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Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

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Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  mimsbuttons on 5/31/2014, 11:32 am

I am new at gardening as an adult.  I have dared to sprout some tomatoes and cantaloupes.  I will need to set them out soon.  Does anyone know of any materials that I can repurpose to create an attractive looking garden design?  I have thought about old barrels cut in half, but I can't find any without spending an arm, leg, and a few fingers (LOL)!  I have also thought about using small kiddie pools filled with soil.  Any cheap (more free) ideas.  Photos are welcome!

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  yolos on 5/31/2014, 11:41 am

Those bags you buy at walmart to keep from using plastic bags are said to work very well.  I do not know what they cost though.

Here is one sample of using the walmart bags.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iVBMBxvMsA


Last edited by yolos on 5/31/2014, 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  boffer on 5/31/2014, 11:44 am

5 gallon buckets are free.

If you want pretty, paint them.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  gwennifer on 5/31/2014, 12:54 pm

yolos, nice find on that video!  Grow bags for $0.50 that air-prune and a kiddie pool for self-watering.  Cool.  Look at how he's even grown corn this way and is modifying his buckets to air-prune too:

mimsbuttons, have you checked your local craigslist or perused habitat for humanity stores for used materials perhaps?

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 5/31/2014, 1:43 pm

@boffer wrote:5 gallon buckets are free.

If you want pretty, paint them.


FREE 5 Gal. buckets??? Where would I get those?
(I thought $2 for a stinky pickle barrel from firehouse subs was a good deal.)


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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  yolos on 5/31/2014, 2:10 pm

Schools use 5 gallon pickle buckets.  Bakeries.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  68carguy on 5/31/2014, 3:11 pm

@FeedMeSeeMore wrote:
@boffer wrote:5 gallon buckets are free.

If you want pretty, paint them.


FREE 5 Gal. buckets??? Where would I get those?
(I thought $2 for a stinky pickle barrel from firehouse subs was a good deal.)

I got some from my local Food Lion, not sure they are in your area. The bakery department gets frosting in them...free for the asking. They normally have left over frosting in them you have to clean out but other than that....
Yeah I bought one of those pickle buckets from Firehouse Subs...never again....my my..... you can never get the smell out.
I would be afraid anything I grew in it would taste like it smells!!

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  Turan on 5/31/2014, 4:05 pm

The expensive part is finding good composts and vermiculite or perlite.  The forms can be all sorts of repurposed bins/ bags/ mesh/ scrap lumber/ pallets/ buckets.  Look in alleys and behind businesses.  KNow any one with cats, those square kitty litter buckets with hole drilled in them are great.  Do not use burlap, it decays too fast but a roll of weed cloth would make a lot of forms.

Good luck with your scrounging  Laughing

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 5/31/2014, 4:31 pm

@yolo
@68carguy

Thanks for the tips!

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/31/2014, 4:53 pm

I used someone's tossed out kitchen cupboards for my original boxes. 3 years later I'm still using them but they may need to be repaired or replaced the end of this season.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  boffer on 5/31/2014, 5:01 pm

@mimsbuttons wrote:..Does anyone know of any materials that I can repurpose to create an attractive looking garden design?..

We've seen some very nice cinder block boxes.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 5/31/2014, 5:28 pm

Our neighbor was building a new deck. DH caught him before he torched ALL the old wood in his backyard. We should have enough for at least 3 "new" boxes.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/31/2014, 6:53 pm

Getting stuff that's both attractive and cheap/free can be tricky and require a bit of luck!

Many good suggestions have been posted in this thread for at least the cheap/free part. Re growing in bags, if you'd like to do that but don't want the sides to bulge out in a sort of random way, and want to make them easier to move, you might consider checking out your local dollar stores for wire baskets, or the plastic equivalents, to put the bags in. That will keep the bags upright and in a consistent shape, protecting the fine root hairs from micro-traumas like bending and tearing as the bags expand and contract, while also making it easier and less damaging to move the bags, should you need to as the sun changes its position during the season. It can also make growing in bags more attractive. The wire and plastic baskets tend to come in quite a few colors and a variety of shapes.

Growing in bags with Mel's Mix works very well, by the way. Doing so can cost you a bit more in water, as the bags increase evaporation from the soil. But MM's high water-retention properties counter that near perfectly.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/31/2014, 10:03 pm

Do you have Craigslist.com available in your area?  And you might do a google search for free & your area.

Sam's bakery is where we get our free frosting buckets.  They're supposed to send them to the recycler, but apparently this one particular store didn't get the message... lol.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  Goosegirl on 6/1/2014, 7:24 am

@yolos wrote:Schools use 5 gallon pickle buckets.  Bakeries.

+1 I was just going to add bakeries. Their frostings and other edibles come in buckets, so they are definitely food grade.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  Goosegirl on 6/1/2014, 7:27 am

@68carguy wrote:...
Yeah I bought one of those pickle buckets from Firehouse Subs...never again....my my..... you can never get the smell out.
I would be afraid anything I grew in it would taste like it smells!!

Definitely for pickling cukes only - they may grow smelling pre-brined! Wink 

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  yolos on 6/1/2014, 9:21 am

The smell doesn't bother me.  It goes away real quick.  leave it outside in the air and rain and the smell goes away.  Anyway, if you use it as a planter, you are going to fill it within an inch of the top, so you shouldn't be able to smell any pickles after that.

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Wonderful, space saving idea!!!! Cost Effective a Well!!! thanks!

Post  mimsbuttons on 6/1/2014, 4:48 pm

@gwennifer wrote:yolos, nice find on that video!  Grow bags for $0.50 that air-prune and a kiddie pool for self-watering.  Cool.  Look at how he's even grown corn this way and is modifying his buckets to air-prune too:

mimsbuttons, have you checked your local craigslist or perused habitat for humanity stores for used materials perhaps?

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Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  mimsbuttons on 6/1/2014, 4:52 pm

@yolos wrote:Those bags you buy at walmart to keep from using plastic bags are said to work very well.  I do not know what they cost though.
thank you so much for this link!  I was able to get more and more cheap ideas of a self-watering system that I can build for less than $50 bucks!  I really appreciate this!  I welcome any future tips you may run across as well.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/5/2014, 12:49 pm

We're trying this idea out for a couple of tomato plants. Empty dog food bags. This particular brand is makes a tarp like bag. I wiped it out with some diluted dish soap on a rag and that was all. I've been saving them for something just wasn't sure what.


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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  boffer on 6/5/2014, 12:56 pm

Nice re-purposing.   

Be sure to give us a follow up at the end of the season.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/5/2014, 7:43 pm

Will do Boffer. Those are the only store bought 'maters. The rest were from seeds.

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/6/2014, 11:50 am

@FeedMeSeeMore wrote:We're trying this idea out for a couple of tomato plants. Empty dog food bags. This particular brand is makes a tarp like bag. I wiped it out with some diluted dish soap on a rag and that was all. I've been saving them for something just wasn't sure what.

LOVE it!  What a fab idea.  Did you put holes in the bottom?
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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/6/2014, 11:59 am

@CapeCoddess
LOVE it!  What a fab idea.  Did you put holes in the bottom?
CC.


Yes I did cut some holes in the bottom. Should have mentioned that.
Just trying to save any way we can so we can add some more square foot beds next year.

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material

Post  tank55 on 6/6/2014, 9:59 pm

I do not know your area, but i have a cedar sawmill close they sell 3000 lb stack of cedar ( they call them miss cuts) for $50. they have 1/2" X 4" x 8' up to 6" X 6" X 8' and ever size  in between. Mine had a lot of 12" X 1" X  8" they did not have square side but they work well. hope this helps

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Re: Newbie seeking inexpensive ways to structure my garden

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