Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 30: The Recycled Garden

Using Paper Products for Planting Seeds

It's always fun when you can reuse something in order to make another thing cheaper or more efficient. I saw the idea of using egg cartons and toilet paper rolls to grow seedlings in two different posts.  As I stated in earlier posts, my garden was a flop last year.  I'm hoping by planting many, many, many seeds inside, I will be avoiding birds and bugs that seemed to have foiled my garden plans last year.  

To get started, I just kept an egg carton and several toilet paper rolls.  I used baskets that we get our strawberries in to hold the rolls.

Then I gathered the kids around.

And gave them a bucket 'o dirt (AKA organic garden soil) and seeds.

Then I made them smile for the camera...

...and put them to work.

We planted sugar snap peas in the toilet paper rolls and lettuce in the egg carton.

We are now seeing the seedlings and it is so exciting, although I'm seeing that my kids were a little too generous with the amount of seeds they put in each hole.  Oh-well!

We have collected several more toilet paper rolls this week and plan to plant carrots, broccoli, and cucumber.  YUM!  (By the way, the toilet paper rolls can be planted right into the ground. They will break down.)

Using Diapers to Keep Potted Plants Moist

To do this, all you need is an unused diaper.  I always end up with extra newborn and size 1 diapers from every child because I over estimate or my infant goes through a sudden growth spurt.  You simply remove the plastic from the outside of the diaper.  All that you should have left is the "paper" part of the diaper.
I used two size 1 diapers to go on the bottom of this medium size pot.  After placing them in the bottom of the pot, you fill the pot up with soil and the plant.  I have noticed that the plant I used for this experiment does stay moist!  And, it holds the soil in the pot.  Bonus!

Using Fallen Leaves as Mulch

Plant with leaves (no weeds!!!)
Whoever thought of this idea and pinned it:  Thank you!  We lost our leaves within the last month.  It was late this year, but perfect timing.  We got much needed rain right after those leaves fell to the ground and I swept them all into the planters around the house.  I didn't have enough to cover our slope planters...

Planter without leaves (WEEDS!!!)
...and you sure can tell a difference!  Look at those weeds!  There were NO weeds in the planters that are covered with the leaves.  This is an amazingly easy and effective way to use your leaves.  I didn't have to go through the work of scooping them into the trashcan and they proved themselves worthy of a winter's stay in our yard!  (Just a note:  does use walnut tree leaves.  They omit a chemical that can be harmful to some living things, including other plants and humans.)  For more information about repurposing your leaves, visit Practical Stewardship.  

Due to lack of time, I couldn't try all the ideas out that I wanted to.  I still plan to use many of them, so I'll still share those ideas with you.  Here are just a few:

Using clear plastic containers as mini greenhouses

Using wine bottles to water potted plants (especially while away for a couple days)
(Go to Lettuce Share to get tutorial)

Using a cinderblock as a planter (I have a few laying around.)
Photo Source:

Just to remind you, I already wrote a post on regrowing from food scraps.  It works!  I am growing several celery plants and a lettuce head right now from scraps.  Its incredibly easy and worth the little effort it takes!
To view the post, please CLICK HERE.

And there you have it.  I hope this proves to be a useful resource to some of you! Here is to a fruitful year of gardening!

1 comment:

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Oh what great tips and ideas!! We are big gardeners.