So I am trying to grow things in the garden and we don’t have much equipment or knowledge at all. So i started filling an online shopping basket of a nearby garden centre. It added up fast and it wasn’t cheap. I started looking what things I can reuse to save both the planet and our pennies. My gardening skills are poor so I refuse to fork out just to grow some weeds. Recently I thought I’d grown an onion turns out it was a daffodil. So my hopes of growing things are low.
Pots – Instead of buying a set of plastic pots to plant out seedlings I am using toilet rolls, egg boxes and plastic containers from fruit. I really like grape containers, they have holes in already for ventilation and are really deep for those seeds that need a bit more room. You can even grow plants in egg shells but that seems to fiddly for me. There are tons of things you can reuse – kids yoghurt pots too. Just make sure the have holes in for ventilation.
Incubators – You need something to create a little green house. So instead of using clingfilm you can cut the end of plastic bottles and use them or use large plastic containers. The ones that have meat in are normally long and wide nut there are plenty of options that you can reuse again. I’ve used an old storage box we had lying around. I’ve weighed it down with a rock so it doesn’t blow away. To stop the plants from becoming sweaty, let them air an hour or two a day without the cover.
Install a Water Butt – You could make one if you have things available or we bought one as. They are easy to install and collect water quickly. Rain water is better for plants as it hasn’t been treated with chemicals, has a better p.H. for plants, reduces your carbon foot print and if you are on a water meter saves you money. Some councils have schemes providing subsidised water butts so check their website.
Plant you vegetable scraps – You can regrow vegetable from your food scraps. There are loads of items that can have a second life. The end of your lettuce, onion and carrot can be added to water to grow roots. A Potato that has started sprouting is a starter potato and can be planted to grow more. A sweet potato is a little different when it starts to sprout you can remove the sprouts and plant them. If you don’t mind waiting 20 years you can grow an avocado tree from the seed.
Compost – Food doesn’t biodegrade in landfills so try and reuse what you can either by replanting it or by turning it into compost. You can build or buy compost bins. If you haven’t got space or don’t like the idea look for what you can use directly in you garden.
Food waste – Egg shells, coffee grounds and bananas are brilliant for soil. Smash, crush and cut them into smaller pieces and scatter in you flower beds and vegetable patches.
Plant Flowers – Plant flowers. Great for bees, wasps and all other creatures in your garden. As well as looking beautiful they will transform carbon dioxide into oxygen. What more could you want.
Feed the Birds – Make a bird feeder. I hung an egg carton from a tree and scatter seeds in it. You can buy one and top it with nuts and seeds. Or try making a fat ball. Attracting birds to your garden is great they are lovely to hear and they will help keep the insects under control.
Build a Bug Hotel – These are great for entertaining children easy to build and they will find all sorts of things to talk about. My boys are obsessed with ladybirds and woodlice. They can be as complicated or as easy as you want. Tie a bunch o twigs and leaves together and place it somewhere in your garden.
Donate or Upcycle – Instead of buying new materials from shops check places like Ebay, Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace and see if you can give something a new home. You can find furniture, equipment, toys and gardening tools on there for a fraction of the price. You could see if you can upcycle something in your garden instead of buying something new. If you still want to replace it then try selling it or giving it away before taking it to the tip. You will surprised how your rubbish could be treasure to someone else. Have a look at what we did with our picnic bench.
Let me see what you do and if you have any gardening tips. Tag me on Instagram @jenjensdesignsuk