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Readers Respond: Tips for Recycling in the Garden

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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. Share Your Tips

Gopher Problems?

Keep gophers out of raised garden. Before using compost, place cut light weight garden fencing cut to fit. Strong enough to keep the gophers from chewing through. Works great! Have four 4 x 4 beds.
—Guest Pat

Recycled Tool Holder

Take 1 old mailbox, 1 old Christmas tree stand and a 5 foot 4 X 4. Chisel up the bottom of the 4 X 4 about 8 inches to fit into the round hole in the Xmas tree stand. Attached mailbox to the top of the 4 X 4 and you have a moveable garden tool holder. If you leave in one place, you can plant flowers in the bottom of the stand. If anyone wants a picture of mine...let me know. Really looks great!
—LindaMatz

Get rid of weeds under trees

Use cardboard boxes, minus the plastic tape. Flatten them, and lay them around the tree, overlapping a few inches. I used shavings from the bale I got from feed store to cover the cardboard so it looked good. I had clay soil a foot down. Too hard to dig weeds out of. First all the weeds die from lack of light and then the cardboard decays all the way too. You will notice any tape you didn't get off is still there. I did this to our landscape of evergreen trees when they were 20 feet tall. Now I love the columbine that grows there freely.
—workingharde

MOLES -potatoes and newspaper

When I plant my potatoes I dig a one foot deep trench. Then I put down 3 full sheets of newspaper to fill the bottom and up the sides of the entire trench . I then throw in steer or chicken manure from the bag mix it with some of the dirt I dug out, plant the potatoes 1 foot from each other and cover with 4 inches of soil. They do great every year and no more problems with MOLES. Thanks goes to my deceased mother-in-law, Vivian G.
—workingharde

Coffee Filters

I use coffee filters on the bottom of pots. I transfer plants that I have started in trays, this prevents soil from coming out of the drain holes at the bottom of pot. First I turn the pot upside down and place filter on them then measure and cut my way around filter with scissors about 3/8" above the bottom of pot. I have noticed when I am ready to put plants into the ground the filter is still intact and did a great job preventing soil from coming out.
—Guest Nick

Repurpose Plastic Pots

Bury a plastic pot in the ground next to a water loving plant and use that as your water receptacle. The water slowly seeps out of the hole and gets to the deep roots. I have not done this myself but I have a good friend who is a wonderful gardener, this is what she does for her tomatoes and melons. I'm going to try this next season.
—Guest lisakaye551

Repurposed Pots to Protect Seedlings

Cut the bottom out of old black pots and use them to put over new seedlings, to stop the bearded dragons from eating them, I leave them on for a few weeks. I also use the bottoms and tops of any cans, just write the plant name on and tack to a piece of timber, they last a long time. write the names of trees as they last a long time
—Guest Jan Barry

Recycling Pole Bean Vines

Each year I plant a lot of pole green beans. Once they are finished I cut the vines and make Christmas Wreaths from them. Then I look around the yard and garden for leaves or pine cones or old bean pods and the like to glue onto the wreaths. They are rustic and beautiful. I once used tomato roots for wreaths. They worked well too. Happy Wreathing!
—Guest Carmin Simons

Plant Labels that Last

I have a tough time keeping track of plant names. The labels that come with the plant fall off; writing fades on plastic tags. An inexpensive alternative I love is to buy a package of building shims at Lowe's or Home Depot, write the plant name in indelible marker or paint, and stick the shim in the ground next to the plant. Works great!
—Guest MGLadybug

Compost Tricks

I use an old vita mix container to collect produce scraps, add water and pulverize to put on the garden. Also, in NM composting is slow going due to dry weather. In the spring, I take any uncomposted refuse and put them in a chicken wire bin with soil. I plant corn and squash, adding the plot to the drip system. At end of season, the pile of refuse is completely composted by the veges.
—Guest bamboo

To let/for sale signs

the to let/for sale sign posts are usually supported on long lengths of wood. I have made use of many for basic construction, making all sorts of basic frame works on our allotment. The basic structure of the green house is of this recycled material.
—Guest vic offredi

Mulch and Mums

When I lived in Tenn. I used egg shells and coffee grinds for mulch in my Iris bed. Now I live in NJ and do not use a coffee brewer but eat eggs. I save the shells, break them down and still put them on my Irises. They still love them. They had beautiful blooms this year and my next batch is getting ready to go out. Also I found that people around here throw away there potted mums when they are finished blooming. I go around town on trash day and pick them up, cut them back dig a trench in my garden and cover them over with leaves, in the spring they start to put out leaves and this year I planted them along the front walk way. Beautiful to look at this time of year with the vibrant colors. Every one loves my mum hedges.
—Guest Cheryl

Mini Blind Plant Markers

I use old mini blinds to put the name of each plant on they work great.
—Guest Greg

Recycling newspapers.

I put 2/3 full newspapers in the bottom of my window boxes & flower pots they are great for water retention & can also be used in flower baskets.
—Guest Kay 123

Egg Shells in the Compost

I collect all the egg shells for my compost in a small paper lunch bag and when about half full, I flatten the bag with a rolling pin, rolling over the bag and crushing the shells. Then I throw it all into my compost, bag and all. This way, I save my hands from the sharp edges of the shells and those sharp edges break down the paper somewhat and that helps with composting.
—Guest lisakaye551

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Tips for Recycling in the Garden

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