Sunday, December 31, 2006

Planting A Tin Can Garden

The first year I planted a garden, I used containers for the veggies. For some, it worked well, but for others, it was not the best idea. Still I like the idea of using the containers. Instead of purchasing them, I used containers I already had on hand. We kept any tin containers we used, such as coffee tins and ones with baby formula.

While I was proud of my little garden, it did not look so exciting. The cans started to get bent and a little rusted by the end of the summer. Later I stumbled on a great idea for a way to use the tin can idea in your garden but to make it look better. This idea is so wonderful and simple that it is something I intend to employ in my garden next year.

First note that this idea is intended for flower gardening and not vegetable gardening. You are looking for short-root plants to use for this little tin can garden. You could try doing herbs, and they probably would work because many of them have small root systems. The only problem with using the tin can garden for herbs is that you need to be able to reach your herbs easily to cut them.

At any rate, gather all of the tin cans you find, including ones used for canned vegetables. When you use the cans, you should wash them thoroughly at that time and turn them upside down to dry. Then you will need to go ahead and remove the labels from the can. If you do it before you wash the cans, then you can use the water to run over the labels and remove them better. If you feel the need to remove them completely, then you can try Goof-Off or another similar product to get the label glue off. Put the cans away until time for you to begin putting your garden together.

Once it is time for the garden, you will need to purchase a piece of wood. Plywood is recommend and will work well with this idea. Make sure that you are using a pressed sheet or the flat side and paint it using any exterior paint. You can do a solid color, pattern, scene, or whatever strikes you.

Next you will use a hammer and nail to put a small puncture hole in the bottom of the can. This hole will serve as drainage for your tin can garden. Next you will need metal snippers. Cut the top of the can off completely and cut a line straight down the center of the can. Use the snippers to go around half of the bottom part of the can and remove half of the bottom.

You will need to use pliers to fold out the sides of the can where there is no bottom. Then get the snippers out again and cut a V into each side. Put the can flat on the plywood with the side with the remaining bottom facing out. Once you have determined where each of the cans will go, you can put a tintack, two on each side, in the cans to hold them in place.

Once you have the cans in place, your garden is ready to begin planting. You will be able to put potting soil and plant seeds in the tins you have used to create your tin garden. If you know a vine or small climbing plant that grows in your area and has small roots, that may be perfect for this type of garden.

You will be able to rest the tin can garden against the side of your house or in another area where it will be seen. What you are doing is not permanent, which works well if you are in a temporary setting, and you will be able to enjoy it all season. The best part is that the entire garden is pretty cheap, especially considering you are probably using cans you already purchased, so redoing it in years to come will not seem so bad. Try out different types of flowers with this garden to see what works so that you can create a cool tin can garden for your yard this year.

1 comment:

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