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Readers Respond: Tips for Recycling in the Garden

Responses: 233


From the article: Frugal Gardening
A garden with a sense of age always has more charm than a garden that looks just planted. Using recycled objects in the garden is a great way to add instant age and appeal. It's also a great way to save money and resources. Let us in on how you recycle objects in your garden.

What to do with your fruit peels

We can turn fruit peels in to compost slowly or just bury them. I have also read that butterflies like eating them. If you have butterflies They can pollinate the plants and seeds for next year.
—Guest Nikita Pant

Recycled Plastic Pots

After losing many sunflowers to rabbits I cut the bottoms off plastic pots. Then used them as collars around these plants. Worked

Deterring Rabbits from Chewing Shrubs

I have had rabbits chewing the bark on a couple of ornamental Pfizzer shrubs. I had to trim a wild rose bush. So, I tossed four to six inch lengths of the thorny twigs under the shrubs. I hope they ouch.
—Guest Rick

Mardi Gras Beads Repurposed

I use beads in the bottom of my pots to keep drainage holes clear.
—Guest Nelda

Corn Bags as Mulch

I use the bags from seed corn to mulch my tomatoes. (We are farmers.) They cover well and break down by year end so no having to take up. The rain and water is funneled down to plants.
—Guest Nancy Kimmet

Recycled Containers

I use old handbags, old boots and even strong carrier bags as planters.

Old Shoes

Whilst clearing out things after losing my Father, I had put things to be dumped in 1 bag and things for the charity shop in another. I went to the town and got a magazine to read in the evening. When I opened the book that eveing, it just opened at randon and I saw "DONT THROW THOSE OLD SHOES AWAY!" and there was a picture of old shoes that had been planted up with bedding plants and were on display. The next morning I went straight to the bag and retrieved those shoes. brought them home, put drainage holes in the soles and planted them up. They looked a picture and my Dad would have been chuffed to bits!
—Guest perplexedfromdorset

Rolling Herb Garden

I am using an old BBQ grill cast iron bottom lined with old screening and a coco mat to grow herbs, can roll it to get the best spot . Those old items are hard to get rid of, enjoy
—Guest Jo

Portable Garden

I saw this in a Gardening Magazine, RVers started using ice coolers for their seasonal gardens, light weight, punch holes for drainage, holds enough soil to grow most plants , also does not hold the heat. Used picnic tables , great for handicapped to use. I''m trying it this year and so far the plants are doing well. Evan some small tomatoes already.
—Guest Jo

Recycling Onion Bags

When I needed to sieve my compost for my seedlings, I put the compost in an onion bag and shook it. It worked pretty good for sifter. Just empty larger pieces back into compost. Don't forget to sterilize compost in over or microwave or you may have unwanted bugs.

Egg cartons for Seed Starts

Pressed paper egg cartons make great mini pots for starting seeds when used with seed starter mix. Just poke a hole in the bottom for watering. Tops of Styrofoam cartons make excellent water trays. When the seedlings are ready to plant, just cut the mini-pots apart and plant, they will eventually break down, and combine with the soil in the garden.
—Guest Wayne

Curb Alert

I found a large, red, plastic flower pot on the curb. I filled it 1/4 full with Styrofoam, then found iris on curb. I'm sure someone was thinning theirs. I got soil from the $ store and presto, all fee except for the soil.
—Guest mildred lane

Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet paper rolls are very good to start seeds. Fill the rolls with seed starting or soil and placed 2 or 3 seeds in the dirt, water them well, but not soggy. This way you don't disturb the plants when transplanting them, the rolls will disintegrate. You can also placed them in the plastic domes or containers Boston lettuce comes in. They are great little greenhouses.
—Guest Teresa

Keep Strawberries Off the Ground

I cut the long piece of wire from coat hangers and bend a small hook in one end. I stick it in the ground and thread the berry stems into the hook, preventing them from touching the ground and rooting. Not allowing the strawberries to send out starter plants until after the berries have been harvested will result in much larger berries
—Guest Dyan Logan

Recycling Christmas Trees

After Christmas each year, New Orleans and surrounding parishes collect live Christmas trees to help rebuild the wetlands. This past Christmas, after trimming some branches and having nowhere to put them, I decided to lay them in my flower bed. A few weeks ago in preparing my flower bed for spring, I was amazed to find the branches acted like mulch and kept weeds from growing where they were laid. This made my weeding a lot easier. This Christmas, I not only will trim my tree for branches but will visit tree lots for their tree trimmings to place throughout my flower beds. The larger part of the tree will still go toward rebuilding the wetlands.

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