The garden is the ultimate recycling centre. Whether you're looking for purely practical ways to recycle in the garden or artistic and fun ways to reuse what you have, your imagination is your only limitation. Make your plants grow more abundantly; grow seedlings the "green" way; decorate your garden with whimsy; help feed the birds. You can do all that and more by recycling in your garden.
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Instead of throwing away your vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee and tea grounds, egg shells and garden clippings, recycle them in a compost pile. They'll decompose and turn into nutrient-rich dirt, perfect for making your garden healthier and more abundant. For faster results, recycle an old outdoor garbage can into a composter. Simply drill holes every few inches along the top, bottom and sides of the can, then fill it with scraps.
If you have hoses that are leaking, drill more holes in them for use in place of expensive drip irrigation. Just lay the hoses near the base of plants and allow the water to trickle out for a deep watering.
Turn old broom and mop handles, pipes, moulding--anything in a basic stick shape--into plant stakes. Use old pantyhose to tie the plants to your recycled stakes.
You can turn almost any container into a planter. Plastic totes make great pots for herbs, and storage tubs work well for edibles and ornamentals. An old bathtub makes a whimsical flower bed--just be sure to drill drainage holes in the bottom. You can even recycle old bed frames into charming garden beds. Secure the head and foot boards into the soil, and plant flowers in between.
Use broken dishes, pottery and glass to create mosaic stepping stones for your garden. Damaged dishes also make a pretty flower bed border; place the broken sides into the soil where no one will get injured on them. Old teacups make beautiful bird feeders if you attach them to a post. You can even use old plastic bowls in the garden; cover them with concrete and turn them into bird baths. Broken pottery also works well in place of gravel to improve drainage at the bottom of pots.
Instead of purchasing pots or peat pods for seed starting, use what you already have. Egg cartons, paper and foam coffee cups, and cardboard milk cartons all work very well.
Old household blinds make terrific plant markers. Simply cut them to size and write on them with a black permanent marker. Cut up aluminium soda cans and write hard on them with a pencil; they work just as well as expensive metal plant markers.
Garden cloches are expensive to purchase, but plastic milk jugs and two-liter soda bottles work just as well. Simply cut off the narrower end so that the bottom of the jar or jug fits over the plant like a mini-greenhouse.
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