Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

How to get free nursery pots and flats!

I'm a constant source of embarrassment for my husband. I talk to people - all the time. Mostly I ask for stuff.

You can get free nursery pots and trays for free!

It is not at all unlikely that as we are driving along I'll say, "Honey stop the truck! Go back - I wanna talk to that guy. I bet he'd let me have that piece of fence he's about to throw out." My husband just usually drives faster and pretends he doesn't hear me.

So when my husband isn't around I ask for all kinds of stuff. And sometimes I get it. Like yesterday - I got a whole stack of nursery pots for free.

I went on down to the Lowe's to see if they had their veg starts out yet... nope. But I did walk up to one of the guys and ask if they had any recycled nursery pots that I could just have?  I remember reading a post from Mavis about it a while ago. I figured I should give it a try.

"Sure!" He said. Go on back there - to the way back and look in the bin.

"Really?" I asked, "No one is gonna think I'm stealing anything?"

"Nope. Feel free to check anytime and take as much as you'd like."

So I went back and got an armload of those trays that annuals come in. I was agog. And then I walked kinda fast in case they changed their mind. The gal at the check out didn't even look at me weirdly. Yipee!

I tried this at a couple places. The local nursery had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. But then again, they did not recognize a certain well known seed company and they had no idea what rutabagas where. I tried somewhere else.

One of the ladies walked me to the secret back area where all the magic happens. There it stood, a mountain of black nursery pots. She helped me load up a trolley full of them. It was like Christmas. But it was free! All free!  It was amazing.

Soon there will be basil. Oh yes.

I'll be using these nursery pots to get my veggies started. It's still a little cold - and we have a slight risk for frost. But while the weather is warm I'm going to get a head start on the season. My starting the seeds and starts in pots I can move them inside if I need to - and these are warmer than our soggy cold ground. I can't wait for fresh basil and lettuce - which does great in pots.

I absolutely love that all you have to do is ask and you can get stuff.  Most folks are happy to help you and love to give stuff away if they can. You just have to ask. You'd be surprised at what you can get.

If you are nervous about asking for free stuff just slap a big smile on your face, stand confidently, and start with, "Say... I have a crazy question... I was wondering if....."  And then see what happens.

Of course, if you aren't lucky enough to score some free nursery pots at the nearby big box store or local nursery you can always buy them. I checked the racks at Lowe's and promptly walked away when I saw how expensive the new nursery pots were. Of course you can always order them from Amazon. These are kind of lightweight but they are durable and a nice size.

You can order trays also. But you can see from the price that I totally scored a deal with those free ones. I have not found a better price on these except at Meyards where they are about $1.19 each.

If you are worried about recycling or reusing nursery pots or flats you can always bleach them - or just buy new ones and then recycle them. Someone I know will be hanging out around the recycle bin just waiting for you to come by and dump them off.

Happy Saturday everyone! Are you asking for free stuff?

Editors note: I'm linking to my Amazon store today! I get a tiny portion of the sale when you click on one of the links, go to the Amazon page, and purchase something. It can be anything - a book, movies, gardening supplies, or something you need from Amazon anyway.  Do you need anything Amazon? You can support this blog by just clicking one of these links. Or using the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. It doesn't cost you once cent more but helps me with the "cost" of this blog. If you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon from one of the links, my store, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. Thanks!


Heavens Door Acres said...

I asked at our local "garden shop" They looked at me like I had a 3 headed goat in my pocket. *sigh* " We don't give those away" was the reply.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

thats the same look i got, HDA! ha! try a the Lowe's or Home Depot - they wont think you are a weirdo.

Vera said...

How brave of you! To go into a nursery / shop and ask for a free donation would be beyond me here, mostly because I speak English and everyone else here speaks French......

Ohiofarmgirl said...

you should see me in Paris, Vera, i make a mockery of the language but i try hard so they are very nice to me.

Unknown said...

I'v done that to, and also recycled mine back to them :) I dumpster dived a monitor riser once! I've gotten all kinds of freebies by the road.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Ha! Nancy I knew you were a gal after my own heart.... i've stopped the truck and turned around to get stuff off the roadside too!

Anonymous said...

I always keep the pots when I get a new plant for my garden, then I use them for dividing and giving new plants to my friends.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

what a great idea, Anon, and what a wonderful way to share. thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking you were raised by my mother. lol I hear ya though! When I first moved into this house I was walking around the block and some lady had TONS of hostas in the road. I hightailed it home', got my son's wagon, went back and picked those bad boys right up. They're still alive and look great!

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