Even though I have a fairly large yard, I do a bit of container gardening as well. Container gardening lets me grow flowers and vegetables in areas of the yard where normally I can’t grow anything such as the steps or on the sidewalk. Containers also let me elevate vegetables that our family eats raw (such as salad greens and basil) which keeps them out of reach from our family pets who aren’t terribly discerning where they do their business.
While oversized flower pots are the most common type of container for planting your vegetables, there other options too. Here are 5 containers that I use for planting container vegetables.
Old galvanized wash basins
If you have Grandma’s leaky old wash basin still kicking around the house, these 10 gallon basins are ideal for growing vegetables such as carrots, radishes, and salad greens. The ones I use have cracks in the bottom which allow for drainage; basins that still hold water should have a dozen or so holes pierced into the base using a five penny nail and a hammer.
Old canning kettles
While Grandma’s old copper canning kettle holds firewood in my living room, her old canning kettles made of galvanized steel or speckled enamel have also found new life in my garden for flowers and lettuce. Because some of these do have antique value if in excellent condition, I only use the kettles that no longer hold water for growing vegetables.
Cans that have rusted, lost their spout, or their handles are usually tossed in the trash. I reclaim these fun containers for growing herbs. Old watering cans look cute when arranged on tree stumps, staggered along the steps leading up to the front door, or nailed to the top of fence posts.
Kiddie swimming pool
Years ago when I lived in a mobile home park, the soil that surrounded our home looked too iffy for growing food crops. What I did instead was to buy a couple of $5 kiddie pools to use for growing garden veggies. Kiddie pools are great for square foot gardening plus can be elevated on saw horses to keep out the cats. Like the wash basins, these pools will also need holes punched in the base to avoid water log.
Old wire bike baskets
The increase in popularity of coconut basket liners opens up all kinds of possibilities for turning wire baskets, wire crates and other wire containers into attractive containers for gardening. I use coconut liners to turn Mom’s old bike racks into herb baskets that can be hung from the side of my garden shed.
For families watching costs, containers for container gardening doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. As long as the container is deep enough, has drainage holes, and isn’t made of harmful substances that can leach into the soil, you can pretty much turn just about anything into a container for vegetable gardening.
More by this contributor:
Why are my vegetable seeds not sprouting?
What vegetable seeds grow best in my area
Why I plant vegetables and flowers together