a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Creative Ways to Container Garden . . .Cheaply !

Image result for volcanic rocks
Not our actual neighborhood but a general idea of our local terrain

When you live near inactive cinder cones your home is built on  lava rock! With very few inches of topsoil.

Gardening requires creative thinking. And it is best when the ideas are simple and inexpensive.

 We've tried various things over the years and have posted some of them.

These fun heavy plastic tubs were a thrift store find. This year they are
holding herbs.  The tub with flowers to the right is a bargain store dishpan.


Reusable, non-woven fabric grocery bags, folded down to height we wanted,
with few holes punched in the bottom,
filled with lettuces and spinach which lasted the entire season

These plastic dollar store pots are planted with equally bright
insect-deterring marigolds. Tomatoes are in the tires.
 The tires are tire store rejects (they gladly give you as many as you want), painted white to reflect the heat.
We didn't want to fill the entire planting area with soil (because of how much it would take), nor did we want to have the planting soil come in contact with the inside tires because of possible leaching so . . .

We have used three different methods of making  planting "cylinders" that fit inside the tires:

1. We formed cylinders from heavy plastic, taping it to hold it together.
2.  Dog food bags! Just cut the top zipper part and the bottom off  --- ready made cylinders!
3. And, when we needed more potting soil for more tires we carefully cut a large bag of potting soil in half
and inserted each half into it's tire home.

Three different ways to create the same thing.  And, they all worked well.

The tire containers also cut down on watering (especially if you   run a drip line), the need to weed is almost nil,  and you don't   
have to bend! 

You can make them taller by simply adding tires.  For our potatoes we planted them in two stacked tires and added tires as the plants grew above the previous ones. When it is time to harvest them, you remove one tire at a time.

But, like most good things, there is a  but  . . .

Image result for caution tape
There is one problem with tire gardening.

If you ever want to get rid of them, it is not simple and it is expensive. You can't just put them out with the trash! And the dump charges more than regular trash or building materials, etc. to  take them off your hands!

Our solution?

We camouflaged them!
The tires, covered with stacked rocks from our local area, are planted with daffodils and day lilies.

Disclosure: The daffodils are artificial ones "planted" with each real plant providing a little color before the
day lilies were ready to bloom.

The really fun part is, not one person  realized  they weren't real.

Isn't nature's landscape wonderful --- no matter whether it's stark lava beds or fertile vegetable and flower beds.

I am Simply, Gail.

Please have a great and grateful day.