Container gardening is a popular way of growing vegetables without much space. This method of gardening basically refers to the practice of planting vegetables in pots (ie containers) instead of the ground.
Container gardening really has a lot going for it; it’s portable, easy to care for, easy to weed, and brings the plants to a more workable height. What I particularly like about container gardening is that it lets a person garden in places he normally wouldn’t think of, such as a driveway.
Creating a container garden in your driveway
Most driveways get a lot of sunlight during the day and often have plenty of room to work with. These qualities make the driveway an ideal location for a vegetable garden. Container gardens can be placed at the end or the beginning of the drive or flanking both sides of the driveway. With a typical driveway being 40 feet or more, a space conscious gardener could place at least 20 gardening tubs on each side of the driveway which could keep a family well supplied in fresh vegetables.
So where do you find large, yet cheap gardening containers?
Almost any type of container will work, as long as it has enough space for roots to grow and drainage holes in the bottom. If the containers you find don’t have drainage holes, you can make your own using a power drill or a hammer and a ten penny nail.
Large vegetable plants. For squashes, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, peppers, cabbages, broccoli, and other tall bush plants, hit the discount stores for cheap beverage tubs or totes. These 10 gallon buckets are made of plastic and have rope handles. We usually see them in our community for about $4-5 a bucket. If these aren’t available where you live, the $6 Sterlite brand storage tote also works extremely well. It’s not as easy to move, but the rectangular shape makes it fit a little neater in the driveway.
Smaller bush plants or small root plants. Vegetables such as beans, peas, green onions, carrots, and beets fit nicely in small plastic buckets, which can be found at the dollar store for $1 each. Ignore the kiddie sand buckets and look instead for the durable two gallon size bucket with the rope handles. A free substitution is to hit freecycle.com or your neighbors for their discarded plastic 2 gallon gardening pots that come from the nursery.
If your driveway is a large one, plastic kiddie swimming pools also make fabulous containers for vegetable gardening. Plastic swimming bowls usually run about $6-12 depending on the size.
Potatoes of all kinds do well in hefty bags, which makes for a super cheap container. The best kind of hefty bags for this kind of gardening are the heavy duty Contractor Bags available at Home Depot or Lowes.
Shallow compact vegetables such as chard, spinach, salad greens, radishes, onions, and herbs can be grown in shallow dishpans, also available at the dollar store for $1 each.
Container gardening on the driveway is an easy way to increase vegetable garden space on your property. By using cheap plastic containers such as these for your vegetables, you’ll discover that container gardening doesn’t have to be expensive to yield a bumper crop of produce.