This year I decided to have a little vegetable garden again. Though our house was already older when we purchased it, the yard was really overgrown. Every year we worked at getting it cleaned up and aimed for a lower maintenance type of landscaping. We’ve now been here for over 15 years most of our landscaping is done. I have just about got it to where there’s not quite as much upkeep.
I started my tomato and pepper plants inside some time in February. We never put out any annuals or plant a garden much before end of May in this part of Alberta. We’ve even had snow in June some years here. I miss the British Columbia seasons most of the time, but I think I would miss our big sky here too. Home is where you make it, and no one can control the weather yet.
My dilemma was that I didn’t want to have to dig up yet another spot to put in a small garden. Not to mention all that kneeling and bending over it takes to maintain it. I thought of small container gardening and looked up various ways I could go about it. I came across a pre-made one from Costco and thought well that’s just about right but I don’t want to pay anything if I don’t have to.
Where I work our valves and large fittings come in wooden shipping crates. They are usually dis-guarded or reused to ship to our customers. The crates are pretty sturdy and a nice height for easy access to weeding. Which is really nice considering as you get older bending over, kneeling and getting up again is not always that easy. Plus I had knee surgery this year and it still bothers me to kneel.
I had the guys in the warehouse put some aside for me and brought them home in the spring. My hubby Chris, reinforced some spots, then primed and painted all the crates.
After all that was
done it was a matter of filling them up. That’s a whole lot of dirt which we didn’t have. I decided that all the spring yard clean-up could be put in the containers and then top with dirt. We put all our tree pruning debris, leaves and grass in the bottom which helped some but not enough. There was still a lot of room to fill up.
We have a driveway out front and park both our vehicles side by side but we don’t have a double driveway and have encroached on the grass for parking space. It was more like a bare rut now over the last few years and starting to look really untidy. Chris decided this year we would get that cleaned up. He dug down and removed all the dirt and he filled the containers about 2/3 full and still had lots left over. I didn’t want to use it for garden dirt because there was quite a bit of clay in it and didn’t want the work of trying to make it into growing soil.
As luck would have it, the neighbors brought in garden soil to add to their garden. Didn’t think they needed it, they had a big garden that had been worked for a few years. Unknown to us they were going to build some containers too for an easier gardening. They had removed a section of fence to allow for the dump truck to deliver their garden soil. They asked Chris if he would make a gate out of that section. He ended up making it a removable panel for them which did the trick. Once they finished filling their containers we noticed there was still quite a pile of garden soil left. We offered to buy what we needed from the pile, but they gave it to us in exchange for the work Chris did for them. Happy, Happy!
Before putting all that prime garden soil on top of the debris I put a layer of cardboard down to prevent any weed or grass seeds from our fill to germinate in our new soil. Now I have a great little container garden. I decided I would add some pallet art paintings to the sides in my spare time. Not much spare time but I did get started on it.