With the intermittent weather  and the gardening jobs in short supply, I turned my hand to recycling. The handle on our teapot was looking decidedly flaky, and it would only be a matter of time before it fell off completely. We drilled two holes in the bottom for drainage, and voila… it has a new lease of life as a plant pot.

Teapot planter

Teapot planter

I’m already using some old tyres to grow potatoes in. The theory is that each time the green shoots appear, you cover them with soil, and add a tyre. You should end up with a handy container full of spuds. This ensemble is right next to the same variety growing in the soil, so It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any difference in the crops.

Potatoes in tyres

Potatoes in tyres


A handful of people I know are using their old yellow cardboard recycling bags as potato planters – same theory – just cut a couple of holes in the bottom so any excess water can drain away, and Bob’s your proverbial uncle.

I’ve also started off my broad beans in empty toilet roll tubes this year. I should be able to plant them out complete, and therefore not disturb the roots. The tubes will rot down and the beans should hopefully get off to the best possible start.

Beans in toilet roll tubes

Beans in toilet roll tubes

Other household items easily recycled for the garden are:

Tin cans – spray them up to use as planters, or convert them into garden tea light holders. Just fill them with water and freeze. Once frozen, knock holes in the tin to your own design with a hammer and nail. The ice will stop the tin from folding in on itself.

Jam jars – sink in the ground with beer in, to act as a slug trap. Alternatively, make a handle out of wire, decorate them with glass paints and use as hanging tea light holders.

Aluminium drink cans – make great plant labels. Cut off the top and bottom, divide the rectangle you have into strips about 2cm wide, and file the sharp edges. Punch a hole at one end for string and write on them with a ballpoint pen.

Plastic pop bottles – cut off the bottom, and use as cloches in early spring, to protect small plants from slugs and cold.

Plastic milk bottles – cut them up to use as plant labels, or cut off the bottom at an angle to transform into a handy scoop for chicken pellets.

Wooden stepladder – painted up and propped in the corner of a patio makes a cracking place to display pots of herbs.

Right, back to the scissors and the sticky back plastic…




4 thoughts on “Recycling

  1. Most of these I have never thought of – the toilet rolls is interesting. I might try that with the peas. I never seem to be able to get them past a first peep out of the ground – to die…

  2. I always save too many yoghurt pots for transplanting into, and always run out of plant labels, so I started cutting the pots from the rim to base into labels, write on the inside, it’s white, it’s perfectly shaped to fit into round pots

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s