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Readers Respond: Tips for Recycling in the Garden

Responses: 233

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Recycle Plates

I go to the thrift store & purchase pretty plates (various sizes, designs, colors) & tuck them into shrubs & flower gardens. I have a plate with an Italian theme (vegetables/herbs) tucked in by the rosemary plant. The tea cup and sauce can be a real treat to put in a large container pot as a decoration (filled with some stones). Around my patio table, I have a collection of (large) pretty seashells. I call my attempts at decorating "Yard Junk"...others call it "Yard Art".
—Guest Virginia

Broken Ceramics as Garden Art

If you have a broken ceramic vase, you can put the pieces on the earth in decorative way.
—Guest nada

water to wash rice

Save the water you use to wash your rice or grains and use it to water you plants, especially orchids. You will notice they grow spikes fast.
—Guest margarita

Horticultural Charcoal and Compost

Any composting nutrients will last longer in the soil if horticultural charcoal or biochar is added to the rue. Not only that, but moisture will be retained, carbon will be sequestered and run-off will be reduced. read up on biochar and terre preta if this subject is new.
—Guest mike urban

Composting Course Peelings

Because they can take a long time to break down I help the process by whirling in the blender a few seconds.
—Takelababy

Turning Peels into Gold

I use vermiculture (worm composting) to enrich my soil. Hold onto you coffee grinds, egg shells, apple cores and potato peelings because they red wigglers will transform them into liquid gold for your soil. You can buy a "worm chalet" a little plastic house with trays for the food that you bring inside during the winter. I love not wasting and being able to reuse kitchen peelings. The worms eat their body weight daily and the casings are filled with nutrients for soil. You can also use liquid they release, called "worm tea" as extra booster for the garden. I am looking forward to unleashing mine in about a month. I live in Canada and am not yet a weather optimist. We have had snow in April before!
—Guest Lesley Simpson

Winter Composting

I save all fruit and vegetable scraps in the fall and winter put them in freezer, so when springs comes, I put them in the garden and rototill them in the soil. You can save coffee filters and grounds to use also.
—Guest jill rush

Recycling Seeds

I leave my marigold stems in place over the winter, come spring I have LOTS of free marigolds from the seeds that have fallen out of the dead plants during the winter...I also do this with basil and other plants..IT WORKS
—Guest Pat Hurley

Recycling in Seeds from the Kitchen

I keep a bowl in the kitchen for all vegetable and most fruit scraps including the seeds. Then I mulch them through out the year. In the spring I have free mulch and I never have to plant pumpkins, butternut squash, or potatoes, they come up from the previous year's mulch. I just have to transplant or work around my "volunteer" plants. They seem to be the strongest plants in the garden.
—Guest Mary Bodily

Grill Flower Box

I took an old grill put newspaper on the the bottom placed the lava rocks on top of them. placed soil next.Planted marigolds. Everyone finds this so cute and clever.
—heritage51363

On the Spot Composting

I save coffee grounds,egg shells, and peels to dig in my new beds. The worms love it and it also adds nutrients to the soil. You can also cool off the water from steaming or boiling veggies and use it to water plants. Not much goes to waste in our kitchen, just meat by-products and fats.
—Guest Judy

Worms in the Compost

The best way to use worms is for recycling all the garden waste in your compost.
—Guest abdelwahhab

Pastry Container Seed Trays

The person who uses egg cartons ---I do also here is my method..get a clear pastry container from store(muffins, cookies-that kind). Punch a couple of holes in the bottom for drainage. Put in a layer of wet soil, Then the fibre egg cartons(trim) to size fill with soil, Plant seeds, Put plastic lid on top. When it is time to transplant scoop out the whole plant, as well as the egg carton that has started to decompose andthe dirt on the bottom. Use the plastic container over-those fiber egg cartons- the 2-4 dozen kind are great because they can be cut to size. Save old plastic juice and milk jugs to put over plants after they are planted(cut out the bottom) to help harden the baby plants. store jugs for the next year
—Guest gwenmas

Washer/Dryer Drum Planters

When I bought my new washer and dryer, I recycled the old drums from both. I spray painted them a pretty colour and planted them with flowers. Fabulous!
—Guest Iceni

Remodeled Bath and Garden

If you are going to remodel your bathroom do not dispose of your old bathroom fixtures.Clean them if necessary and allocate an area in your garden and arrange them as if a regular bath. The bathtub can become a nine water feature and the toilet and the wash basin plants containers ,Even the shower can be accommodated and be useful as a plant holding device.
—Guest Edil
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