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Top 10 Ways To Re-Use Rubbish In The Garden

Fully preparing your garden can be expensive work. Once you have purchased the necessary tools, including a lawnmower and strimmer, the smaller essentials, such as plant pots and seeders, can become a money-grabbing chore.

Now, on a separate note, think of all the rubbish you throw away each week: all of those empty egg cartons and plastic soft drinks bottle. Imagine if they could replace those garden must-haves. What if they can?

This article will look at a number of different ways to take what would normally be thrown away, and re-use and re-purpose it for the garden. These will be just a few examples in a multitude of ideas.

This is Fraser C. Robb's Top 10 Ways to Re-Use Rubbsih in the Garden.

Plastic Bottles - Seedling Protector/Mini Greenhouse

Take a plastic bottle, big enough to cover the seedlings needing protection (with some breathing room), and cut it short ways across the middle. Place the open end over the seedlings, digging the edges into the surrounding soil so that it cannot be blown away or topped easily. If you are worried about a potential collapse, balance something heavy on the upper side.

This bottle will protect your seedlings from frost and other dangerous weather. Furthermore, it will conserve heat, acting like a miniature greenhouse for the plant.

Plastic Bottle - Seeder, Indoor-Garden and Herb Tray - Plus Hanging Basket

Cut a bottle (optimally a 2L one) lengthwise, which will result in two long trays.

These plastic bottles can be arranged outside, in amongst your other plants, balanced on a window sill or inside your greenhouse. They can also be used indoors, for those who want to grow but do not have the garden space.

Fill them with the right soil, ensure they are somewhere with a suitable temperature and then plant your seeds.

Cut a few holes in the bottom of the bottle - this will allow excess water to drain away. If you are using the trays indoors, make sure to balance them somewhere to catch the water.These trays can be used to grow herbs (especially useful inside a kitchen) and smaller plants, as well as seedlings which will be transferred into the ground at a later date.

An alternative to this is, instead of cutting the bottle clean in half, only cutting a section of the length away. You can place the soil and seeds inside, and still have water holes underneath. These act perfectly as hanging baskets.

Glass Jar - Seedling Protector/Mini Greenhouse

The glass jar method of protecting your seedlings is much more simple than using a plastic bottle. The reason for this is that you do not have to cut the jar. Just place the whole thing over whatever needs protecting, and you are done.

Plastic Fruit and Vegetable Trays - Seeders, Indoor-Garden and Herb Tray

Fill the tray with soil and add your seeds. As with bottles, these can be placed inside or out, so long as the temperature is just right. They can hold seedlings which will be transferred at a later date, small flowers or herbs. As with all growth containers, cut holes in the bottom so that they do not become waterlogged.

Plastic containers are best because they do not decompose.

Cardboard/Paper Egg Carton - Seed Planter

  • Soil? Check!
  • Seeds? Check!
  • Temperature? Check!
  • Holes in the bottom? Check!

What makes the egg tray so different from everything else is that, with ones made from paper and cardboard, you can put them straight in the ground without removing the seeds. This is because such materials will decompose. Before placing them in the soil, soak the bottom in water and rip away any tough edges. This will help speed the process along and give the best growth for your plants, as the roots will not have any trouble sprouting downwards.

Tire - Plant Pot

This can be done with everything from a bicycle to a tractor tire. It can be placed in already existing soil, as a way to enclose certain plants, or on wooden decking or concrete.

Fill the tire with soil. You can transfer an already growing plant, or start growing new ones.

If you have put the tire in pre-existing soil, then the world is your cultivated oyster. If you have placed it on a solid base, make sure you are planting things with shorter roots.

Metal Tin - Hanging Herb Basket

These can be used in the same way as any other planting container. Metal cans are useful because of their contained size.

In particular, they can grow herbs, which tend to have shorter roots.

One way to spice up this herb grower is by suspending it from the ceiling or upper window ledge with a length of rope or chain. Now you have a hanging herb basket.

Old Wellington Boots - Plant Pot

By this point, we should all know how to make a suitable plant holder: soil, water holes and seeds. Wellington boots can be suspended from the air or place on the ground. Their only limit is that they are not very suitable for indoors (think smelly feet!).

Wine and Drinking Glasses - Candle Holder

This can be done with old glasses. Place them in amongst plants, in the soil, or suspended among your hanging baskets. These are now perfect for holding tealight candles without the risk of setting fire to plants. It will be like having a thousand fireflies.


The ultimate recycling in the garden. Compost is the decomposition of organic waste matter, which can then be placed in the garden as a form of fertiliser. This process can take months to fully complete but is very simple. And it is much more environmentally friendly than putting rubbish in the bin.

There are two types of compost bin: closed and open lid. Closed lids conserve heat better and therefore speed up the decay process. Open lid ones will eventually manage the same. If it is possible, place your compost bin on top of soil, as this will help drainage. If not, add a layer of soil before anything else.

Maintaining a compost bin is simple. Make sure you turn the compost every few weeks, mixing in the old and new, and stop the attraction of scavengers. The best way to halt flies, a common compost problem, is by adding garden waste to the top of any organic food waste.

And that is ten potential ideas to save you money in the garden, while finding a way to re-use old waste. Remember, having a beautiful garden does not have to be expensive.

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