Gardening Containers When Out of Butter Dishes

Planting containers just beg to be recycled, repotted, reused. I’m a huge fan of creative reuse (that’s code for packrat — shhhh) and gardening is no exception.

mixing bowl planter

Terrible as a mixing bowl, but it makes a really nice place for a tree!

Today’s Examiner article is all about finding containers for gardening projects – oh, did I mention I’m now writing with My title is Bakersfield Gardening Examiner, even though we’re a hundred miles and a large mountain range away.

Gardening Containers are Everywhere

I sort of touched on the fact that gardening containers are everywhere you turn, especially in the slideshow along with that article, including a few bad choices to make. Avoid pill bottles with shoulders that make removing seedlings difficult.

Spaghetti jars make great starting containers for potato vines. Just pick out a likely spud with an eye or two, thread a few toothpicks into it, and balance it on the rim. Fill up with distilled water, place in a windowsill, and forget for a few weeks. The results will amaze you.

Just be careful to use distilled water, otherwise the resulting aroma might stun you.

Get Imaginative with Gardening Containers

I talked a lot about containers over on – but I saved the fun stuff for over here! Got an old mixing bowl that’s seen better days – or you can’t stand the color anymore? Repurpose it into a mini garden by using seedlings started in peat pots and thinned from herb gardens to make an eye-catching and unusual display. See the blue bowl in the picture? Terrible as a mixing bowl but it makes a great place to put a tree!

Now, I’ve recommended that you poke holes in the bottom of many other containers to assure drainage. With the mixing bowl, I got around the drainage issue with rocks. A handful of large bits from the driveway in the bottom – then a nice thick layer of potting soil on that, and then the tree in its peat pot on top of that. Then I mounded more dirt around everything, and tossed a few barely-started herbs yanked out of the herb garden – I think one is basil and the other is parsley.

Bottom Line

The gardening magazines and home decorators steer you toward expensive Grecian urns and towers of terra cotta, and waxing poetic about how lovely your garden will be with that trio of $5,000 marble lions holding petunias on their heads.

Instead, take a good look in the pantry, in the attic, in those cupboards you rarely open – at the retired bowls and jars and jugs and buckets – and imagine what they’ll look like with a collection of your pretty posies growing inside.