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How to Plant a Cheap Container Garden

Updated on August 11, 2013

Beautiful, Bountiful Container Gardens on a Budget

In addition to fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables, gardeners enjoy a relaxing and healthy pastime. A container garden can be squeezed into any available space, bringing the delights of a thriving garden to homes that lack a great space for a traditional garden.

Photo credit: iclipart.com

The wide variety of specialty containers, soils, plants, and tools available for the container garden can give the impression that container gardening is an expensive hobby. It is certainly possible to sink enough money to put a down payment on a farm into a container garden. Big bucks, though, are by no means required.

Like any hobby or project, your container garden will yield rewards in direct proportion to what you put into it. The key to successful container gardening on a budget is to bear in mind that what you put into it doesn't have to be money. A great container garden takes creativity, time, effort, and, yes, money. The more of any one of these you pour into your garden, the less of the others you'll need to achieve the results you want.

Creative container choices, patient cultivation from seed in place of seedlings, a little elbow grease thrown into building your own planters or hauling soil from a bulk supplier... the list goes on. Substitute creativity, time, or effort for money where possible, and carefully consider your options for the purchases you do make, and you can enjoy all the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of gardening in any space on any budget!

Cut Costs with Crazy, Cool Container Choices!

Reused and Upcycled Containers Are Unique, Decorative, and Cheap

When you are still establishing your container garden, the containers themselves will usually be your most significant potential expense. If your budget is a concern, containers from the garden center may be prohibitively expensive. Save your money by developing a scavenger's eye for free or low-cost containers.

A container does not have to be designed with plants in mind! Anything that allows drainage and can hold some soil can be pressed into use in the garden. Garden plants can thrive in old tires, children's toys, sinks, toilets, or plain plastic buckets. The large buckets in which many donut shops receive lard make great containers for flowers, herbs, small bushes, and many vegetables. Just drill or poke some holes for drainage. An old claw foot bathtub makes a truly great planter box, if you have the room, and adds quaint charm to any garden. Small plants look cheerful and stylish in an assortment of old shoes or hats.


An old papasan chair makes a great planter!
Photo by Cassandra Gregg

If your container provides no exit for water, remember to poke or drill a few holes in it before planting. If it is aesthetically unacceptable, paint it, wrap it in fabric, cover it in wild avalanches of glitter, tuck it behind a more decorative container, or just use it to grow a boisterously vining plant for natural cover.

Once you make looking for them a mission, finding unique items to repurpose as garden containers will become a large part of the fun of container gardening, and the treasures you find and make will help your garden become a better reflection of you!

Lining DIY Garden Containers - Coconut Fiber, Landscape Mats, and Old T-Shirts, Oh My!

Every once in a while, you'll stumble across an old or unwanted item that is already a perfect, ready-to-use container. Perhaps the most ubiquitous example of this is the humble kitchen colandar, which is perfectly suited by its nature to hold in dirt while allowing water to drain.

More often, as in the case of the papasan chair planter above, you'll need to either make holes to allow water to drain or line your brilliant new DIY container with something to keep dirt in. Making holes is pretty self-explanatory. Lining containers to keep dirt in seems more complicated, but it's not hard! If you have a little dough to spend on a liner that'll hold up for a few years, it's hard to beat coconut fiber. That's what I used to line my papasan chair, and it's been going strong for a few years now with no signigicant signs of wear. Coconut fiber can be bought in a roll and cut to fit the shape of your container.

If you're on a shoestring budget, a roll of coconut fiber may be out of reach for this year's garden. Landscaping fabric designed for weed control is a great second choice. It's meant to withstand exposure to repeated soaking and drying, and to let water pass through. A container lined with this type of fabric is very similar to a fabric grow bag, offering fantastic drainage. The only drawbacks to using this sort of fabric instead of coconut fiber are strength and durability. Provided you're okay with replacing the liner in a year or two, and are using a container that offers some support, landscape weed control fabric makes a great, inexpensive liner.

Finally, if you're rolling pennies to plant your garden, you can always cut up old clothes to line your containers. Unfortunately, the fabrics that are good for clothing tend to be not-so-good for lining garden containers. They degrade rapidly when exposed to water and sunlight, and the weave tends to become clogged with dirt, causing drainage to be less than ideal. On the bright side, a found container lined with discarded clothes is pretty much free, and seeds are so cheap that you can afford to try different crops in your homemade container till you find something that really flourishes.

Austram 501001 Cocomoss Roll Liner, 2-Feet Width
Austram 501001 Cocomoss Roll Liner, 2-Feet Width

A roll of coconut fiber allows you to line any object you'd like to use as a container quickly and with a perfect, custom fit. Coconut fiber is a fantastic liner!

 

Be an Opportunistic Container Gardener - Wait, Don't Throw that Away!

Beans growing in a dryer drum
Beans growing in a dryer drum

Fava beans and lettuce in an old dryer drum
Photo by Cassandra Gregg.

Lettuce grows faster than we can eat salads.
Photo by Cassandra Gregg

A while back, our dryer died the final death. Its large drum, however, was reborn as a terrific makeshift planter box. It grew lemon cucumbers and wonderfully purple basil last summer.

As fall sped toward winter, I was busy and the chilly remains of my vegetable garden were pretty far down on my list of priorities. As I was clearing out my old dryer drum planter, I took five minutes to grab a bag of fava beans and some lettuce seed, shove a few bean seeds into the dirt with my fingers, scatter lettuce seeds over the top and water.

Rains came soon after my impromptu planting. Lettuce and beans sprouted slowly, hung around being neglected for a bit, then took off, ignited by an unusually mild winter and warm spring.

In February I watered for the first time since planting. Now, in early March, we've been enjoying fresh lettuce for our salads for months, and it's growing faster than we can cut it.

The fava beans are tall and lush, and blooming prettily. More importantly, they're hard at work preparing the container for spring's planting.

Fava beans fix nitrogen in the soil as they grow, making them an excellent choice for off-season planting! Total cost: A cumulative twenty minutes of my time and some loose change in seeds.

More Creative Ideas for Garden Containers - If It'll Hold Dirt...

Creative container choices are budget friendly, to be sure, but they can also make your garden more original and interesting! Here are some great ideas for creative containers to beautify your outdoor space without breaking the bank.

Offset Garden Expenditures by Growing Food - Many wonderful fruits and vegetables will grow beautifully in containers!

A bowl full of pretty peppers.
A bowl full of pretty peppers.

A bowl full of peppers looks good enough to eat!
Photo by Sascha Faber

Container gardens are a great environment for many fruits and vegetables. Food from your garden is so much more fresh and tasty than grocery store produce, and even a small container garden can fill most or even all of your produce needs for several months every year. If you preserve some of your crops by canning, drying, or freezing, you can enjoy a taste of summer all year long! Every little bit counts. Even the tiniest windowsill can host a row of herbs in pretty containers, and fresh herbs are ridiculously expensive to buy.

Container-grown fruits and vegetables benefit from increased protection from soil-dwelling garden pests. In a container, you also have full control over the soil mix and the amount of water you provide to your plants. Even in an apartment with no patio or sunny window, a small and inexpensive grow light or two can allow you to grow one tomato or pepper plant or an entire thriving garden of herbs. Did you know that many peppers will grow as perennials when placed indoors under a light? That's right: fresh, delicious peppers all year long!

In addition to tomatoes, peppers, and assorted herbs, you can grow cucumbers, berries, and eggplant with fabulous results in containers. If you find, make, or buy some very large (20 gallon or larger for ideal results) containers, you can add summer and winter squash, melons, the largest beefsteak tomatoes... essentially, anything you could grow in the ground, with the possible exception of corn. Theoretically, corn would do fine in larger containers, but you'd need a lot of them, as corn needs to be grown in a squarish "patch" for proper pollination. Do you grow corn in containers with great results? Drop me a comment... I want to hear about it!

Start Your Plants from Seed - For a Cheaper Garden and Wider Selection

Most plants can be started from seed with little effort and no special equipment. For a cheap, healthy, and ecologically sound start, sow your seeds with compost and soil or planting mix in old socks or, for very small seedlings, cardboard egg cartons.

When it's time to transplant your seedlings to their permanent homes, simply cut slits in the old socks or poke holes in your egg carton, and you can plant the whole thing, fabric or cardboard and all! This is particularly nice as it minimizes the shock sustained by the plant's roots at transplant time.

For a mini-greenhouse, cut the bottom four inches or so off of a 2-liter plastic bottle, remove the top, and place over your transplanted seedling, pushing the cut edge of the plastic slightly into the soil to anchor. This will protect the seedling from any surprise frosts after transplant time, but should be removed during the warmer hours of the day to avoid overheating your seedlings.

Lettuce - Garden Babies Butterhead
Lettuce - Garden Babies Butterhead

Lettuce can be grown in small containers on a patio, or even in a sunny window.

 
Eggplant Little Prince Container Seeds 30 Seeds
Eggplant Little Prince Container Seeds 30 Seeds

A teeny-tiny eggplant just for container gardeners.

 

Compost is a Free Lunch

Compost is a cheap source of nutrients for your garden, and a free addition to or replacement for expensive planting mixes or fertile soil. Many communities have implemented various composting programs to encourage local residents to compost their biodegradable waste.Check your city and county government websites for information about such programs. In many areas, compost bins and other equipment are provided free or at a reduced price to residents who attend a brief, free composting class.


Compost Round Stickers

Compost not composting? If you started your composting habit too late in the year for finished compost at planting time, use the unfinished compost to plant pumpkins and other winter squash earlier in the spring than would ordinarily be possible. Add a layer of soil to the top of your compost pile, and the heat from the decomposing compost beneath will help your squash sprout even while frost still covers the ground. By the time the roots reach the compost, it should have progressed enough to provide nourishment without burning your plants. Winter squash tossed whole into the compost bin will frequently produce volunteer squash vines when spring arrives.

Compost Without the Mess (or Aroma!)

The All Seasons Indoor Composter brings all the benefits (and none of the hassle!) of composting into the small yard or apartment garden. Composting is an excellent way to provide wonderful food for your garden. Sadly, small yards and apartments make it difficult to use a traditional compost pile or bin. Small compost piles are harder to "cook," as their mass doesn't reach a size that will easily encourage the center to decay and heat. An enclosed composter designed for indoor use offers a faster, cleaner, and altogether more palatable approach for the city gardener.

Save Your Coffee Grounds

Coffee is Compost Superfood

Used coffee grounds are an awesome power food for your garden. They break down quickly in the compost pile, and encourage other foods to do the same. Their pleasant aroma, soil-like appearance, and high nitrogen content also make them an ideal side-dressing supplement for encouraging vegetation.

Pleasantly, coffee grounds are also among the easiest garden treasures to find for free! Almost any coffee shop will cheerfully allow you to cart away as big a bag as you can haul, just for the asking.

Photo by Aaron Logan

If there's no convenient local coffee shop, or your local purveyor of java is bizarrely attached to used coffee grounds, collect them from the coffee pot at work or solicit them from friends. Used coffee cans make great collection bins.

Gardeners are a creative and crafty lot, and each of us has our favorite unique trick, shortcut, or tool to make our gardens more frugal or bountiful. Add yours below, or just say hi!

What are Your Tips and Tricks? - How Does Your Container Garden Grow?

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    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 2 years ago from India

      Great tips for container gardening

      What is more refreshing than vegetables grown in your own garden!

      Voted up and shared

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 3 years ago

      Great ideas! I'm beyond cheap and drink a lot of coffee. I'll be putting these ideas to use!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: Yeah! You know, my mom used to do that, and I'd forgotten all about it!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Back to enjoy this helpful lens, we are developing our container gardens in front. I will stay on the lookout for an old tub. Also, if you have a pretty pot that you cannot drill through, layer some stones on the bottom for drainage and place a terra cotta pot on it. That usually will provide enough drainage.

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      I absolutely adore the converted papasan chair idea! We are moving to a bigger place with a patio at the beginning of August and I can't wait to plant a little container garden. Thanks for the awesome ideas...I'm now glancing around my home looking for things I can change into a pot... :)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Flowerchild1946: Sounds fantastic! What a nice catch... I might not have spotted the potential in a metal hanging lamp.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      Such cool ideas for containers. I like to reuse stuff too. I have a planter made out of a discarded metal hanging lamp (turned upside down). My boyfriend hated it and was going to throw it away after I bought him a new one for Christmas. I said. "Wait, don't throw that away!" It sits in a wrought iron plant stand and makes a great little planter.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 4 years ago

      I also use anything I come across as growing containers - and when I stumble across someone else's idea - I want to try it out. It's fun and exciting when things are growing, blooming, and producing! :)

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 4 years ago

      Nice lens! I use colanders for lettuce.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Shades-of-truth: Hah, I love the yogurt containers! We start lots of seeds in old soda cups :)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Kaliopekaty: Fantastic! I haven't had great luck with strawberries here, though they're grown here, so I know it must be something I'm doing wrong. I've seen them in old pallets, too, where they're so very charming.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @DougB101: Love your DIY containers, especially the pipe for watering. Personally, I love spending time watering my garden, but it's so nice to have the option of skipping it. I've been meaning to put some effort into drip irrigation... we'll see :)

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your LoTD. Great ideas and tips. Thanks for sharing.

    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 4 years ago from USA

      I would be a bit embarrassed to have others see what I have used for planting containers. I have used yogurt containers, and milk jugs, and old plastic tumblers, and - wait a minute! I am embarrassing myself! Actually, I have drilled holes in the bottoms of many strange containers, to plant my seeds --- and, they grew! Great ideas, here, and congratulations!

    • Kaliopekaty profile image

      Kaliopekaty 4 years ago

      Super ideas! I have been recently positively surprised with Straberry planters from old pallets.

    • DougB101 profile image

      DougB101 4 years ago

      Love youur post and thanks for sharing. Although we live on 1.25 acres we still grow our veggies in plastic containers we bought at walmart and drilled a hole 3" up in the one side. We placed a grid with some weedstop fabric on it and then the potting soil on top. In the one corner we put a 2" pvc pipe for watering. We water once a week, or now that it is getting warmer, twice a week or so. This is similar to the earthbox method, which is really great. Our tomatoes and chillies are already fruiting and we are waiting for the potatoes and zucchini. Our herbs are also doing well. In the Fall we will add more container with winter veggies. Love it.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @RawBill1: Thanks, Bill, a pleasure as always to hear from you. I hope your move goes well, and look forward to seeing a page from you on those bathtub gardens!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @HSP Connections: The deer ignore that memo here, too ;)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @suepogson: You're right, peat pots and pellets are cheap, but they're not even remotely ecologically friendly. I usually mention them because they're so widely available and easy to use, and I kind of figure the benefits of getting a garden started outweigh the drawbacks of peat... but I have no numbers to back that up. You've inspired me to drop my references to them, particularly as there are so many alternatives. On another note, ain't seed saving grand? I agree... next-generation seeds seem to thrive right off the gate. Found myself "weeding" out about a zillion volunteers from some tomatoes that dropped unnoticed this spring ;)

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      I don't yet have any suggestions. I do want to try container gardening. I've seen some great lettuce grown in rain gutters attached to the side of a deck. It was beautiful and perfect for lettuce. Nice lens. I'll start looking at the junk I find in different ways.

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I love trying to get seeds to grow. Lemon trees, mango, avocado, basil, cactus are some of the plants that I currently have in the hotbox. I am inspired by your lens!

    • profile image

      aleesya_aqilah 4 years ago

      i love gardening

    • grannyann lm profile image

      Ann Scaling Tucker 4 years ago from Enid, OK

      This is full of neat ideas. I don't have a green thumb but my daughter sure does and I am going to have her read this lens. We garage sale so there are lots of chances to find neat planters. Who would have ever thought of using the mama-san chair!!!!!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 4 years ago

      I love your brilliant work. So creative! Sundae ;-)

    • Julia Cussler profile image

      Julia Cussler 4 years ago

      I have very small backyard, so I decided to use container gardening method. Why? there are three main points.

      1 - it is easiest gardening technique. Choose the pot, fill it with soil, choose a plant and position the result wherever you want it.

      2 - it is convenient. You will be able to move your containers around your garden as you want.

      3 - it is very cheap. I plant in everything I can find, - from bushel baskets to old sneakers and teacups.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      One of my friends has an old circular BBQ where she grows her herbs. Great lens!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Northerntrials: Have you seen the various "recipes" for painting with moss? Using existing (found) moss mixed with liquid, you can paint a pattern, and new moss will grow there... pretty cool as it can create a message or picture. You could try something similar with your dead tree... I bet it'd be lovely with a good coat of moss ;)

    • NekoIchi profile image

      NekoIchi 4 years ago

      Awesome lens! I got some new ideas from reading it. I especially loved the old chair turned into a container garden. I'm so peeved that my husband gave mine away without my permission. I could've had my own awesome container!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Wow! Great to see that a Lens I already knew and loved has been honoured with LOTD. Congrats! :-)

      We are moving this week, so I should have my bathtub gardens ready to plant this weekend hopefully! I feel another gardening Lens coming on!

    • HSP Connections profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 4 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      Thank you-- beautiful and inspiring article! Although we have a LARGE garden, we actually do quite a lot of container gardening on our deck because we have a local herd of deer that eat down pretty much EVERYthing... including all the plants the nurseries claim are "deer proof" or "deer resistant." Evidently our deer didn't GET that particular memo...

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      There are brilliant ideas her - thank you. I would only suggest that we shouldn't really use peat pots. I love all the different containers you suggest. I save seed and find the next generation plants are often stronger and superior to the originals grown from shop-bought seed. I really enjoyed reading this.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I love container gardening.

    • profile image

      sherry9459 4 years ago

      after reading this i grown tomato plants in old sand boxes , they looks very cute even my friends took a couple of them .... thanks

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I will put a plant in just about anything and sure enjoyed seeing your pictures and reading about your container gardens. Loved the dryer! Congrats on a well deserved LOTD

    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      I like container gardens and bottle gardens for sure. My favorite containers are whiskey barrel halves. I have several in my yard One holds ferns collected from a favorite aunts yard, another grows perennial pansy's and violas yet another holds a dead cedar tree I still haven't re-potted. Maybe this year I'll just spray paint the dead cedar green again. :)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @GardenerDon: That sounds very neat! I have a few products of kid-labor around the house, too... they may not be the most obviously elegant items in the house, but they're the most precious, for sure.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 4 years ago

      Great ideas, all of them. I have been using coffee grounds for years and yes, it makes the compost pile smell really nice.

    • ValerieJoy profile image

      Valerie Smith 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I love containing gardening but I've never known about pepping it up with coffee grounds. I think your lens is great. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • Charlie43 LM profile image

      Charlie43 LM 4 years ago

      I grew a roof garden for several years, using Rubbermaid totes, landscaping cloth and a little ingenuity. Tomatoes and peppers all summer, plus I had a veritable herb garden going.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      Great tips for container gardening! I especially like the papasan chair idea!

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

      Fish emulsion and homemade compost are my best friends. Nice lens. I would never have thought of a papa-san being a planter. Hmmm! Congrats on LOTD!

    • inspirationalmo profile image

      inspirationalmo 4 years ago

      What a great idea for a container garden reusing an old papasan chair for a planter!

    • profile image

      BestGifts2U 4 years ago

      Great idea for a small garden. Will give it a try. Thanks for an informative lens.

    • BestofHalloween profile image

      BestofHalloween 4 years ago

      Container gardens are great for small courtyards and apartments.

    • BestWeddings profile image

      BestWeddings 4 years ago

      I love container gardens and am fixing up my vegetable garden. If my pot is large I fill the bottom up with styrofoam and add the good soil on top. This saves too much soil and makes the pot lighter to move.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      Thanks for the tip about using coffee grounds as plant food. We go through so much coffee - what a great use for the coffee grounds :)

    • wahlees profile image

      Barry Wah Lee 4 years ago from Auckland

      Yes. I am in a shop that sells seeds, mostly asian. Growing is a thing that many need to start on early. There are a few variables top learn. It is not as one customer thought, like throwing seeds in and expecting them to come up like weeds.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      That papasan chair planter really takes the cushion! Excellent ideas.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      I have an old wheelbarrow I use for a container garden. Great lens, by the way!

    • Jack2205 profile image

      Jack 4 years ago

      I always start my flower and vegetable garden plants from seed. You get a lot of plants for cheap. And coffee grounds are the best nutrients to put in a garden. I've been doing that for many years.

    • profile image

      ThisGirlWrites 4 years ago

      That papasan planter has got to be the coolest thing I've ever seen.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Great idea for those short on space, or just for a little extra garden. Well done on the LOTD!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
      Author

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @BunnyFabulous: Yeah, we're serious coffee drinkers here, too. It's nice that the garden appreciates the grounds... we'd probably have to pay for a larger bin if we were throwing them away ;)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @BarbaraCasey: In all honesty, scavenging is one of my favorite parts of keeping a garden :)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @delia-delia: Your garden sounds wonderful. I love a garden with a little bit of a wild side to it, and the frogs sing such pretty songs in the evening.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Container gardening is a great way to get grow some vegies if you live in a condo or townhouse with limited space. Excellent article.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome thinking & awesome ideas. Congratulations for the LOTD!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I don't have any tips or tricks, but I've appreciated yours. Love that coffee grounds are a good thing to compost. We sure do have them around here.

    • profile image

      faye durham 4 years ago

      Very cool lens. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking forwarding to putting these to good use.

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 4 years ago

      I now only have a balcony for growing plants, so container gardening is the way to go. I loved your comment on keeping an eye out for "stuff" that can be used for containers.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! My Tips and Trick ...never waste anything including things to plant in...you can be creative. I have my old decorative planters that are large and pretty laying on the ground with the broken pieces and plants coming out of them, which is a place for frogs to go in.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Elyn MacInnis: Used coffee grounds are much closer to neutral than fresh coffee grounds. I wouldn't pour them all over anything with a strong preference for alkaline soil, but they're usually around 6.5 - 6.9. If you don't think your plants will tolerate straight grounds, you can always add them to your compost and let them mature a little :)

    • profile image

      dan100 4 years ago

      I have thinking about creating a container garden for more than a year now. After reading your lens, I think it is time for me to start collecting containers, seeds, soil and all the other stuff I need.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very nice re-purposing and gardening advice. Very cool lens. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Will the coffee grounds make the soil too acid?? I have always wondered about that. You have great ideas here. I look forward to having a container garden in August when I get back from holiday. Thanks for all the good ideas!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      My favorite gardens are those planted in creative containers. I still remember the first time I saw petunias growing in a pair of old ski boots. Thanks for all of the great ideas and congrats on LotD!

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 4 years ago

      Every year we have an old chair one of our kids built in shop (not a thing of beauty, but great sentimental value) sitting in a bed of lily of the valley under the apple trees, with an old bucket full of pansies. Looks kinda neat I think.

    • orcamom lm profile image

      orcamom lm 4 years ago

      So much information here thanks. Great ideas on using unusual containers for gardens - makes me want to get growing some vegetables again!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      These days re usable items that can be created into a new and useful containers are becoming more and more important. Great lens!

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      We enjoy using the EarthBox gardening system in addition to our in the ground garden. Nice lens!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Great ideas I especially like the indoor composter, it seems like and efficient way to do composting on a small scale. The chair idea certainly looks like a fun way to reused found items in the garden it looks great and is certainly a conversation started.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Really I love this creativity I tried in my gardens also..

    • kdmarshall lm profile image

      kdmarshall lm 4 years ago

      I had a chair like that but I threw it away. Damn.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I think containers look lovely in a garden.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens, I keep everything and I love to recycle old containers, pots, old wooden barrels. I got great ideas from this article. Congratulation for the LOTD

    • MBurgess profile image

      Maria Burgess 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Your lens is amazing, Cassandra! The chair is great and so is the suggestion about the tub. I have seen people use old toilets as planters before. The information you have shared will be a great help to anyone who wants to get started gardening in an inexpensive way! Congrats on your LoTD feature and purple star on this lens - - Shine On Gal! =)

    • FrancesWrites profile image

      FrancesWrites 4 years ago

      The next time I see a papasan chair out on the nature strip for the local council's hard rubbish collection, I might have to pick it up and use it as a container garden! A friend of mine has a repurposed metal wheelbarrow full of strawberries. It looks great as well as producing lots of fruit. Great lens!

    • VineetBhandari profile image

      VineetBhandari 4 years ago

      Wow, great creativity :)

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @RawBill1: Fantastic! I've only been fortunate enough to wind up with a bathtub garden once, but they're heavenly.

    • junkcat profile image

      junkcat 4 years ago

      You have given me some ideas about where to look for containers for my garden. I can't wait to get started.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I love re-using old items as container gardens. We are downsizing our property in a few weeks time, so i am planning to plant a garden in two old bathtubs that we have lying around. Should be good!

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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks! I was so sure it would fall apart under the weight of all that soil, but we're coming up on 3 years now & still going strong.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Deborah Swain: That is an *awesome* tip! Thank you so much for sharing it here!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Love the creativity! I like the papasan chair, too.

    • wiseriverman profile image

      wiseriverman 4 years ago

      These are wonderful ideas. I'm going to look around and see what I can find to reuse for a planting container. I love the idea of repurposing old things. Thanks for the information about coffee grounds. I'll take a ride over to Starbucks (one of my favorite places) and see what I can get for the garden.

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I set aside water from cooked vegetables, let it cool and use it as fertilizer! LOVE this lens!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Vikk Simmons: Thank you! The papasan chair actually came to pass because I was too lazy to haul it to the dump ;) Since then, it's become the most frequently complimented part of my garden... go figure!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 4 years ago from Houston

      I've been container gardening for years but I never thought of a papasan chair. Cool. I'm bookmarking this on Pinterest and also sharing it with a few gardener friends. Great ideas.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @Linda BookLady: Yes! Portability is such a wonderful trait of container gardens! We made the change due, in large part, to a move. Our new backyard is very close to the ocean, and while the part about walking to the beach is lovely, the soil here is a bizarre mix of sand and clay in which the speed with which a given plant will grow is inversely proportional to its attractiveness ;)

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I am definitely thinking about container gardening this year because I don't know how much longer I'll be living in this house. If I move I could take containers with plants with me.

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 4 years ago

      I like the container method. Its really interest. Good for the small places too. Thanks for sharing

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      poutine 4 years ago

      Came back to check this lens again

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @laurenrich: Thanks for dropping by, and happy gardening!

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      laurenrich 4 years ago

      I love your containers. It has given me some ideas.Thanks for sharing.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Thanks for reading! You're right... container gardening is a great way to sidestep some of the problems that plague gardeners who grow in the ground.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i love container gardening. difficulties with soil-borne plant diseases, nematodes, or defective soil condition can also be overcome by this method. thanks for sharing useful info.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      @JenwithMisty: Coffee is such a miracle worker in the garden. Thanks for reading!

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 5 years ago

      Thanks for all the great coffee tips!!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image
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      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      @aesta1: Isn't coffee wonderful stuff? Just when you thought it couldn't get any better...