Wednesday 21 July 2021

Free Alternatives In The Garden

 Reusing,  recycling and upcycling is a wonderful way to save money and help reduce waste.  With more than half of Australians in lockdown right now and many more people around the world,  now is the time to use what you already have on hand at home.

Here are some great ideas for growing a garden without going out to buy things.

*  Dig up the ground you have to make a garden bed.  Raised garden beds are wonderful but not necessary for growing flowers and veggies.

*  Save your own seeds.  Have a look at the veggies you have in your fridge crisper.  Seeds can easily be saved from tomatoes,  cucumbers,  pumpkins and  zucchinis ( if large enough to have seeds ).  Even the wrinkly potatoes in the pantry can be planted if they have sprouted.  If you have flowers in the garden,  wait for them to form seed pods then save the seeds for next season.

*  Take cuttings from your plants,  shrubs and trees in the garden.

*  Cut up  icecream or yoghurt containers to make garden markers for your newly planted seeds and seedlings.

*  Use cut up  old socks to tie up wayward plants.

*  Use pruned,  straight branches as garden stakes for your plants.

*  Use your kitchen scraps to start a compost heap.  If you don't have room for a compost heap then dig the kitchen scraps straight into the garden.

*  Old buckets,  icecream containers, foam boxes,  heavy duty plastic bags / enviro shopping bags ,  milk crates ( lined ) and old plant pots make excellent little gardens.

*  Use toilet rolls to plant your seeds in.  When the seeds have grown tall enough,  plant the toilet roll with the plant to reduce transplant shock.

*  Grass clippings and weeds can be turned into fertiliser.  Place then in a bucket and cover with water.  Let it stand for a week or two and drain the liquid into another container.  Dilute it right down with water before using ( do a Google search for correct ratios ).

*  Need a mini greenhouse to start your seeds ?  Use the plastic cover from a  doona / sheet  set.

*  Poke holes in a water bottle lid to make a seedling watering can ( of sorts ).    

Recycled bricks for the path

Cutting up old socks

Bedding packaging greenhouse.

What items do you recycle for use in the garden ?


  1. New there was a reason I needed to hang onto those zippered bags😟

  2. We reuse as much as possible from the garden. I save some seed, particularly beans and peas, and of course flower seed. I have enough marigold seed to plant the entire state.

  3. Lots of good ideas which I used when I had a garden but now I only have a patio. The sprinkler off my watering can went missing during the move so I use a 4 pt plastic milk bottle with holes in the lid.

  4. Great ideas Wendy. I use a plastic lidded storage tub inside my sunny back window as a greenhouse and save the toilet rolls as seedling pots. Outside we have gained when people have put things out 'free to good home' including our outdoor dining setting, bricks to edge our garden and old cooking pots with holes drilled in the bottom as planters

  5. I helped a friend cull her bamboo bush, and was rewarded with the (2-meter) offcuts. I use them for bean frames.
    I once received a cheap greenhouse, large enough to stand in, but the flexible plastic hull only lasted 2 seasons and couldn't be reordered. I'd kept the frame, and have now rebuilt it in a different square form (it's all small metal tubes and plastic connecting pieces), have put a large piece of netting over it (almost free from Aldi) and now have a fruitcage! It protects my fruit bushes from bird attack, and it's working a treat.

  6. I use small plastic bottles - the kind you get in hotel bathrooms - as cane toppers when I run out of my store bought ones. I also have some large plastic water cooler bottles that my late father gifted to me. He had removed the bottom of each one to make them into cloches. The open neck means that the plants still get fresh air. Unfortunately they have become brittle with age and I have to anchor them down with a stick pushed through the neck after high winds broke one.

  7. I can't remember where I saw this tip, but it has been useful for me. If you use potting mix, cut up the bags into strips and tie onto stakes, placed in the garden these do help reduce the number of birds digging in the beds, especially on a windy day.


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