Getting resourceful - recycle & reuse household items...

Get resourceful

Organic and sustainable gardeners are always mindful of finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle items, saving natural resources and reducing our carbon footprint.

As many of us are unable to venture to the shops to get our usual spring gardening supplies, now is a great time to look around and see what you have to hand that can be repurposed into a growing container. Not only will it get your growing, it will also help to cut your plastic use and reduce your household waste - a significant concern at the moment as some areas are reducing the frequency of their kerbside collections. So the next time you go to throw something away ask yourself if you can find it an alternative home.

Here are our top tips.

For sowing seeds…

  • Egg boxes, old muffin trays, plastic vegetable trays and yogurt pots are great for plants that don’t need a deep root system, such as salad crops and micro-greens.
  • Yogurt pots in particular are great for sowing any seeds - if you know you won’t have time to pot them on into a bigger pot or plant in the ground quickly just make sure you punch a few drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
  • Toilet roll inners are great for any deeper rooting seedlings, such as carrots and beans, and will rot naturally so can be planted into the ground with the seedlings or put on the compost bin after use.
  • You can also make pots really easily out of newspaper - just follow our online instructions here.

For growing plants…

  • Cans, teapots, wellies, colanders, plastic bottles and sturdy shopping bags are great for anything bigger. It’s always a good idea to add drainage holes where possible, but if this isn’t practical, use containers without drainage holes indoors so you can monitor watering more closely.
  • Colanders, with their ready-made drainage holes, can be used as hanging baskets. Just make sure you put a layer of grit at the bottom to prevent the compost blocking the holes or falling out.

For protecting your plants…
Plastic bottles cut in two make great cloches to use over tender seedlings, keeping the warmth in the soil and giving them extra protection from frosts and pests such as slugs and snails.

Overall if you can fill it with compost you can use it just - use your imagination!