Raised Garden or Container Garden???

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Raised Garden or Container Garden???
9
Tue, 05-24-2011 - 11:25am

Which is more cost effective? I'd planned on building a couple raised gardens, and planting things like lettuce (easy), tomatoes, peas, squash, zuchini, and maybe some flowers. However, the more I got to thinkning, the more I think container gardens may be better because of our location. It's May and we've gotten more snow this month than we have all winter! If I'd planted a garden in a raise bed, I'd have probably lost it all by now. I know I can cover them, though. I don't know if covering them would protect against hail (which we've gotten on and off all morning today). Container gardens can be brought inside if the weather's bad, but then you have the storage issue. Where do you store them all winter? My garage isn't that big! lol I think the initial price may be comperable, with the container gardens being a little less expensive (maybe). I also need to think of what will keep my dogs and the critters out (we get rabbits, and possibly foxes and coyatoes). The mini-schnauzers aren't a big issue. They can only jump so high! lol The lab, however is a challenge, especially since he's still a puppy. If I built raised gardens, I'd add seating on the edges. Major plus for my teenagers when they have friends over. Container gardens would probably have to go on the patio, which we'd eventually like to build a wall around, and then placement of them for them to get enough sun may be limited. The back yard is plenty big enough for a couple 8x12' raised beds. I'd probably start with just one this year (if we even get to it this year--we're working on planting a LOT of baby pine trees and are about 1/2 way to what we want with about 60 [we're digging them up from a friend's house, not buying them!]).

siggy pink

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Tue, 05-24-2011 - 11:53am

That is tough.

I have done some container gardening.

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Wed, 05-25-2011 - 2:54pm
cathyliz wrote:

It's May and we've gotten more snow this month than we have all winter! If I'd planted a garden in a raise bed, I'd have probably lost it all by now.


Can I just tell you how sick I am of all that snow and hail!? My seeds are all started inside just waiting for some sunny weather!

We did both raised bed and container last year. In our area we have a lot of deer and other animals, so the containers were great to protect the plants against critters. We grew some tomatoes on our deck where the deer couldn't get them - and they were a nice alternative to having the big pots of flowers we'd normally have out there. We also had some pots inside of our green house.

In the bed we grew potatoes, onion, carrots and cabbage. The thing I liked about the pots vs. beds was that they needed less watering. But things like potatoes obviously need a little more room to spread out!

Photobucket

Avatar for akamarti
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Wed, 05-25-2011 - 4:02pm

I've done both and found that for annuals, containers are probably easiest for me. When the season is over, I harvest the seeds, pour out the soil and recondition it with compost in a garbage can for that purpose, wash the containers and stack them and I'm done. For perrennials, though, I also have the problem of where to store them and darned if I have the energy to haul ten or twenty big clay pots in anyway!

I try to buy things suitable to our local "zone" but the way the weather has been we're all over the place with temperatures and day to day you can hardly tell what season it is!!! I feel your pain and understand your dilemma!

Things I'd usually put out or plant in March or April got frost killed in MAY! Or damaged and I'm hoping for recovery. I wonder if we are going to have a spring? Our weather is either wintery or "summery".....all in a matter of days!

Marti

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Fri, 05-27-2011 - 10:27am

Thanx for the thoughts and recommendations. :)

siggy pink

Avatar for akamarti
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Fri, 05-27-2011 - 12:00pm

I'd love to hear what you decide to do...and maybe see a picture???? I'm sticking with just the regular pots and flower beds this year. No veggies or extras...because it looks like a VERY short growing season for us in WA. state!

Marti

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sat, 05-28-2011 - 5:57pm
Well, we definitely won't be using railroad ties. Apparently they're treated with creosote, which causes cancer. Don't want THAT leaching into the roots of the plants! lol We found some pretty big wooden pots (half barrels???) at Lowes for about $35 each. We think we're going to get about four of those to start with, maybe five. We may start building a raised bed using landscape bricks. We can do whatever shape we want. Simple or complex. We'll see. If we don't like it or want to move it, we can. But for this year it may just be the containers. I'll let you know when we get them all together. Probably tomorrow or Monday. :)
siggy pink

Avatar for akamarti
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sun, 05-29-2011 - 11:21am

It occurred to me last night that another alternative is to use old tires..stacked side by side and then filled in their middles and the middle of the ring or rectangle. They can even be painted and the heat they radiate can help the plants as well. They aren't the most attractive alternative, but it's a good way to recycle tires and get that cheaper cost on a raised bed. Later you can lattice around them or even build a rock wall (in our yard we have enough big rocks to build a castle!).

I don't THINK they leach out any chemicals....but painting them with an outdoor latex should prevent that...or lining the bed with an eco-friendly tarp.

Marti

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Sun, 05-29-2011 - 11:27am
I have a huge tractor tire in the playground as a sandbox. We've been meaning to get rid of it (I despise sand! lol), so maybe I'll just empty it out and move it. It's a good foot and a half high. It's make an interesting addition to a container garden! lol Maybe that can be my flower garden. Then I don't need to worry if it leaches. I won't be eating the flowers. :p Thanx for the idea! :)
siggy pink

Avatar for akamarti
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Mon, 05-30-2011 - 9:12am

You are welcome......and, hey, already having the tire and wanting to repurpose it...that's good luck right there!

Marti