
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Hi fellow gardeners!

I've been using 105 count Clorox wipes containers as a reservoir with a 32 oz Dannon yogurt container inserted into it, which holds the mix. A polyester cord or shoe lace serves as a wick. Here's my page showing how:

https://albopepper.com/albo-stein.php

This is good for pepper / tomato seedlings. I just plant 3 seeds directly. I pick the strongest. Then I let it grow undisturbed until planting time. This is good for an urban gardener who might only grow 6 to 12 peppers / tomatoes.

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oggy
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

I have an indoor container that houses some plants and was planning on using some clear plastic water jugs that are about 5.5 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep. I asked if my room mate would pick up a can of spray paint while I was at work so I could paint them when I got home but he picked a primer paint that doesn't stick to plastic very well. Then took the liberty of painting them for me. Now I don't have anything for my plants.

I need some ideas for some pots that fit these dimensions, 5.5" diameter, 8" height. I am growing Strawberries, an alpine variety. If that's too large of a pot, I'd really appreciate it if I could get some ideas for an ideal size.

jessjasjam
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

So as a restaurant industry worker, I can agree that restaurants are a great place to hit up! Some of the really high-end places here sell their big wooden wine crates for $5 instead of sending them back to the seller, and buckets are always around. Sometime's you can get great finds at non-chain places, too. Burlap bags, big tin/aluminum buckets and cans (lightweight and shiiiiny), and often enough the 40-60gal wheeled storage containers, since our health dept requires we change them out often.

Restaurants that are just opening/ closing are awesome if you're willing to do some DIY and build containers...we had food-safe treated wood tables that we sold off for $3 each when we updated, and when restaurants in my work's district go out of business, it's usually possible to buy decor (pots etc) and minor cookware (like big bowls and storage tubs) for a couple dollars from the guys stripping it...less work for them! Especially since often the buyers have to clean up after the last folks.

I'm sure my new neighbors will be a bit nonplussed by the assortment of containers on my porch, though... pride- of place will be old stoneware jars with badly painted blueberries from the thrift shop's no-good curb :)

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kayjay
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

I'm a baker for Tim Horton's - THE Canadian donut chain. Hit up a Timmy's for fondant buckets. I don't think they're quite 5 gallons, as it's labelled by weight, but I plan on doing tomatoes and peppers in them. BTW, a new bucket is 45 lbs, so these are pretty strong buckets! They also have tightly-fitting snap-on lids, so they're also great for dry goods like rice or flour, dog food, driveway salt, etc.
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

Meme
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

I so enjoyed all you had written Lehcar, smiling away too. I felt I was there with you. :D

Really good idea's from everyone regarding free containers. I had never thought about asking for any in stores. I will be going on a hunt as soon as I can. :D

I did though hold on tight to a large recycling green box that was given by the local council. Bins were eventually given, much better for sure. But the green plastic box is ideal for growing potatoes in :D and also I managed to get another two :D (don't ask) :roll: :lol: , those now hold onions and carrots.
~ A Smile Speaks a Thousand Words ~

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Greywolf
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Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Containers, as it turns out - have become the absolute least of my worries. As you can see from the following images, I have no lack of them. The problem has become more one of creating enough quality soil to fill them with...

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The sources of these 'containers' range from my diminutive Suzuki Swift automobile, not to mention garden tractors - all the way up to a CASE 740 front end loader tire that was donated by a friend of mine who had got stuck with it after changing a bad tire for another of our friends!

Now, the notion of using old tires as planters might seem a little bit too crude or "Countrified" to some of you - but look at how the brown one turned out! I purposely left it on the rim and flipped it inside out, an idea I picked up from the web, and painted it with ordinary house paint (latex, as a matter of fact. Which means everything cleaned up with plain old water)

That brown planter now has a couple of red stemmed Malabar Spinach vines going in it, and the cage I set in there for them to grow up on is fully nine feet tall.

*Second from the bottom is a 2-piece idea I got with a small car tire on top of the side wall of a large truck tire.

(It was either that or use the old sidewalls to surround trees)


Among the real advantages here are that recycling tires THIS way prevents them from filling up landfills, and the plain fact is that in a thousand years future archeologists will be finding these and wondering what they were for. Perhaps they will assume they had some kind of religious significance, and that "GOODYEAR" was a prayer for our crops and whatnot....

At the very least, in a hundred years these planters will probably still hold soil. Unlike plastic or wood containers, UV and other forms of rot really don't affect them very much.
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meshmouse
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Hey Greywolf -

Wonderful designs. Great repurposing. Aesthetically, I have no problem with them. They look great.

Any worries with plasticizers, etc., leeching into the food chain? Anybody else have an opinion?

Thanks

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Greywolf
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

The main reason I painted the one so far, was because I could see that there WAS some drying and cracking of the sidewalls on them, and I wanted to prevent any rust. The choice of an interior/exterior latex paint with water clean-up was to avoid environmental issues.

As you look around, you see thousands on thousands of homes painted with it, and in the old days LEAD was a big issue with house paint. Children were eating paint chips (because they don't know any better) so a huge pogrom was mounted at a point to make these kinds of paints safe.

While I have no real idea what the chemical makeup is of them, the notion that they should be safe around foolish kids is a leading factor.

I could also have used metal paint - a sort of 'Rustoleum' clone that I have a gallon of - but I know from experience that the stuff I have takes a decade to completely dry. I have trellis grids that I painted five or ten years ago that still leave green marks on my fingers when I handle them, so that wouldn't be good. In theory Rust preventive paints use fish oil to penetrate and protect metal, but looking at the labels there is a complete witches brew of petro chem stuff in those...

Another thing I like is that the drainage of the containers is right through the center, but yet the sidewall on the bottom forms a kind of a circular well, or reservoir, that can help keep some of the water inside during a dry spell.

They are robust enough that using a weed-trimmer around them doesn't damage them. The string just bounces off :()

Elsewhere on the web I have seen images of tires whoes sides have been artfully cut to resemble flower petals when turned inside out. They are stackable - as witness the one next to my "MALABAR TOWER" that I have set a Cumin plant in the middle of.

I also sometimes use uncut tires as supporting bases to center narrow planters that could be knocked over. Again - they form a buffer that will protect against trimmer damage when policing up the yard.


Because the potted banana on the right is in a container with such a narrow base, I used a tire I had no other plans for to straighten it and keep it from falling over

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Another view of how the Red Stemmed malabar is doing
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In the forground I have a recent addition that I found I had cut just about right for the tire to grip the trellis/cage I planned to set in it. It will be painted sometime soon, I hope.
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Beyond it however - you see another narrow based planter with a tobacco plant in it standing on very uneven ground. IT TOO is set in a rubber tire to hold it straight up.

~The tire also allows me to turn the planter easily, and aim the trunk of the plant straight up if it should grow towards the sun which here comes from somewhat to the south

I may eventually have all these planters either standing on gravel or concrete depending on how my plans for the driveway go. But the soil in them can be moved right along with them, and the planters themselves turned on their sides and 'Rolled down the road' so to speak...

By clicking on these pictures, you can see them better. There is no "X" that appears to close them, you just click on the image a second time and they go back to normal. :D
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Viking1204
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Wow, after going through this thread I'm going to be looking at everything different with the thought of using it in a container garden!
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GardeningCook
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

I don't want to be a "Negative Nancy", but folks may want to keep in mind that the jury is still out concerning auto tires leaching toxic chemicals into both the soil & vegetables grown within them - especially as the tires start to degrade after a time. Also, the black tires do tend to heat up in the sun a lot more than other containers, so one might want to choose plants accordingly. Just a heads up - not trying to dampen anyone's recycling fun. :wink:
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Mr green
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

I go to my local pizzeria they buy pickled pepperoni peppers, mayonese etc in 10l buckets these are perfect to grow in after drilling a few holes in the bottom, may not be so pretty, but thats something for the neighbours to deal with anyway. Its basically free and usually they are happy to have you take their "trash" away for free. May not be UV resistant, but they have lasted 3 seasons for me so far.

It can be good to clean them before you stack them tho! Or they may be fused togheter, i have a few that i cant take apart without breaking it.

Will take a pic or two just to show how ugly you can grow :)
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished - Lao Tzu

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EWH733
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Kitty litter buckets, best "free" containers I've found. I just planted a Mandragora in one moments ago.

Polopoly
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

10 gallon toy containers from Target are poly-propelene and fairly cheap (I got a few for $3 apiece at clearance sales at the end of summer). They come in a bunch of colors if aesthetics matter (eg you're planting in the front yard and have persnickety neighbors)

Gardener123
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Burger King and McDonald's throw them away... or at least they used to.
Living the good life with my wife and 2 wonderful daughters!

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Greywolf
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Re: Free/Inexpensive Container Ideas

Now me personally - I needed much bigger planters to use out of doors, and what I found worked well was old tires - especially if I cut the sidewall out of the side laying on the top!
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There is no such thing as a "STUPID QUESTION"
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