Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Saving Money While Helping the Planet

Everything in the garden survived the recent dump of snow. It's all melted again now and the robins are looking less confused. We have one lone daffodil blooming. The rest continue to cower halfway in the soil. The tulips haven't started sending up stems yet either. Hopefully the plants don't know something I don't. Snow needs to be done now, thank you very much.

The ground was still too wet to fool around in after work today so instead I worked on transplanting various different things into bigger containers. I have started to get away from purchased containers and instead have been raiding the recycling bin for stuff I can use one more time before sending them off to be recycled.

I really like these gallon Fishy Cracker containers. The peppers seem to like the shiny metal sides and if I stick a piece of thick paper in the middle of it, the plants are easy to separate. I don't let the kids eat a lot of fishy crackers though so other options are needed.

Gallon jugs of distilled water work well and though plastic orange juice containers are a little smaller with respect to planting space, they are really sturdy. Large cardboard fast food cups work pretty well, though if you use too much water, they get kind of soft. Wendy's plastic big gulp containers work brilliantly. I cut them down to a size that means I don't need to use tons of potting soil and stab a few drainage holes in the bottom and I'm good to go.

Options don't stop here though. A clemantine mini crate is great for holding pots of herbs and the organic plastic salad boxes are perfect for moistening a lot of potting soil at once. I've also used them for planting a bunch of lettuce or cabbage. These containers have lids that can be used to maintain moisture or to serve as a place to catch drainage, a very definite perk.

Mixed set-ups like these do not lend themselves to pretty photos's of organized seedling start set-ups. When considered all together, at first glance, it looks like a pile of garbage! I'm long past worrying about stuff like that though. If I can teach the kids how to re-use simple items to help the planet and to find creative solutions to problems, it's a look I can live with. Plus, all the money I save on pots, I can spend on seeds. *wink*


Bucolic Bushwick said...

I like how you re-purposed those containers. My pots of choice are those red and blue party cups.

Anonymous said...

Very creative! I love the goldfish planter.