ScrapHappy May 2019

In keeping with my recent activities, this month’s ScrapHappy is in the garden.

It’s a busy time of year for a gardener. Sowing seeds, potting up, transplanting and preparing beds for planting all seem to need to be done at the same time. If you visit your local garden centre, you are led to believe that you must buy all sorts of items to ensure that your garden grows, but there are also many scrappy solutions and I thought I’d share a few with you.

Many items, such as plant pots and labels can be used time and again, but when they finally come to the end of their life, there are alternatives. Recently I have used a couple of plastic buckets (that originally contained fat balls for the wild birds) to plant courgettes in, having punched some holes in the bottom for drainage. I cut up old plastic milk cartons to use for plant labels and these last for years – I write on them with a marker pen and clean them off each year with a bit of methylated spirit. My lettuce is planted in an old fish box that a neighbour found washed up on the beach and the pots containing my young pepper plants are currently sitting in an old polystyrene insulated mailing box that keeps them warm and acts as a water tray. I look at all moulded plastic packaging to see if part of it is the right shape for a pot holder and cut out the useful bit if it is. Punnets that have had fruit in (grapes or strawberries, perhaps) make ideal little seed trays, and they usually have holes in the bottom already; the ones with integral lids can even act as a tiny greenhouse when you are germinating seeds. And squirty bottles containing cleaning products can be thoroughly washed out and used as small garden sprayers, for things like foliar feed.

All these items are the sort of thing that gets thrown away on a daily basis, and even if they could be recycled, reuse is always a better option.

These are just a few examples of scrappy re-use in my garden; there are plenty of others involving pallets (see Mr Snail’s blog for an abundance of these), an old rotary clothes drier, electrical cables, mushroom trays and more. Do you have any scrappy gardening solutions?

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of other folks often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me)Karen,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki and Sue (who I have just persuaded to join in)

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

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21 Comments

  1. I used to collect big PET bottles from friends, leave the cap on, cut the bottoms off, punch holes around the neck and use them as a sort of mini-greenhouse over seedlings to keep the slugs, snails and grasshoppers off, not to mention the birds! Plus you can buy pointy cones with holes in them which fit over the neck of a PET bottle. Cut the bottom off the bottle, fit a cone, stick it in the ground beside your plant and fill up the bottle with water. It’ll feed water slowly to the plant’s roots. Our very hot sun does break down the PET over time, unfortunately, so their life is a bit limited. Thanks for putting in all the links!

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  2. I like the idea of those mini greenhouses from soft fruit punnets – they would perhaps be good for sprouting seeds 🤔
    I always wonder about uses for those ubiquitous dosing balls that come on top of liquid washing ‘powder’ but haven’t come up with anything yet. I think I’m going to have to stop buying the stuff in that form but powder always leaves a residue which is why I stopped using it. I’ve heard the gel is better but will do more research.
    Thanks for all your excellent garden scrap ideas – I’ll pass them on to the (sometimes) resident plantsman although he is very good at re-using stuff most of the time.

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  3. I love the idea for the fat ball container- I just send mine off in the recyling bin- you have a much better idea.

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  4. As always you inform and inspire! 🙂

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  5. What a lot of creative ideas! I need to go look for things I can use in my garden, with you as inspiration!

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  6. What a great idea to use those plastic trays!

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  7. Great recycling. Sometimes, it hard to avoid buying plastic trays.I reuse mine for giving backed goodies to friends.

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  8. Patricia Collins

     /  May 15, 2019

    My favourites are my string tins. They once held golden syrup or black treacle and now hold string which is dispensed through a hole in the lid. Does anyone remember making telephones or stilts with these handsome cans?

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  9. I’m always saving any plastic tray or container to reuse as seed starting trays/pots. For my plant tags, I save any plastic utensil I end up with (unwillingly). It’s easy to write on the bowls of spoons and the blades of knives, and forks can hold paper tags or the used up seed packet.

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  10. Joanne S

     /  May 17, 2019

    Nice way to recycle/re-purpose. Plastic is so…. I save plastic Jif peanut butter jars to store craft pieces, beads, buttons, etc. I like and plan to copy Tammie Painter’s idea of reusing plastic cutlery. BTW, My brown thumb and I have garden envy. 😀

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  1. Scrap Happy in the Garden | Wild Daffodil

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