Well the time came to buy all of our supplies. I know a lot of people go around their neighborhood and try to find things they can use as containers, but our neighborhood is mostly residential and families and it's the dead of winter and people aren't putting things out. And I like the idea of having the correct size container and knowing it will work. I do plan on looking around college campuses during move-out in May to see if I can find containers that can be used next year though.
We also needed potting soil. Obviously you can just dig up your backyard and put it in a container and hope it works. Oh, and we have no yard to dig up anyway so that's out. We wanted to go to a place that would have things in our price range and would have everything in one place. In the end we did well on one of those two. I did some research and found a greenhouse and nursery supply company about half an hour away. I pored over their online catalog and determined that they definitely had what we wanted. Which is good since we don't own a car and had to rent one. But Zipcar makes that pretty easy.
Saturday morning we took off to Tewksbury. The showroom of Griffin Nursery & Supply wasn't anything super showy, but it had the basics. I knew what I wanted.Or at least that's what I thought I wanted. The very helpful guy in the showroom suggested we go with something a bit more basic because it's cheaper and serves the same purpose. We convinced me that it was a better way to go, which worked well since you have to buy by the case/sleeve/pack at a nursery supply company. So we ended up with 45 five-gallon pots. There is NO way we'll use all of those this year, but we can give them to friends, we won't have to go back for approximately 80 years. They aren't quite as aesthetically pleasing, but we have some ideas to fix that. ;)
We also got saucers to go underneath them. That will protect our wooden deck from getting water logged.
Next up was soil. Again I went with the suggestion of the Griffin employee and got baled potting mix. It's compacted which means it's only 3.5 cubic feet, but once you've "fluffed" it up it can fill about 250 two-gallon pots. Seriously! I think that should absolutely keep us in business. Then we got some fertilizer to go in the potting soil to keep it going until we can add our worm castings.
The only thing that Griffin didn't have was trellises and cages (for peas, beans, tomatoes and peppers). The plant cages can wait a bit since it's too early for the big plants, but the peas are ready so we needed to stop somewhere for a trellis. Home Depot seemed to be the solution with some cheap dowel rods. While we were there we saw some Fiskars plastic tools for just 99 cents. They looked great and it can't be bad to have a few extra tools, right?
And they had some interesting organic fertilizer stakes and I love trying new things, so I grabbed those too.
We'll see how it all works, but now that we have all the supplies it's really time to get planting!