Saturday, March 10, 2007

Recycling in the Container Garden

I've become a thrift-store skulker. Forever on the look-out for my next container gardening treasure. I get light-headed when I hit it big. We live in a college town - which means a lot of transient folks who readily send all of their gardening toss-offs to the local Salvation Army.

Some of my proudest finds have included wrought iron plant holders; the odd, lonely saucers or plates that make for unique container drip trays; galvanized tin buckets; a copper teapot; tea cups; baskets; and a stockpile of terracotta and several blue-glazed pots.

It all started here. Gayla's article broadened my mind to the various possibilities that existed within other people's junk. It also includes very helpful hints on how to transform those recycled treasures into usable containers.

Drainage can certainly be an issue with pots that were not initially meant to hold plants. I have drilled holes in some of the pieces; others I filled with about an inch or two of gravel at the bottom before the soil and the plant(s). Ferns, pothos, baby's tears, spider plants and jades do well in the gravel-bottomed containers; but if you can make the time to find a drill with a masonry bit - I highly suggest it. Especially if they are going to be outside for the season.

You will also need to make sure and sterilize your pots - as you will not be privy to their horticultural history. Gayla recommends 1 part bleach to 10 parts warm water in your bathtub. It sounded like she has also had luck with more environmentally-friendly all-purpose cleaners and hydrogen peroxide. Scrub the pots out and let dry.

Among the many exciting things about spring is - The Garage Sale. I have to admit - it is my favorite form of 'recycling' these days and I plan to be out there hunting with the best of them this season.

1 comment:

Saya said...

I read Gayla's article as well. I was afraid that the end result might end up looking like a mess on my balcony but your photos great. Classic yet creative. I might give it a go now!