Right, it's that time of the week again and time for my Thrifty Thursday Tip. Growing your own veg is immensely satisfying. It tastes fabulous and you know exactly what you're eating but, buying the containers to grow things in, even the little trays to plant the seeds in before planting them out can be really expensive so here is my thrifty tip. Fruit and veg crates, which shops are more than happy to give away for free, are perfect for growing veg. If you only have a small garden, container gardening is perfect. I have quite a large garden but things like lettuce and cut and come again salad leaves I like to keep off the floor so they don't get eaten by slugs (the slugs set up camp this year and munched their way through practically everything .... nasty little sods!). All I do is line them with plastic, any kind of thickish plastic will do, I used a llama food sack cut down the side and the bottom and stapled into the box and then I simply add a few drainage holes with a skewer, fill them with soil and away you go. You can even grow herbs and winter salad leaves on a window ledge during the winter months like this and you don't have to stop there. I also planted up an old wicker basket with herbs and an old enamel bread bin without a lid that I found in my field with a tomato plant.
Another tip is that I save any plastic food trays from things like pre-packaged veg or the odd takeaway or ready meal that we might have and I use these as seed trays to start my veg plants off in. Just a few drainage holes in the bottom, made with a darning needle or a skewer and you're ready to fill with compost and sow your seeds.
This year, I also planted potatoes in llama feed sacks. A couple of years ago I managed to get some potato growing sacks from my local garden centre but they were about £15 for three and this year I wanted to grow more potatoes but didn't want to spend any more money so I used some of the feed bags I had saved on the off-chance I would find something to do with them. I simply rolled down the bags and added some compost. Then I put four chitted potatoes in each bag and covered them with a bit more compost. As the potato plants grow, just unroll the bag a bit and add some more compost to almost cover the plants and keep going until there is no more bag left to unroll. When there is no more bag left just let them keep growing until they are ready to harvest. Simple and cheap. Any really strong bag will do. I used llama feed sacks but large plastic dog food sacks, the 15kg ones are fine or really thick rubble sacks. Just rinse them out and put some holes in the sides about two inches from the bottom and maybe one or two in the bottom of the sack for drainage and get planting.