Raised bed and container gardening, how often do you hear those two terms spoken of in the same conversation? I must say that I simply do not know since I occupy my own little corner of the world and am not privy to every discussion. However, I do know that they go hand in hand with each other. While one person may be more interested in creating gardens in containers and another one in raised beds, they do seem to be different sides of the same coin.
You see; a raised bed garden is only a larger version of a container garden in that it typically takes up more space. Still, it is possible to build a raised bed that is any size the individual wants. On the other hand, one is pretty much stuck with the containers on hand in which to put your container garden.
Well, maybe that is not exactly true. What I mean is that some people build custom containers. Yes, I did say that containers can be constructed according to the desired size. Not all containers used for gardening purposes need to be made of ceramic, terra cotta, cast stone, plastic, metal or other such materials. In fact, there are many containers gracing the backyards of people all over the world constructed of wood and most are quite beautiful.
Think of it. Wood is available to just about anyone, and it is an easy material with which to work. The only tools one needs to construct a basic container is a saw and hammer. Sure, there are other tools, such as a jigsaw or table saw and a power drill or screw gun that make this chore easier, but if these are not available, an ordinary handsaw and hammer will do just find.
Even the wood is easy enough to come by if one knows where to look. It’s true, and there is no reason to pay big bucks for it either.
I find the wood I need for different projects in the dumpsters at a local cabinet shop. Now, I would not recommend that anyone just drive up to a cabinet shop and begin rifling through a dumpster. I would never dream of doing that because it is impossible to know if this is a welcome activity without asking first.
Instead of taking it for granted that I can go dumpster diving wherever and whenever I like, I ask permission. That way, if there is some reason management does not want people going through the discarded wood, they have the opportunity to say so. It is just common courtesy to ask, and the reason may be a concern for your safety.
Other places to find cheap wood to use for raised bed and container gardening include garage sales, construction sites, and flea markets. Some communities even allow old furniture to be placed on the side of the street for anyone to pick up certain times of the month or year. Why not use these opportunities to obtain the wood needed for projects?
Just because wood was used once for something else, that does not mean it cannot be repurposed. For instance, an old chest of drawers picked up for $20 dollars is a great place to start. Each drawer can be used as a separate container with just a little waterproofing.
Now that I have given away my best kept secrets, maybe there is no reason not to start raised bed or container gardening in your own backyard. There is a sense of pride that comes from knowing you were able to create something with your own hands. Better yet, when the materials used to create it is free or nearly so; the pride of achievement is even greater.
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