By Liesl Clark
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!
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.
6) Milk Jug Scoop: Milk or OJ jugs make easy scoops.
7) Milk Jug Cloches: Use Milk Jugs to protect your larger plants.
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
Cereal Boxes & Cracker Boxes
10) Cardboard Weed Block: Take your cereal boxes and cracker boxes to the garden and use them as weed blocking.
11) Bike Wheel Trellis: Bike wheel trellises are beautiful.
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.
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.
14) Drawer Seedling Starter: This one’s easy. Just use an old drawer as a seedling planter box.
15) OJ Can Plant Labels: The can tops make pretty labels for marking your rows.
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.
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.
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.
21) Glassware Flowers: These bowls and dishes are all the rage.
22) Garden Hose Flowers: If you have space on a wall, you could create flowery art from your old hoses.
23) Twist Tie Plant Trainers: Save your twist ties to use for training plants to fences and stakes.
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.
26) Styrofoam Planter Filler: Fill the bottom of your large plant pots with styrofoam so they don’t get too heavy.
27) PVC Garden Tower: Drill holes in a PVC tube and you have a strawberry planter
28) Coaxial Cable Fence: Who knew that a coaxial cable could look so pretty with bamboo?
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.
32) Clementine Box Planters: Clementine boxes make excellent seedling starter boxes or planters for forced bulbs.
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.
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.
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.
39) Paint Can Planters: I love these paint cans turned planters at my friend Maya’s house in Tsarang, Upper Mustang, Nepal.
40) Laundry Hamper Potato Planter: I planted potatoes inside an old laundry hamper and the harvest was easy.
42) Mini Blind Plant Markers: These look really easy to make.
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.
44) Headboard Trellis: A headboard makes a beautiful pea trellis.
45) Newspaper Garden Uses: There are many reuses for newspaper in the garden.
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.
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.
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!