I’m an avid fan of dollar stores, and with good reason: the ones in my area ROCK.
Here are some of my plans for uber-cheap gardening:
1 Plastic window box (these come in 1/4 round, square or long. I prefer the long ones – they disappear fast, though.)
1 nylon scrub pad cut in 2 pieces (the ones that don’t include soap)
1 packet of nasturtium seeds
1 packet of lettuce seeds
1 packet of calendula seeds
1 kid’s watering can
1 sheet of emergency blanket (the thin reflective kind. cut into smaller pieces – this is to reflect the sun back onto the plants)
1 package of bamboo sticks (the long ones – to support climbing plants OR to hold the reflective blanket)
And if I wanted to I could buy the soil in the dollar store too, but it’s cheaper in big bags.
Take the window box, flip it over and gently carve the recessed O’s out for drainage.
Flip it back to right side up and place the halved scrub pad over the holes; this acts as a filter to keep the soil in.
Fill with your choice of soil
Water with kid’s watering can (if you can’t get one with a sprinkling head, place a small square of scrub pad on the surface of the soil and pour on / into it; it absorbs the force of the water.)
Let your box drain for 5 minutes and then plant the seeds.
Put the box in a WARM place until the seeds germinate – the lettuce should pop out in a day, the nasturtiums shortly behind them.
Or: keep in a dark spot to encourage root growth (a day or two), then harden off or just stick them in the window.
My only concern is that the plastic may contain something that should not be in food / has chemicals the plants will absorb.