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Gardener finds ‘perfect’ solution for backyard plots in qathet

Tubs for growing last longer than wood boxes, says Texada Garden Club member
GARDENING IDEAS: Texada Garden Club member Sandy McCormick discovered that old bathtubs make great planters for growing vegetables.

Spring is here and figuring out the best place to grow vegetables, herbs, berries or flowers is the first step to a successful growing season.

Many folks in the qathet region utilize their back and front yard spaces very well, but not everyone has good soil. The solution is to make or buy planter boxes and pots.

When Texada Garden Club member Sandy McCormick saw that her wood planter boxes were deteriorating after more than a decade of using them to grow vegetables, she started brainstorming for a solution.

"We went up to the metal transfer station here on Texada Island, which is a place where you take old metal things that you don't know what to do with, and we found the perfect solution," said McCormick. “The metal bathtubs are perfect, ready-made planters because they have a drainage hole in the bottom and they are made to hold water." 

McCormick has 12 tubs in her yard plus a greenhouse and says they are low maintenance. 

Each tub grows one type of vegetable such as cucumber, broccoli or tomatoes, and she has grown eggplant.

"We change the soil every year, but they're absolutely the perfect way to garden," said McCormick. "We grow enough, not enough that we can live on all year, but certainly we grow as much as we can." 

McCormick also made a greenhouse herself using a boxed wood frame with plastic overtop to keep the warmth inside for her starter tomato and pepper plants.

"I plan to paint them [bathtubs] all bright colours,” said McCormick. “That's my goal, to have a purple tub, a green tub and orange tub.”

A seed exchange is happening soon where many gardeners decide what to grow and acquire seeds they may want to plant.

"It's too early to start now [planting] but when we do, we'll start to dig up our soil and put new stuff in and turn it all over," said McCormick. "We'll start gradually, starting with lettuce and spinach, broccoli, things that will tolerate cooler weather, peas love cooler weather."

McCormick said her main goal is to get the vegetables planted and to hopefully have a successful growing season.

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