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Giving the gift of gardening

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Giving the gift of gardening

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/29/2012, 10:20 pm

For the person who has everything. My mom is 79 but still relatively healthy and active. I'm thinking of giving her a small sfg for Christmas using a 2x3 cement tub from lowes. Was thinking I would wrap some seeds and Mel's book then set up the "box" on her patio filled with Mel's mix and ready for spring. Thoughts?
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  donnainzone5 on 11/29/2012, 10:50 pm

Great idea!

However, what about drainage from said cement tub? And height?

I might suggest a small table-top SFG. You could then fill a Christmas stocking with seeds (or gift certificates) for things she'd like to grow.


Last edited by donnainzone10 on 11/29/2012, 10:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  yolos on 11/29/2012, 11:36 pm

Do it ! You can take care of the drainage problem by using two cement tubs nestled together. In the top tub, drill drainage holes. Set the top tub in the bottom tub. In the bottom tub I put some pieces of wood in the bottom to hold the top tub a little above the bottom of the bottom tub. This allows room in the bottom tub to hold the excess water. The bottom tub has to be emptied periodically or you could insert a small tube to drain the water out of the bottom tub into a bucket.

I then put this contraption on a table which sits on a dolly I built out of a small pallet with casters added. I can then roll it onto the porch during the day and roll it back inside at night if the temps are low.

It looks kinda dorky but it is a season extending experiment. If it works, I will build a nicer looking table to set the cement tub into.
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Wish I had seen these tubs first

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 12:10 am

I saw a post about these tubs after I built my wooden boxes. Bought one just to add one more bed and love it. They are almost exactly 2' x 3' and 8" deep making 6 sfg squares. At $12 each, I could have saved myself time and $$$ and the tubs are movable sliding easily around the yard for better light by the season! To make them less ugly, you could add a decorative 8" border fence around them widely available at home stores. In fact, now that we are talking about it, I may do that in the middle of my front yard this spring, and I'll bet it would even pass muster with the home owner Nazis!

Great idea, Yolos, about stacking them. I simply drilled holes in mine which means I have to watch my watering more closely when it is dry. I think that is the perfect size for someone like my mom who lives alone...good for flowers, an herb garden, a strawberries garden, etc... She could even do a couple of tomato plants in the summer. I'm thinking it's a great little hobby garden with no work and she could even put it on a table to avoid stooping to tend it.
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  bnoles on 11/30/2012, 6:22 am

Do you think the tubs will hold their shape under the pressure of the soil and hot sun? Being black, will the soil area become too hot and cook the roots of the plants? Will the soil be able to breath adequately and not become a bog? These are just some thoughts that cross my mind. Otherwise, these are a great idea and would certainly save work vs building wooden boxes.

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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 8:11 am

@bnoles wrote:Do you think the tubs will hold their shape under the pressure of the soil and hot sun? Being black, will the soil area become too hot and cook the roots of the plants? Will the soil be able to breath adequately and not become a bog? These are just some thoughts that cross my mind. Otherwise, these are a great idea and would certainly save work vs building wooden boxes.

Valid concerns. Mine seems to have done fine, and the black color has presented no problems. I have kale in mine right now. It certainly holds its shape. Mel's mix if fairly light thanks to the vermiculite, and they were made sturdy for concrete mixing. At $12 I recommend you try one out. If nothing else, you could use it for seed starting.
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  gwennifer on 11/30/2012, 10:10 am

@daryl.weaver wrote:For the person who has everything. My mom is 79 but still relatively healthy and active. I'm thinking of giving her a small sfg for Christmas using a 2x3 cement tub from lowes. Was thinking I would wrap some seeds and Mel's book then set up the "box" on her patio filled with Mel's mix and ready for spring. Thoughts?
I think it's a fantastic idea!

donnainzone10 wrote:...what about drainage from said cement tub? And height?

I might suggest a small table-top SFG. You could then fill a Christmas stocking with seeds (or gift certificates) for things she'd like to grow.
FYI, these are perfect for making table tops. They have a rim all the way around so you can just sink them right into a frame. And has been pointed out, it's easy to drill some holes for drainage.

@yolos wrote:You can take care of the drainage problem by using two cement tubs nestled together.
Good idea, but that doubles the price for the same square footage. Anybody have some more economical ideas? I can think of rubbermaid tote lids, but that would involve leaving a box lidless somewhere... Maybe a seed flat tray is the right size?

@daryl.weaver wrote:At $12 I recommend you try one out.
These are $14 at both my Lowe's and Home Depot. Where can I get them for $12? Not a huge difference, but since every dollar counts... And I seriously had these on my to-do list to buy today!

rendeer
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Double tubs

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 11:21 am

i thought the same about doubling the cost of tubs for the drain pan. I THINK Lowe's sells lids separate from some storage bins. If that is true, that might make a decent pan, but they may also be too shallow. Just thinking out loud. On the cost of bins, Lowe's web site shows them at $12.65.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202086174/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=cement+mixing&storeId=10051

Even at $14 that's a bargain compared to the cost of a 4x4 wooden box for me. I use wood, hardware and paint for the sides plus hardware cloth and bed-liner cloth and staples for the bottom PLUS they are a bear to move once they are in place.
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I know it sounds like a weird gift...

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 11:44 am

...it's a bit large to wrap and put under the tree, but I'm thinking it's something to "tinker with" and it's a way to share an important part of my life with my aging mom. And, if I set it up for her, it should require basically zero work on her part. Maybe I'll fill the tub with Mel's book, garden gloves, hand tools, a watering can, a coiled hose, rose clippers and other gardening stuff that I can find. I guess I'm just looking for reinforcement that this isn't a completely stupid idea. I can just imagine my mom thinking "...so I gave you birth, and you're giving me dirt. Thanks a lot."
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  yolos on 11/30/2012, 11:47 am

Just a small explaination concerning the double tub. Yes you are right it does double the cost of the planter to use two tubs. But during the winter, I roll mine inside the house to keep them warm. A rubbermaid top used as a water catching devise would have to be emptied every night to keep the water from splashing when I roll the contraption over the door sill. Also, I am quite strong but it is very hard to lift the top tub to dump the bottom tub. If this is on a 79 year old woman's porch, she would have to empty the water catching tray frequently to keep the water spilling out onto the floor (even if it is stationary). Which would mean sopping up the water periodically or lifting the top tub off to empty the water catching tray (which I doubt she could do). A deep tub on the bottom would mean less water dumping. This is all assuming she is going to keep the planter on a porch where she does not want water on the floor.
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Wooden frame

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 11:56 am

Gwennifer said "FYI, these are perfect for making table tops. They have a rim all the way around so you can just sink them right into a frame. And has been pointed out, it's easy to drill some holes for drainage."

That's a great idea for using these boses in areas requiring something more aesthetically appealing. You could build simple bottomless frames, paint them decoratively, and if you don't use them in the off season, just stack the tubs in storage Mel's Mix and all until needed again. I could even imagine switching boxes out if your have a box of flowers that you want to show off during a different part of the season. I see all kinds of potential and flexibility in this approach.
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 12:03 pm

@yolos wrote:Just a small explaination concerning the double tub. Yes you are right it does double the cost of the planter to use two tubs. But during the winter, I roll mine inside the house to keep them warm. A rubbermaid top used as a water catching devise would have to be emptied every night to keep the water from splashing when I roll the contraption over the door sill. Also, I am quite strong but it is very hard to lift the top tub to dump the bottom tub. If this is on a 79 year old woman's porch, she would have to empty the water catching tray frequently to keep the water spilling out onto the floor (even if it is stationary). Which would mean sopping up the water periodically or lifting the top tub off to empty the water catching tray (which I doubt she could do). A deep tub on the bottom would mean less water dumping. This is all assuming she is going to keep the planter on a porch where she does not want water on the floor.

Yolos, I agree 100%, and as I said even the double tubs aren't much more expensive than a properly constructed box (especially if it has a bottom) considering materials and time. The rubber tubs will also theoretically outlast several generations of wooden boxes especially those built with non-chemically-treated lumber. I LOVE your idea and will surely use it. I'm thinking I will put a drain hole on or near the bottom of the lower tub and cork it to make drainage easier when it becomes necessary.

SO many good ideas. I love this group when I get into "gardening mode."
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  jillintx on 11/30/2012, 12:12 pm

Daryl I think this sounds like a very thoughtful idea. Obviously it's something that you are excited about, and as your mom is going through the items in the tub she'll pick up on your excitement, which will make the gift even more special to her. I think most moms would cherish any gift given in the spirit of "a way to share an important part of my life with my aging mom." She is a very lucky lady.
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  yolos on 11/30/2012, 12:14 pm

Do it !! If she likes it you could get real fancy next year for Christmas and make one of these or a similar table using the tubs. That is what I plan to do next year when I have more time.

http://growit.umd.edu/SaladTablesandSaladBoxes/7_ST_options/
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  bnoles on 11/30/2012, 12:26 pm

I knew I remembered seeing this idea a while back on you tube so I went back and found it for you.

Raised Tub Garden

Maybe you can extract a few ideas from the video. I know I am going to be taking a serious look at this concept. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront.

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Brilliant!

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 12:28 pm

@yolos wrote:Do it !! If she likes it you could get real fancy next year for Christmas and make one of these or a similar table using the tubs. That is what I plan to do next year when I have more time.

http://growit.umd.edu/SaladTablesandSaladBoxes/7_ST_options/

Simply brilliant. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  Lindacol on 11/30/2012, 2:23 pm

There was a great discussion earlier this year on using these tubs:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t10982p15-cheap-plastic-2x3-boxes

Lots of great ideas including a very innovative one by Boffer. I've thought of putting one of the tubs on an old dolly that I have hanging around and rolling it under my tabletops in the summer. I was thinking it might extend the time I could grow things like lettuce in the summer in the shade.
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 2:35 pm

@bnoles wrote:I knew I remembered seeing this idea a while back on you tube so I went back and found it for you.

Raised Tub Garden

Maybe you can extract a few ideas from the video. I know I am going to be taking a serious look at this concept. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront.

Thank you so much for sharing this video. I already have the frame built in my mind.
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  gwennifer on 11/30/2012, 5:44 pm

This picture that walshevak posted in that above mentioned thread is my favorite. Only thing I'd do different is I'd want the bottom cross supports to be on the inside of the legs for a cleaner look.



My kids would love it if I'd let them each have their own and painted them in bright colors like that. Lime green, hot pink, turquoise blue, orange... Too fun.
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  Triciasgarden on 11/30/2012, 8:54 pm

Daryl go for it! Does she like cutting flowers for vases? Maybe find out what her favorite flower is and one of the packets be that flower.

Gwennifer wonderful picture!

Ok now I know what to tell my kids what I want for Christmas. My birthday is in March and then there is Mother's Day. I usually ask for gardening stuff or a gift certificate to a nursery. Now I can get gardening stuff for Christmas!!! Can life be any better!

It is so nice to bounce ideas off people with the same interests!
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She's more of a "geraniums on the porch" gardener

Post  daryl.weaver on 11/30/2012, 11:44 pm

@Triciasgarden wrote:Daryl go for it! Does she like cutting flowers for vases? Maybe find out what her favorite flower is and one of the packets be that flower.

Gwennifer wonderful picture!

Ok now I know what to tell my kids what I want for Christmas. My birthday is in March and then there is Mother's Day. I usually ask for gardening stuff or a gift certificate to a nursery. Now I can get gardening stuff for Christmas!!! Can life be any better!

It is so nice to bounce ideas off people with the same interests!

She prefers live plants to cut flowers.
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  Triciasgarden on 12/3/2012, 10:34 pm

I think she will enjoy this!
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So, here's the followup to the gift...

Post  daryl.weaver on 1/4/2013, 10:31 am

I gave my mom the mixing tub for Christmas filled with all sorts of gardening tools, seeds, plant identifyers, and Mel's book, of course. I also had vermiculite and 4 of 5 composts packaged and ready to go. I figure she can buy peat moss at her local Home Depot and it's not very heavy, and it was less for her to transport home.

To be honest, she was somewhere between bewildered and underwhelmed. I just kept saying, "Mom, it's easy. Read the book." Well, today she called and wants 3 more garden tubs. She's a believer!
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  Triciasgarden on 1/4/2013, 11:53 am

cheers That is great! It will be a gift that keeps on giving!
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Re: Giving the gift of gardening

Post  johnsonjlj on 1/4/2013, 12:34 pm

We just built and delivered raised beds to my mother this week. They are 8' long, each with 3 of the cement mixing tubs from Lowe's. We used pressure treated lumber, raised them 30 inches off the ground and drilled drain holes in the bottom of the tubs. My mother is 81 and has had 2 knee and 2 hip replacements and is very excited about her new raised beds!

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