50 Garden Solutions You’ll Find In Your Trash

By Liesl Clark

50 Items From Your Trash That Can Help You In Your Garden

50 Items From Your Trash That Can Help You In Your Garden

There may be items in your trash that could help you with your gardening. Check out this list and see if any of these great ideas resonate with you, helping you pull a couple things out of your trash and, well, into your garden to green up your world. I’ve categorized the ideas by item, and each one links to a unique reuse. Enjoy!

Plastic Bottles

1) Plastic Bottle Mosquito Trap: This one is a trick using yeast and a cut bottle glued together. Read on and try it.

2) Plastic Bottle Cloche: It’s as easy as cutting a plastic bottle in half and sticking it upside down over your seedling or plant.

3) Plastic Bottle Self-Watering Seed Starters: These plastic bottles, cut in half and one inverted inside the other have a wicking system worth checking out.

4) Plastic Bottle Drip Irrigation System: 4 small holes in your 2-liter bottle that’s buried in the ground provide excellent watering for your plants.

5) Plastic Bottle Greenhouse: A greenhouse like this is a true inspiration.

Milk Jugs

6) Milk Jug Scoop: Milk or OJ jugs make easy scoops.

7) Milk Jug Cloches: Use Milk Jugs to protect your larger plants.

Plastic Milk Jugs Become Cloches, photo by Scott James

Plastic Milk Jugs Become Cloches, photo by Scott James

8) Milk Jug Mini Greenhouses: These mini greenhouses in gallon jugs can prove useful.

Clear Plastic Containers

9) Plastic Container Mini Greenhouse: Just turn it upside down and you have a mini cloche/greenhouse

Winter Squash Seedling Basking in the Heat of a Lettuce Box, photo by Rebecca Rockefeller

Winter Squash Seedling Basking in the Heat of a Lettuce Box, photo by Rebecca Rockefeller

Cereal Boxes & Cracker Boxes

10) Cardboard Weed Block: Take your cereal boxes and cracker boxes to the garden and use them as weed blocking.

Bike Wheels

11) Bike Wheel Trellis: Bike wheel trellises are beautiful.

DVDs/CDs

12) DVD/CD Bird Scaring Trick: Birds don’t like reflective stuff. It scares them off. Put a few around your berries and you’ll keep those peckers away.

Mailboxes

13) Mailbox Garden Tool Cache: Post an old mailbox up in your garden, and you have a water-proof place to store hand tools, planter markers, and your notes.

Make a garden tool cache out of an old mailbox. Photo © Liesl Clark

Make a garden tool cache out of an old mailbox. Photo © Liesl Clark

Drawers

14) Drawer Seedling Starter: This one’s easy. Just use an old drawer as a seedling planter box.

OJ Cans

15) OJ Can Plant Labels: The can tops make pretty labels for marking your rows.

Rain Boots

16) Rain Boot Planters: Save a few pairs of the kids cute rain boots for whimsical planters.

Plastic Plant Pots

17) Plastic Plant Pot Flowers: Add a little flair to your outdoor space with these plant pot flowers.

Trash Cans

18) Trash Can Root Cellar: I’m interested in trying this for storing our potatoes, carrots, daikon radish, turnips and cabbages next year. It simply required digging a deep hole.

Tupperware Tubs

19) Tupperware Worm Farm: Make a few holes in your old tupperware, order a few hundred red worms, and follow the instructions here and you’ll have a worm farm.

Plastic Bottle Caps

20) Plastic Bottle Cap Lawn Flowers: Michele Stitzlein creates beautiful blooms from plastic caps. She’s published a couple of books on plastic cap art, too.

Glassware

21) Glassware Flowers: These bowls and dishes are all the rage.

Garden Hoses

22) Garden Hose Flowers: If you have space on a wall, you could create flowery art from your old hoses.

Twist Ties

23) Twist Tie Plant Trainers: Save your twist ties to use for training plants to fences and stakes.

We reuse twist ties for training our espalier fruit trees. Photo © Liesl Clark

We reuse twist ties for training our espalier fruit trees. Photo © Liesl Clark

Soda Cans

24) Soda Can Planters: In a pinch, soda cans can be used as planters and seed starters.

25) Pop Can Plant Markers: With a little effort, you can make some pretty markers for your garden.

Styrofoam

26) Styrofoam Planter Filler: Fill the bottom of your large plant pots with styrofoam so they don’t get too heavy.

Styrofoam Planter Filler, Photo: Liesl Clark

Styrofoam Planter Filler, Photo: Liesl Clark

PVC

27) PVC Garden Tower: Drill holes in a PVC tube and you have a strawberry planter

Coaxial Cables

28) Coaxial Cable Fence: Who knew that a coaxial cable could look so pretty with bamboo?

Tie a Bamboo Fence Together with Coaxial Cable

Tie a Bamboo Fence Together with Coaxial Cable

Wine Bottles

29) Wine Bottle Waterer: Turn your empties upside down (with H2O in them) in your plant pots and go on vacation!

30) Wine Bottle Garden Edging: Wine bottles can make colorful garden edging.

31) Wine Bottle Hose Guard: A wine bottle and a stick are all that’s needed to keep your hose out of your garden beds.

Empty Bottle Hose Guard Hard at Work photo: Rebecca Rockefeller

Empty Bottle Hose Guard Hard at Work photo: Rebecca Rockefeller

Clementine Boxes

32) Clementine Box Planters: Clementine boxes make excellent seedling starter boxes or planters for forced bulbs.

Blue Jeans

33) Blue Jeans Garden Apron: Sew yourself a simple garden apron from an old pair of jeans that can hold your garden tools.

Plastic Mesh Produce Basket

34) Plastic Mesh Seedling Saver: We use these baskets to prevent slugs and birds from destroying our seedlings.

Turn your trash backwards: Place mesh produce baskets over seedlings to protect from birds, frost, and really big slugs.

Turn your trash backwards: Place mesh produce baskets over seedlings to protect from birds, frost, and really big slugs.

Windows

35) Windows Greenhouse: This is a simple design for a small greenhouse made from windows.

36) Window Frame Trellis: An old window frame with mullions makes a pretty trellis.

Broken Ceramics

37) Broken Ceramics Pot Drainage: Put your broken ceramic pieces in the bottom of plant pots for added drainage.

38) Plant Your Broken Dishes: Plant your favorite broken dishes in the garden and enjoy them throughout the growing season.

Carafe and Pitcher under the Bean Trellis photo by Rebecca Rockefeller

Paint Cans

39) Paint Can Planters: I love these paint cans turned planters at my friend Maya’s house in Tsarang, Upper Mustang, Nepal.

Even Paint Cans Add Flowery Color to a Household, Photo: Liesl Clark

Even Paint Cans Add Flowery Color to a Household, Photo: Liesl Clark

Laundry Hampers

40) Laundry Hamper Potato Planter: I planted potatoes inside an old laundry hamper and the harvest was easy.

Potato Leaves Begin to Poke Out, Photo©Liesl Clark

Potato Leaves Begin to Poke Out, Photo©Liesl Clark

Skis

41) Ski Fence: If anyone lives in the Seattle area and wants to make one of these, please contact us as we have several hundred skis at the end of our Rotary Auction.

Window Blinds

42) Mini Blind Plant Markers: These look really easy to make.

Panty Hose

43) Panty Hose Deer Repellant: If you place a bar of soap inside the foot of old panty hose and hang it from your apple tree, it should deter the deer from nibbling on your tree.

Headboards

44) Headboard Trellis: A headboard makes a beautiful pea trellis.

An Old Headboard from Freecycle Makes a Perfect Garden Trellis, photo by Rebecca Rockefeller

An Old Headboard from Freecycle Makes a Perfect Garden Trellis, photo by Rebecca Rockefeller

Newspaper

45) Newspaper Garden Uses: There are many reuses for newspaper in the garden.

Cassette Tapes

46) Cassette Tape Bird Deterrent: Pull the tape out of your cassette and string it over your garden. Birds hate the reflective quality of the tape.

Pet Food Bags

47) Feed Bag Tarp: Sew your plastic woven pet food bags together into a tarp for garden needs.

Toilet Paper Tubes

48) TP Tube Seedling Starters: Start your seeds in a tube filled with soil.

Sponges

49) Sponges in Plant Pots: Cut up your old sponges and place them in the bottom of plant pots. They’ll hold moisture for a long time.

Kiddie Pools

50) Kiddie Pool Raised Bed Garden: Hard plastic kiddie pools make excellent raised bed gardens.

Do you have any more items to add? We’d love to hear from you as we work toward a list of 100 household items to reuse in the garden. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for even more garden reuse inspiration, please visit our Trash Backwards app!

Click Through for Farm and Garden Reuse Ideas at Trash Backwards

Click Through for Farm and Garden Reuse Ideas at Trash Backwards

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Categories: DIY, Repurpose and Reuse, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff, Upcycle

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7 Comments on “50 Garden Solutions You’ll Find In Your Trash”

  1. March 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    That’s quite a list of great ideas a few I plan to try out myself this year. I especially like the laundry basket for growing potatoes.

    • April 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      We just replanted our laundry basket full of potatoes, Lois. Lots of fun for the kids to dig ’em out!

      • April 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

        One of my grand children helped the neighbors dig up their potato plot last summer. She had a blast! Her mom realized just how much when we found dirt all the way up under her clothes!

  2. March 14, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    I really like this blog. You write about very interesting things. Thanks for all your tips and information

  3. April 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    These ideas are BRILLIANT. I love that there are so many all in the same place. It went right on to my Garden board on Pinterest.

    • April 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Hi Craftymadre. Glad you can find some of these ideas useful. And thanks a million for pinning us!

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