Even though our last frost date is April 12th, it’s been a moot point since there was barely a frost even in January. And since it’s been shorts weather a few days already I figured it was safe to start planting things outside.
I decided to start first with the leafy greens. Things like spinach and arugula like cool weather so usually these are good for early spring planting. Because they do not like 90 degree weather (like we had last week), I started them in pots so I could move them to a shady spot if they get stressed.
Planters are expensive. It always amazes me that a large, crappy, plastic, planter costs so much money. I think there is some kind of plot by the stores to see if we will spend that much while they sit back and laugh. It’s not like they are durable and worth spending the money on to last a long time. There is also the problem of taking organic soil and seed and putting them into a pot made of petroleum and chemicals.
If you walk away from the garden section at the big box store and look around you will find cheaper alternatives. I chose galvanized steel which is used is outdoor things that you don’t want to rust. Without getting technical, they dip the steel into hot zinc which protects it from rusting. Go to the paint or plumbing section and look for buckets. These are good for planting (or holding beer on ice). Make sure to drill some drainage holes in the bottom and start planting.
Here I have started seeds in two buckets. On the left will be arugula and on the right will be spinach. The front is more of a ice chest than bucket, not as deep, where I have transplanted the strawberries that were in the garden beds. They are now very happy and already have lots of flowers on them.
Not only are these cheaper that official planters but they come with handles! When it gets too hot here in the full sun part of the yard I can then carry them over to where they will get morning sun without cooking in the afternoon.
The nice thing about leafy greens vs. heads of lettuce is here we can pick some of the leaves and leave the rest to keep growing. In a few weeks I can also spread a few more seeds around so as I eat these leaves, more will be on the way. I’m so excited since last year I tried arugula but the pot was only 5 inches or so deep and it dried out too fast. Literally never ate a leaf. Hey, live and learn!