8 Places to Find Free Gardening Containers

Looking to start some little seedlings indoors but not really wanting to shell out your cold hard cash for containers? Never fear.  Mavis’ freebie suggestions are here! There really are so many awesome places to choose from when looking for free garden containers to plant seeds in. I’ll also toss some free containers I get into my garden boxes so I can use less soil and yet not hurt my plants! Here are some great places to check if you, too, are on the hunt:

Home Depot or Lowes: Your big box plant retailers are the first place I’d recommend checking when trying to score some free containers. They go through mass quantities of plants and have to put those containers somewhere. Ask someone working in the outdoor nursery if they have any containers to spare. I’ve often had them tell me to come back on a certain day and then I’ll return to a free container jackpot!

Craigslist: Always a great place to find all sorts of different containers that you could use for your garden. Just look in the “free” category when searching and you’ll be shocked what you find. Of course, be careful you don’t meet in some dark alley to do an exchange and never go by yourself. And that’s my safety tip of the day.

Recycling Centers: Next time you take your recycling to the center, be sure to pop your head into the place where plastics are dumped. Or if you want some more durable containers to use, you could also check out the tin cans. Sometimes there are larger tin cans that can make great garden containers, too. Always ask permission first, but since you are still recycling the container, just in a different way, I’ve never had them tell me no!

Dumpsters:  Put on your ickiest clothes and get ready to do some dumpster diving! Seriously though, I’d only check the ones that are next to large retailers or plant nurseries. Otherwise you’ll be looking for a needle in a haystack!

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Food Services: Restaurants are bound to have containers they trash daily. And they’re more than happy to send their containers off to a good home. Plus, don’t forget all those take out containers. Simply poke a couple of holes in to the bottom of the container, fill with soil and plant. Use the top of the container to catch any excess water.

Freecycle: This is another great place to score some free containers in your area, although it’s pretty hit and miss depending on when you search. Stuff goes lightening fast on that site!

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Your Own Recycling: Many things that we recycle can be used as very nice plant containers if you think of them in new light.

Milk jugs, coffee tins and cans, egg shells and 2 liter bottles all work great as plant containers!

Bakeries: Imaging all the frosting that the bakers go through. Then imagine how many containers that frosting or the ingredients for that frosting came in. Next time you stop into your local bakery, ask if they have any used containers in the back they’re willing to part with. More often than not they will be happy to have you take them.

Containers of all shapes and sizes are super useful when it comes to planting or filling up those larger garden boxes, and there’s certainly no need to pay for them when you can find them all over the city for free? Where do you get your planting containers and do you pay for them? What are your favorite types to use?


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