How To Discount Gardening

TiggerToo

Mod Of The Month Oct. 2011<br>Has A Heart Of Pure
Trader Group
In this thread, let's discuss how you recycled everyday items and reused them for your garden. You can include pictures, descriptions, etc but we really want to focus on how you did your garden for free/cheap/little to no money!!

For example:

  1. Materials for raised beds
  2. Materials for pots
Can't wait to see your ideas!!
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Don't have any photos -- right now everything's still covered in snow. :winter6: But the garden recyling I'm most happy with are the solid pine, ranch-style end tables I picked up for next to nothing at thrift stores. They were everywhere in the 1970s then went out of style and nobody wanted them. They weigh a ton and are so well-built.
I didn't want to mess with stripping them, so left them outside until they had lost their varnish, then stained them and use them for benches around the backyard. Once they're stained, they don't look like end tables any longer. They don't take up much room, so I've got them in several locations. I love just sitting down and enjoying the view from a different angle every so often. When you put pots on them and then place others around the base, it makes a beautiful display, as well.
 
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meofcourse80

Guest
Disclaimer: My garden is at it's ugliest right now, with most things just getting planted. Sorry for the bad pics. :sad3:

1. Raised Beds
My raised beds certainly aren't the prettiest, but they were pretty cheap. :) Two are made from old timbers I pulled from someone's trash pile. They were full of cactus spikes, but can't get cheaper than free! I also have one made of cinder blocks, most of which are found or re-used.
P2140360.jpg


2. Winter Sowing
I used to buy most of my plants as seedlings, but since discovering winter-sowing, I don't have to buy much at all! :) I winter-sow in jugs and 2-liter bottles that friends and family save for me.
P2140376.jpg


3. Saving Seeds
Since I'm winter-sowing, I've found I can save quite a bit of money by harvesting seeds from my own plants. I just let the last of the basil, parsley, etc go to seed and harvest when seeds are fully dry, then store till next time I need to plant.

4. Buckets
I've gathered contractor-size paint and compound buckets from the side of the road. After being thoroughly washed out and prepped, they make great planters. They may be ugly, but so so so much cheaper than pots or planters.
P2140361.jpg
 

Amalgamate

Active Member
Trader Group
I'm loving these ideas - thanks for sharing!
I saw a drawing in a book that used a ladder as a trellis for melons. I was given 3 pool ladders from Freecycle and am going to try trellising cantaloupes up them by tying the melons with pantyhose or torn shirts or something. I was just recently given a bunch of plastic planting pots from Freecycle as well, but before that I was growing lettuce in the bottoms of large apple cider jugs.
 
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RSHcoupon

Guest
I use containers that have been discarded at the nurseries, old pots and pans, my compost bin is out of recycled cement blocks and last year I used the springs out of an old baby bed as a trellis.
I use heirloom seed so I can harvest and save my seed for future planting. For different seeds/plants I trade seed or plants, bulbs etc.
Katie I'm not familiar with winter sowing in jugs, Do you mind sharing that info with us?

thanks
 

Amalgamate

Active Member
Trader Group
I use containers that have been discarded at the nurseries, old pots and pans, my compost bin is out of recycled cement blocks and last year I used the springs out of an old baby bed as a trellis.

I'm looking for various recycled materials to trellis cucumber and beans. How did you support the springs?

My mom just gave me a couple of cake containers from the grocery store - the kind with the large plastic lid and thin black plastic bottom. I punch a few holes in the top, and they are now little "greenhouses" for the seeds I've just recently started.
 
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meofcourse80

Guest
I use containers that have been discarded at the nurseries, old pots and pans, my compost bin is out of recycled cement blocks and last year I used the springs out of an old baby bed as a trellis.
I use heirloom seed so I can harvest and save my seed for future planting. For different seeds/plants I trade seed or plants, bulbs etc.
Katie I'm not familiar with winter sowing in jugs, Do you mind sharing that info with us?

thanks

Not sure about the links, but I sent you a pm.
 
M

mefiance

Guest
1. Raised Beds
My raised beds certainly aren't the prettiest, but they were pretty cheap. :) Two are made from old timbers I pulled from someone's trash pile. They were full of cactus spikes, but can't get cheaper than free! I also have one made of cinder blocks, most of which are found or re-used.

What a great idea! I'm thinking of starting a garden and the biggest project right now is deciding where/how to put a raised bed. We have a nice section of yard that's fenced off from the dog, but it's covered in rocks. I want to do a raised bed in that area but the only thought I had was to use plywood and create my own. I like the idea of using cinder blocks! Probably can find those for cheap or free.

I'd also like information about the sowing method you're using. I've never seen plastic jugs used but I'm guessing that would work better right now than starter packs. It's still pretty cold here in the evenings--probably too cold for seedlings. (I dunno.. I'm knew to this.) Thanks for the ideas!
 
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tammyinwv

Guest
We built a potager last year. Some of it is from recycled materials, other is new. I also save my seeds and trade for them. I did winter sowing for the first time last yr with excellent results. I sowed out about 210 containers, mostly milk jugs. This year I only sowed out about 10. My husband also built me the two blue towers to trellis veggies on. last yr I sowed pole beans on it, this yr it may get cucumbers.
obelisk3.JPG

july2beanobilisk.JPG

My garden blog:
Simple Pleasures: Potager
My neighbors have stables, and I also got 2 truckloads of well aged horse manure that I used to help fill my raised beds, and to top dress my other flower beds. By using raised beds I was able to quickly run a how thru the beds and loosen up the soil with almost no effort.
I also start a lot of my plants form cuttings and divisions. Saves a whole lot from buying new. I have started roses from my own cuttings and traded cuttings with about 50% success rate. I have started several cuttings from my pink Wiegelia ( I love this one).I have also traded rooted cuttings. I have 3-4 starts from my flowering crabapple trees that wintered over well and are about 2 ft tall as well. Its lots of fun.
Also another money saver is to watch end of season sales at your garden centers. I got several clematis one yr marked down to $1, and some were even free. They look dead on top, but they had excellent roots and came back the next yr.
Tammy
 
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Jomurphey

Guest
Hmm, this is a loaded question for me because I recycle everything. Old egg cartons become seed starters, old screen doors become a green house, old window screens become drying racks on two inverted trash cans, clippings of newspapers, and other stuff I shred goes into the compost bin, two litter bottles become plant warmers, and my potting bench is wired old milk crates with a couple of plastic bread racks.

I recycled my stone wall into a patio...the stone facings were already embeded into concrete, broken cinderblocks and bricks become cut worm protection for plants, Old seine nets become netting for cucumbers and beans. An outgrown and broken playpen became a paper compost bin...the paper doesn't blow out. An old pulp mill filter (heavy duty stainless steel) became a burning bin for making biocoal for summer cook outs. The 40 gallon water tank with a busted bladder from my well was converted into a small water feature with a fountain and goldfish for added fertilizer boosters for my garden. An old inflatable pool became the bedliner for my koi pond.

Ah heck I can go on and on.
 

janastanley

Active Member
Trader Group
Hmm, this is a loaded question for me because I recycle everything. Old egg cartons become seed starters, old screen doors become a green house, old window screens become drying racks on two inverted trash cans, clippings of newspapers, and other stuff I shred goes into the compost bin, two litter bottles become plant warmers, and my potting bench is wired old milk crates with a couple of plastic bread racks.

I recycled my stone wall into a patio...the stone facings were already embeded into concrete, broken cinderblocks and bricks become cut worm protection for plants, Old seine nets become netting for cucumbers and beans. An outgrown and broken playpen became a paper compost bin...the paper doesn't blow out. An old pulp mill filter (heavy duty stainless steel) became a burning bin for making biocoal for summer cook outs. The 40 gallon water tank with a busted bladder from my well was converted into a small water feature with a fountain and goldfish for added fertilizer boosters for my garden. An old inflatable pool became the bedliner for my koi pond.

Ah heck I can go on and on.

Love the ideas! I recycle everything too! It drives my husband crazy! We had the cutest bean supports made from crooked tree branches. I re-use everything I can in my garden.
 

janastanley

Active Member
Trader Group
Does anyone grow and save heirloom/open poolinated seeds? I have growing heirlooms for about 4 years. This will be the first year I only have to buy a few packets of seeds. I was able to save enough seeds for this spring and have left overs. I grow about 45 different veggies and herbs. So I am excited that I don't have to buy much.
 
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Jomurphey

Guest
Jana,

Initially I used heirloom seeds about fifteen years ago. I don't like the bio-engineered stuff. Now, I just hold some back for seed for the next year. In my herb garden I section off the herbs and let the seeds fall to resow for non-perennials like basil. I'll find the new plants spouting in the spring when I put the mulch into the compost bin.
 

janastanley

Active Member
Trader Group
Jana,

Initially I used heirloom seeds about fifteen years ago. I don't like the bio-engineered stuff. Now, I just hold some back for seed for the next year. In my herb garden I section off the herbs and let the seeds fall to resow for non-perennials like basil. I'll find the new plants spouting in the spring when I put the mulch into the compost bin.

Glad to see someone else growing heirlooms too. I didn't like the GMO's either, which is what prompted us to switch to heirlooms. We let most of our herbs re-seed. The herb garden has expanded to 2 large beds and is getting over crowded. This year I saved as much seed as I could so I can move them to another garden bed. I let the sage, thyme, rosemary, and chives totally take over one bed. They crowded out everything else.
 
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Jomurphey

Guest
Jana,
That's the beautiful thing about planting herbs...they overgrow everything and keep out the weeds.
 
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cpaige

Guest
I think it's time to :bump93: this thread as we are all starting to gear up for the spring and summer! I'm looking for some ideas for my garden and yard in order to utilize the area I have as best as I can! When I can go outside and not freeze my heiny off, I will take pics of the area I have. In the meantime, I have this picture of a storage shelving unit that I salvaged from my Dad's garage last year. IMG_20130424_163603_518.jpg
 
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cpaige

Guest
Has anyone ever recycled an old fish tank for gardens? I have one (approx 30gal) that is just sitting outside. I could sell it, but I know I really won't get much for it and honestly, I would rather just re-use for something as opposed to buying something for gardening. The bf is very handy and can build pretty much anything, I just need to SEE what I want b/c I'm a visual type person.
 

beckyh1685

New Member
As far as panty hose; good quality that wont rip I find to be a bit expensive. I have just recently had an ephipany! I use body puffs; which are recommended that they be replaced every month well I do about every 3 months with washing in the washer in between, but find the cord in the center that holds it together and cut it use it as a fine plastic mesh that is flexible. I also use toilet paper tubes for seedling starter pots just fold the bottom in and viola!

I'm loving these ideas - thanks for sharing!
I saw a drawing in a book that used a ladder as a trellis for melons. I was given 3 pool ladders from Freecycle and am going to try trellising cantaloupes up them by tying the melons with pantyhose or torn shirts or something. I was just recently given a bunch of plastic planting pots from Freecycle as well, but before that I was growing lettuce in the bottoms of large apple cider jugs.
 

beckyh1685

New Member
drill drainage holes in the bottom with a glass drill bit and boom potato bin!

Has anyone ever recycled an old fish tank for gardens? I have one (approx 30gal) that is just sitting outside. I could sell it, but I know I really won't get much for it and honestly, I would rather just re-use for something as opposed to buying something for gardening. The bf is very handy and can build pretty much anything, I just need to SEE what I want b/c I'm a visual type person.
 
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beckyh1685

New Member
Oh, my gosh !!!!!!!!!!!! You sound like me I pick things up without knowing the purpose and save everything recyclable I have a very tolerant fiance; my previous partner and housemate not so kind. I think he is so understanding because he comes out to the yard and sees ways in which I repurpose things. My fav is free pallets!!!




Love the ideas! I recycle everything too! It drives my husband crazy! We had the cutest bean supports made from crooked tree branches. I re-use everything I can in my garden.
 
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