Let’s face it, individual garden pots may seem inexpensive enough but gardeners need a lot of them. Luckily, you can make garden pots and other useful objects from recycled plastic food containers, kitty litter buckets and more. Why buy new pots for seed starting, for instance? It’s just not necessary.
For example, a recycled butter/margarine container makes a great starter pot. So do those disposable cups you used at your last party. Why just get one use out of them? In fact, all shapes, sizes and materials of recycled containers can be used as pots. Lend a green flair to everyday container gardening with recycled materials.
Milk/juice jugs are very versatile in the garden. Cut off the top half and you have a recycled container garden pot and a bonus funnel. A cross ways cut makes a great handled scoop for the garden. Plant an upside down tomato. Simply take off the cap and cut out the bottom of the jug. Insert your tomato seedling upside down, through the spout. Fill the jug with soil and hang it with twine by the handle.
Got a bunch of milk crates from your college days? They make fabulous recycled square foot garden containers. Line them with landscape fabric for drainage and to hold in soil. Newspaper works as a liner too. Fill with fertilizer and soil. Place them close together to build an entire square foot garden. You’re good to go.
Plastic pop and beverage containers make great no fuss, self watering containers for small or starter plants. Remove the cap. Cut off the top ¼ of the bottle. Fill the bottom half with water. Line the top with a small bit of scrap landscape fabric. Invert it over the bottom half. Fill with soil and plant. The plant will automatically draw water from the bottom container. No worries about over-watering. Just keep it full.
As previously mentioned, plastic and foam disposable cups can be saved to make recycled container garden pots after use. Here’s how. Just wash gently, poke a hole in the bottom for drainage and you are ready to plant. This is great for people who like the convenience of disposable cups but appreciate recycling.
Margarine tubs make recycled garden pots too. These handy containers come with a lid which can be placed under the recycled garden pot to catch draining water. Simply poke holes for drainage, fill with soil and plant away!
Coffee cans have all kinds of great recycled uses for the garden. Punch holes in the bottom to use as a container pot . Store used coffee grounds in them for adding to the compost pile. Keep seed packets in them from one year to the next.
An aluminum can makes the cutest recycled flower container. Rinse it out and punch holes in the bottom. Use a funnel to fill with soil. Add flower seeds toward the end of the soil fill and then more soil on top. Place can in a sunny location. The heat will cause the seed to germinate. The flower will escape through the drinking hole.
Ever wonder what to do with all those kitty litter buckets? Drill drainage holes, fill with soil and you’ve got a mini raised bed! Concerned about appearances? Paint them with plastic friendly paint. Or, simply hide them inside a frame made with recycled wood.
Got gutters? If you just replaced them with new ones, don’t toss them! Nail them to the fence or deck railings. Drill holes for drainage. Fill with soil and seeds or plants and you’ve got an easy to maintain hanging garden.
There are so many ways to make pots with recycled containers. You can probably think a few up yourself. What kind of containers do you normally throw away or hopefully toss in the recycle bin? Think before you toss. Could that container serve a useful purpose? Chances are, the answer is yes.