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I find and break up pallets with a crowbar and make wooden planters.
I try and plant the last tomatoes or beans from stuff I buy.
Sometimes they grow, sometimes they don't
I get dirt and soil from local people who offer up containers of the stuff when they remodel their yard.
Sometimes I buy a bag of soil from the store as top dressing to mix with my home made compost made from leafs and food remains.
It's rough sometimes trying to move tons of the stuff with just a backpack and trashbags but I'm grateful I can have it for free.
I hope to get myself at least 1 free meal at some point from all this. Just being alive is getting expensive.
But, beyond that. It's a small bit of peace I get every day, tending to the "garden"

I recently got myself a small power drill to lighten up the work load.
I would do a lot by hand with a hammer, an old saw and my trusty crowbar and it was hard sometimes.

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I had tried to grow stuff on my small balcony before.
But I didn't have large enough planters or anything that really produced.
I started with a large round plastic planter and just dumped in random stuff.
I attempted to grow leek, tomato and bell peppers at first.
Once they started to grow a bit, I got invested.
I looked up how to get planters for cheap and found small guides on how to make them yourself from wooden pallets.
That's pretty cheap I would say.

I started with 2 small planters made from a wooden pallets I got from around the neighborhood. Barely a feet long and only a few inches deep.
It was not large enough and the plants slowly died due to being constrained and having no room to really grow.

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I started building larger ones and found a "Green Library" in the neighbourhood
There, I would leave and donate seedlings from my little garden.
The peppers, mint and tomatoes mostly.
The basic idea of the green library is to donate and adopt seedlings, pots or tools.
You leave a handfull of small plastic pots and take a handfull of seeds in return for example.
I would take a few small pots to plant things seperately and returned them a month or so later when I was done with them.
Sometimes people would leave random seeds and I would try to see what I would get.

Although, I ended up buying small packets of seeds myself. So far I've only taken some pumpkin & Strawberry seeds from the Library.
Now, I have a small garden with a quaint selection.
Tomatoes, Pumpkin, String Beans, Strawberries, Bell peppers, Hot peppers, Broccoli, Leeks, Onions, Carrots and Potatoes
I also started some herbs and such.
Mint, Celery, Garden cress, Lavas and Cat mint

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At the time of writing this, September is halfway through and some things I have been able to harvest.
While I've mostly been using the small herbs like the Celery, Cress and Lavas,
The Tomatoes have been steadily growing, same for the potatoes! I have some leeks that are faintly growing along side some Onions, too!
I have also been able to get a small harvest from the String beans.
The Broccoli has mostly been assaulted by bugs, I tossed some netting on it, but I fear I was too late. Perhaps a small handful of them will make it.
Sadly, the pumpkins seem to be a bit of a dud together with the peppers.
I'll try to keep some of them indoors during the colder weather, but I keep my hopes tempered.

I have also been rebuilding planters into larger ones or finding better wood to replace parts with.
While I've always been a bit of a "function over fashion" type of person. It's kinda motivating to see my shoddy carpentry improve ever so slightly.


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In the search of containers to plant in I've also expanded my ideas.
I have also started to go by snackbars and ask if they got those big tubs of sauce or frying oil.
Often you can get these for free. The place I sometimes go to will even stack them in a plastic bag for easy transportation.
The trick with these is just dril holes either in the bottom or a little bit above the bottom on the sides. Fill them with dirt and you're good to go.
They come with a handy handle that works great when you want to either empty it or move it quickly.
I have transplanted Broccoli into these types of tubs without any of them dying. I also grow potatoes in these.
The lids can be used to keep plants on while indoors or as a shallow water holding plate in general.


While these come in various sizes and volumes, I feel these are an easy and quick way to get some containers to plant in and would recommend it.


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I have mentioned before that I use found and donated lumber or other wooden planks and such.
Sometimes I find Longer and larger planks and even several of the same dimensions!
These, together with screws and some planks to reinforce it, these can be used to make simple but deep planters.
One thing I have started to do is fill the bottom with old green cuttings and large branches.
I have read about this before, but by simply using it with my slightly sandy soil I was able to improve the soil quality amazingly.
It also saves on soil in general by padding out the bottom. I also try to apply this to smaller plantings or containers.
I also started to properly add a top layer of leaves. I was able to just wlak through my street with a garbage bag and fill it up.

It has worked wonders for keeping the soil moist and provide a small layer of protection.
As it decomposes from fall to autumm, it will also help recycle the leaves and their nutrients in the soil to help improve it's quality


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I have made 2 of these long planters and used them for Brocolli, Tomatoes and some randoms things on the side.
My aim is to go for polyculture, various produce grown in the same soil and planters and try to have them share the space.
I will aim to plant something high growing like Tomatoes and something like strawberries on the "bottom" in one of them.
I also had to make a shoddy little fence that I could remove easily to protect the planters against cats in the neighbourhood.
While I suppose I appreciate the fertilizing attempt, I'm not a fan of sprouts being kicked about or dug out.

I also made a shallow bin from a pallete to store and enrich soil in.

While I have no backing for this, I'm attempting to keep kitchen scraps and older plants at the bottom and having it decompose into the dirt I stack on top.
I have seen that burying certain refuse can help the soil quality, I want to see if I could just cycle soil through this shallow bin as I replant or get more low grade dirt to use.


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My most plentiful crop next to Broccoli leaves and small potatoes are Tomatoes.
While I donated a lot of sprouts and seedlings to the local Green Library I still ended up with plenty of pots of tomato plants.
I've kept these split in different containers to find the easiest way to plant them, care for them and still get a good yield.
Right now; Large planters seem the way to go. They grow tall.

I also found out I had cherry tomatoes mixed in with regular ones.
What happened though is that Oktober hit and it was time to put them inside and gather from them.

I found lots of green tomatoes on them, but they would not turn the grand red that we all know.
The trick to this was to store them in a cardboard box for a little month together and they would slowly ripen.


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As winter started, I began planting a lot of things in seperate containers and brought them inside.
I also found a shoerack and had a bit of a thought about keeping a whole bunch of small plants and utilizing some vertical space.
I used the lids from sauce, condiments and oil tubs to hold water and put the small pots on.
This allowed me to keep them infront of the sometimes sunny window while keeping them inside and mobile to boot.

I also started putting pots in plastic bags and just moving them inside like that. Some bags can hold up to 4 medium pots that I can keep on cupboards and such.
This allows me to still grow a small supply of herbs indoors together with the mint that I regularly use to make tea out of.

It also allows me to keep growing things like carrots, which need to let grow for about 2 years before they sprout flowers and seeds to reproduce.
I will also try to do pumpkins next year. Many of my produce was planted a little too late due to lack of knowledge and a portion of it never properly grew to begin with.


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