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#788681 - 10/20/12 09:19 PM Polystyrene for a container?  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,028
Lestie - ContainerGardens Offline
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Lestie - ContainerGardens  Offline

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Parakeet

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,028
Johannesburg South Africa
Hi there to one and all,

I went to a garden club meeting recently and picked up what I thought was potentially a very good bit of information.

Now as far as I know, polystyrene is the least 'green' product that one could want to use in the garden - but in this format it sounds smart and useful. Gladys says she uses polystyrene packing boxes that she gets her medication delivered in as planters for her garden and as containers on her deck besides.

She adapts their use for whatever and says they really make a good container for all sorts of reasons. She gets amazing results with her seed growing, for protecting her seedlings before she plants them up permanently and then for other plants she may want to move for seasonal reasons or when she feels like making some quick changes.

She tells me they are light (that we guess and know)- Adam are you reading this? - so they are easy to move.

I hear that they are particularly good for vegetables and herbs, and after the harvest or when the plant is done, she just throws the old plant material into a new box, adds new composty soil on top with some bonemeal mix and starts again.

She gets the best of both worlds as her roots are warm in winter and kept cool in summer - and if the white colour doesn't suit for a reason, then they can be painted with a water-based paint or put inside other presentation or fancy pots. Other ways she has decorated these are with kebab sticks stuck on in patterns (with the right kind of glue) and/or with recut old bamboo blinds.

I think this is a fab idea and will be trying it soon - my mind jumps too to those polystyrene cups - they would be good for seeding and larger strong packaging would/could help with containing the roots of 'rampant' growers like mint.

What sayest you? It's a good recycling idea and frugal too.

Cheers now


Last edited by Lestie - ContainerGardens; 11/18/12 01:40 PM.

Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

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"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.
#793179 - 11/18/12 01:52 PM Re: Polystyrene for a container? [Re: Lestie - ContainerGardens]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,028
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Lestie - ContainerGardens  Offline

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Parakeet

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,028
Johannesburg South Africa
Hello there,

I am surprised that there has been no response to this/these ideas.

I have tried using polystyrene very recently for seedlings and indeed, it works easily, it is light, easy to handle and protective of roots and watering.

I will use them until they break and I can't use them anymore, then will send them for recycling (to keep them out of our municipal dumps) as polystyrene as far as I know is not biodegradable.

I have not come across any of the large thick big boxes that I saw at the garden club, but if I do I am thinking of making a water feature somehow. I don't know, guess when I get them in my gardening mitts (not grubby!) will see what I see.

Anyway, what mediums do you use that are unusual for your seeds and germinating and seedling protection. Egg boxes? Avocado skins, citrus cups? Cut up coladrink bottles?

Let us know, ta.

Feeling very holy now ... hope you are smiling.

Cheers now

Last edited by Lestie - ContainerGardens; 11/18/12 01:56 PM.

Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

Container Gardening Site

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"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.
#794003 - 11/23/12 04:58 PM Re: Polystyrene for a container? [Re: Lestie - ContainerGardens]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,028
Lestie - ContainerGardens Offline
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Lestie - ContainerGardens  Offline

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Parakeet

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,028
Johannesburg South Africa
Hello Recyclers!

Well we had a sort of show and tell at the club meeting last week and while it was not rocket science, one of the ladies brought all sorts of skins and things she has used for germinating her heritage seeds - from orange and lemon cups to gem squash cups, to hollowed out avocado skins to yes, paper egg boxes, to a hollowed out apple that had a thick 'layer' of now browning apple left inside.

Chatter included naming other fruits and plants that could be used and of course tomatoes and papaya and even watermelon squares came up. Also nearly whole egg shells from boiled egg breakfast. Lynna made some drainage holes and planted seeds and seedlings into containers in rows, properly spaced and promised that we would get top results if we did the same. She also believes in earthworms and swears that her results are directly attributable to this practice.

As simple as the idea was, I came home and looked for stuff I could use from the kitchen. Well I am going to carry on trying - but I digress actually.

I wanted to say I have sourced some small square thinnish (1/2inch thick) polystyrene boxes (about a foot square). I made some drainage holes and planted up some bloomimg petunias into the boxes and then into the container. Three fitted well into one rectangular planter and I covered the white top with soil and bark mulch - the quickest and easiest planter I have prepared.

Everything took only about 20 minutes and my newly planted poly-planted planter (??) was light and looks good. Thing is it doesn't look different BUT I know that I am going to be able to change blooms and plants without disturbing the roots of the neighbours by just replacing newly planted polystyrene boxes. And my aggressive spreaders like thyme and mint will be contained while roots are kept moist and warm and protected.

Now why did it take me so long to find out about this option?

Well I am very pleased I tell you.

Cheers now


Last edited by Lestie - ContainerGardens; 11/23/12 05:03 PM.

Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

Container Gardening Site

Container Gardening Forum

"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.
#794522 - 11/28/12 10:54 PM Re: Polystyrene for a container? [Re: Lestie - ContainerGardens]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,028
Lestie - ContainerGardens Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Lestie - ContainerGardens  Offline

BellaOnline Editor
Parakeet

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,028
Johannesburg South Africa
Hello there again,

I can't think of how to make a water feature out of my polystyrene boxes as I do not know what to paint them with and I see that I do not like the effect of a white base for the water feature. Still, there may be someone out there who does.

All you need to do is get the smallest pump you can and prop your styrine boxes with rocks in a waterfall style. Surround them with some lovely white and green plants and flowers (geraniums or allysums) or or or any low growing flower will do well, but go for white I would say for a theme of sorts. A white daisy kept bushy and underplanted with 'creeping jenny' or 'pennyroyal' or 'peace in the home' could look cute too.

Just because I did not like what I did, doesn't mean it is not a good idea. And for the cost of a small pump and some plants you could have a nice rockery water feature. Try it and see what you think - it will work too for balconies and patios and decks etc.

Cheers now


Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

Container Gardening Site

Container Gardening Forum

"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.

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