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big plans for small gardens
by Sarah Goldstein |
continued from page 5
If you've got garden beds, you know where the dirt goes. If not, you'll
need some containers to hold your dirt before you can even think about
planting. The quickest way to get some is to head to the nearest garden
store and hand over a big wad of cash. All your pots will match, they're
likely to be really pretty, and you'll probably be broke. Or you could
check out some of these places for free (or cheap) pots:
- On the street. In my
neighbourhood, people regularly dump things they've finished with out on
the street -- including pots, sometimes with plants still in them. If
people do this around your way too, take a wander and you might find
just the thing you need.
- Freecycle. As well as being a great
source of plants, there are often pots and other gardening gear listed
on freecycle too.
- Thrift stores. I've found some great decorative pots in thrift stores
for a couple of dollars. They're not available all the time, but if you
check regularly you're sure to find something.
- Dollar stores. A dollar store with a gardening section can be one of
the best cheap sources of supplies. Not only will they likely have a
bunch of dirt-cheap pots, they're also great for stakes, trellis and any
other supplies you might need.
And remember, any container
with a drainage hole works as a plant pot, so get creative! An old
colander lined with moss could make a great hanging basket; any big
plastic tub works fine as a pot once you've drilled a hole or two in it;
and if you can find a big old rusty wheelbarrow, it's big enough that
you don't have to add drainage holes.
Sooner or later, there'll be other bits you find you need: fertiliser,
snail pellets, bug spray, stakes, etc. etc. If you can't beg or borrow
these from your family and friends, there are cheaper ways to get them.
The two places I usually check are the supermarket and the dollar
store. Supermarkets often have fertiliser, snail pellets, bug spray
and some accessories for a whole lot less than the garden store. Dollar
stores are better for tools and hardware-type items, like cheap trellis,
pots, gardening gloves, trowels, hose fittings, stakes and ties. While
you're there, keep an eye out for some cheesy garden ornaments -- I've
found some fantastic kitsch garden gnomes in the dollar store which make
a real talking point in the garden.
So you've picked a spot, found
some plants, got pots, dirt and a few extras sorted out. You're ready to
Don't worry if you don't feel
like you know what you're doing yet -- it doesn't matter. You could read
a lot of books if you wanted, but you'll learn a lot more by getting
your hands dirty. Sure, you'll lose a few plants along the way, but
that's part of the fun. And
when you discover some more budget-priced gardening ideas, share them
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