Friday, May 1, 2009

Creative Recycling in the Garden

The following items can be repurposed in the garden - saving you time weeding and watering - all while being environmentally friendly!

Paper plates and coffee filters
Reuse slightly used paper plates and new coffee filters as weed blockers! Cut in from the edge and make a hole in the center. Then wrap the plate/filter around your plant!

Milk jugs and 2L soda bottles
Both of these can be used as extra protection for plants. Simply cut the bottoms from the jugs and place over your small plants. To keep them from blowing away, poke holes in the sides and stake down with wire hangers cut long enough to shape as a hairpin.

Use soda bottles as a watering conservation system. Poke 3 or 4 holes down one side. Bury the bottle up to the bottom of it's spout, making sure to positon the holes toward where the plant will be. Use a funnel to fill the bottles with water and/or fertilizer.

Toilet paper and paper towel tubes
Use these as seed starting pots! Cut each 'pot' to about 2 or 3 inches tall. Place on an old baking sheet, fill with soil and plant your seeds. When seedlings are ready to plant, push the plant down through the ring slightly (about an inch) and plant your seedling with the ring around it. The buried part of the ring with act as protection against cutworms and the upper part serves as protection for the seedling.

This can be a great timesaver for weeding! Dedicate some time before you plant to bury several thicknesses of newspaper in the pathways of your garden. This will keep weeds out and water in. And in a year or two the newspaper will decompose, making it a much more Earth-friendly alternative to plastic.

Use newspaper to make Biodegradable Plant Pots - this is probably a bit late, since most seedlings should have already been started by now, but better late than never!

Old t-shirts and pantyhose
Reuse these for tying up plants. They will hold the plant, yet stretch just enough to not damage the plant.

Space saving tips:
*Plant pole beans in a spiral - use heavy wire fencing as your trellis.
*Use your chain-link fence as a trellis for vining plants.

Here are some helpful sites for gardening and canning:

Better Homes and Gardens - Gardening site
Home Preservation
USDA - Gardening


  1. Great tips. I'm hoping to plant our garden Memorial weekend.

  2. I use my plastic bottles as cold frames, like today when they warn about a potential frost/freeze ( it is the middle of May...helloooooo? Mother nature?)

    The water in my area taste nasty so I buy bottled water for the coffee maker and smaller ones for drinking..( until I can afford a really good water filter not the cheap crap from pur or brita)...I make beads with the smaller bottles as well as cutting off the bottoms and covering my baby plants.

  3. Sarah said you had some good tips on your blog, so I came here to check it out. This is really good info. Thanks for sharing!
    Amy B


Thanks for taking time to leave a comment!


Related Posts with Thumbnails