G and I rented for just over five years while we saved up for our house, but I wasn’t prepared to wait that long to start growing vegetables and herbs. The solution? Container gardening – first in pots and then, as my plans became slightly more grandiose, in a blue plastic clamshell.
I think these clamshells are really meant to be a sandpit or a wading pool, but I bought the first one at our second-last rental property and repurposed it; G drilled some holes in the base and I filled it with potting mix, compost and vegetable seedlings. The container then moved with us to our last rental property, where I bought another one and started the process again.
The clamshells were a good solution (this is not a sponsored post, these just worked really well for me) for us while renting. They gave me something a bit bigger than a normal pot, so I could grow multiple plant varieties together (I wanted to companion plant if possible), but weren’t too expensive, as we we were saving up for a house and were on a budget.
They’re made from polypropylene (which is also used to make food containers), so I wasn’t worried about harmful chemicals leaching out into the soil and possibly being taken up by the plants.
Finally, they weren’t too heavy. The first one had to accompany us through at least one house move – it actually ended up being two moves and two clamshells – so we needed something that could travel with us (and thanks here to G and my parents for helping me with this).
Between them, the clamshells have since been used to grow green manure (to boost the nitrogen in the soil mix), zucchinis (very unsuccessfully), tomatoes with basil and marigolds, silverbeet and spring onions with coriander, and cucumbers with nasturtiums and more basil.
They’ll still see active service for at least another six months (and probably longer) as I plan and set out my vegetable garden plan – the one with tomatoes will be planted with coriander (I’ve actually had better luck with coriander sown in Autumn) and some winter pansies (just for some colour), followed by snowpeas and cucumbers in Spring.
The one currently containing cucumbers will be planted with a green manure crop for winter, then tomatoes in Spring. And there’s a third one out there, waiting for me to decide what to plant in it and for G to then drill holes in it.