How to Make a Container Garden Cheaply

I decided that I wanted to try a little backyard gardening this year. But I have a hilly backyard that is populated by dogs. So container gardening it is!

I have been thinking about this since last fall, so I’ve been scavenging containers since then.  I found a couple of those plastic storage bins and a few old garbage cans.  Then I started saving plastic bottles because I read somewhere online that if you fill the bottom half of your containers with bottles, it takes less dirt and gives your plants more aeration and better drainage.

My back porch has looked like a recycling center for the last two months, full of containers of plastic bottles.  But, I decided today that it was time to move on to the dirt stage!
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First, I got out my electric drill and drilled a bunch of holes for drainage in the bottoms of all my containers.  Then I filled them halfway up with plastic bottles (with the lids on) and filled them the rest of the way with dirt.

I even did my first planting today.  I bought the dirt at Sams Club and they had blackberry and raspberry plants right next to them.  I suspect this will be a mistake because I suspect that berries with prickles are A) not a good choice for a container garden that I am sharing with a small child and B) going to end up being too large for the container anyway.

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But they weren’t expensive and they had such pretty pictures of plump, beautiful berries on the box.  Plus, we bought a pint of raspberries while we were there (for $6, about half the cost of the plants) and Elizabeth had already eaten a third of it in the store.

20120223-141956.jpgAnyway, in the next couple of weeks, I am going to head to a nursery somewhere and pick up some little plants.  (I know, I could start seeds and everything, but I am doing this the lazy way this year.)  I am thinking a tomato plant, some lettuces, a cucumber, and maybe some strawberries.  We’ll see what else catches my eye while I am there too.