Question: Enjoy your columns very much - I noticed that you have some galvanized feeding troughs being used as large planters. I would like to know where you found them in Seattle. Were they expensive? And how do you like them? How did you drill draining holes?
Answer: I love the feed troughs because the galvanized metal brings a glint to the garden, soil heats up faster raised up in metal, circle shapes look great in the garden, and they must be the least expensive option ever for such roomy containers. They come in several sizes in round and bullet shapes, and you can find them at feed stores...I got mine at Cenex Skagit Farmer's Supply Store in Freeland, on Whidbey Island. The web page www.polocenter.com/health/feeduswa.htm has a list of all the feed stores in the state, by city. I'm sorry I can't remember the exact price, but I believe that the four foot round (the largest) costs about $80 (or anyway it did five years ago when I got mine). Just be sure and drill plenty of holes in the bottom for drainage; we used landscape fabric inside the troughs to keep the soil from running out of the holes.
Question: I just read your interesting article on smart nursery shopping, and I was wondering if you know of any local area nursery that sell heirloom vegetable starts?
Thanks – pray for sun!
Answer: Wouldn't a little sun and warmth lift our collective spirits? It has to warm up soon...doesn't it?
West Seattle Nursery carries heirloom vegetable starts and most nurseris have a good assortment of heirloom vegetable seeds. You'll no doubt find the best variety of heirloom starts at the Tilth Edible Plant Sale and the King Couny Master Gardener's Plant Sale, both held the weekend of May 2 & 3; see websites for hours, locations and details.
I learned in researching your question that even large nurseries like Swansons, Molbaks, Sky and Wells-Medina have little about vegetables on their websites and don't distinguish if they carry heirloom varieties. But that doesn't mean that they don't carry heirlooms.....it's certainly worth a nursery visit to find out....