Saturday 16 March 2013

Bargain Gardening Supplies

When I bought the house here, the purchase included a lot of shelves, benches, pots and tools in the greenhouse.  And though there seem to be hundreds of pots (from memory, I'm still not in the greenhouse yet!), most of them are only 3-4" as the greenhouse was used for commercial flowers - flowers tend not to be very big by the time they get sold (actually, I know next to nothing about flowers as this is my first year growing any, so feel free to disregard that statement).

If I want to grow vegetables in containers inside the greenhouse, I need pots that are MUCH bigger.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have purchased about 50 Sunleaves grow bags - 5 gallon size.  These will mainly be used for the tomatoes, or maybe some of the bigger pepper plants.  But at a buck a piece (on eBay so that includes shipping cost), I don't want to buy more of those, and that is nowhere near enough for the number of plants I am hoping to grow.  So I've been scrounging around thrift stores and searching for free or cheap items on Kijiji.  Here are some of my recent scores just in the past week.

These styrofoam trays were free from someone on Kijiji - she is no longer planning to use her greenhouse so was cleaning out equipment.  By the time I got there this weekend, there were no more free pots left, but no need to be greedy - I still managed to get 30 of these 12" x 12" styrofoam seed starting trays.

I go to thrift stores a lot so have been keeping my eye out for pots, or anything that can be used as pots.  I've found a selection of kitchen bowls that can be converted to pots with some holes drilled in the bottom for drainage.  And the colanders have plenty of drainage already, but I think I can line them with burlap or moss to hold the dirt and some moisture in.  Bowls and colanders were around 50 cents each.  And that nice big pot was discovered just this morning at the Sally Ann for only 50 cents as well!  The baskets will be perfect for harvesting herbs or a few tomatoes or zucchini for lunch.  Oh, and those bales of hay they are sitting on were from last weekend - $2 a bale on Kijiji from a nearby farmer - I wanted some hay for mulching, as its much cheaper than cedar mulch.  I also plan to use pine straw from the 4 acres of pine trees on my property.  The pine needles on the ground look plenty old enough that I'm not worried about the acidity leaching into the soil.

And finally, a few days ago I stopped by Cohen and Cohen in Ottawa and picked up two olive barrels for $17 each.

These can be easily converted into rain barrels, and much cheaper than the usual $100+ that you might pay at a store.  But if I can find someone to help me cut them up as described in this video link below, I might also try potatoes.  Since they formerly contained olives, they are obviously made of food grade materials.

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