The Recycled Gardener

Longer days and milder temperatures have lured me to the outdoors. Even though our last frost date is still a bit away I am trying to get things going in the garden. It is always a challenge to come up with unique rotation for the plants while adding new varieties to the garden. I have really come to love starting our own seedlings and I may have found a planting method that works for me and allows me to use items from around the house. My perfect planting container is old yogurt containers. Instead of using store bought pots I took a look around to see if there was anything that I could use within our home and found the mountain of yogurt containers in the recycling bin. The first year I started with individual serving yogurt containers because the kids were eating them for snack at school. This year I decided to cut down on our plastic container waste by buying larger containers of yogurt which meant I could allow my plants to get a lot larger before moving them outside into the soil.

Reusing Various Containers as Planters

I have also taken to using gallon milk containers or my husbands iced tea containers cut in half to put some of the larger plants in to keep them from becoming root bound while I wait for the ground to thaw and the danger of frost to pass. Another handy use for the tops of these containers is as a mini green house type cover for some of the early spring plantings during the cooler nights. I use these for my peas, which need to get in the ground early in the season in order to provided peas before the hot weather destroys the plant.
Mini Green House

The peas also need something to climb up which gave me another opportunity to use a discarded home product. Our 3 season porch has some wicker furniture which is at least 30 years old and despite our best efforts the coffee table of the set broke. First the glass and then one of the legs so we knew it was time for it to go but sending it to the dump seemed like such a waste when it has a great pattern for plants to follow on their journey up towards the sun.

Table Turned Trellis
What types of things do you use in the garden that would otherwise have been bound for the trash or recycling?


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