How you can be reusing plastic in your garden
In this day and age, there is plastic everywhere and far too much of it. The majority of plastic can’t be properly recycled and sits in either landfill or our oceans. There are a variety of ways to cut down our plastic use, such as creating our own veggie garden.
If you’ve ever walked into the grocery store, tons of fruit and veggies are wrapped in plastic even though the wrapping could be paper. Starting your own veggie garden is a step forward but what about the plastic you can’t avoid?
In this guide, we’ll show you how you can reuse everyday plastic packaging throughout your garden. There are a variety of creative ways, we can be constantly reusing plastic products in the garden but also in other areas of our lives.
Recycling plastic bottles
One of the most common plastics for any family to accumulate is plastic bottles. Especially the larger one and two-litre bottles. Luckily they make awesome pot plants. There are a variety of ways you can use them, you can always find new and creative ways in the garden or at home.
Clear bottles are ideal as it looks most natural as all you can see is the dirt. Cutting them into different shapes and sizes will mean there will be dozens of different ways to use them.
Plastic pot plants
I can’t emphasize enough just how many ways you can reuse the same plastic bottle. There are literally dozens of creative techniques that can be applied here.
Hanging pot plants
It can be so interesting to see the variety of different ways people use the exact same bottle. Something that looks great is hanging pot plants made from plastic bottles. Although the colors used in plastic bottles can be tacky and I think it’s best to repaint colored bottles to a more suitable color.
Using plastic bottles as watering tools
As your garden gets bigger, it can begin to take up a lot of your time. Finding new and improved ways to maximise your efficiency is hugely important.
Just ask any local farmer. Some of these methods will be more effective depending on the climate you live in.
For example the method below is fairly simple and a good way to water plants using only rain water. After a big rain, the plastic bottles will accumulate water. Which you can then choose to release on an especially hot day.
Something to consider is the plastic tubes from the bottle to the plant that have a simple open and close system.
This is something you should be able to purchase at your local hardware store or online. Either way it’s a great method to maintain your plants only with rain water.
Watering hard to reach places using plsatic bottles
Now this method isn’t necessary for most circumstances. It’s a very cool idea, but it’s application for most gardeners won’t be needed. Although sometimes a plant or tree may begin growing under an area that prevents water from reaching its roots. This could be a building, shed, or concrete area. Whatever it is, this method of reaching the roots using a plastic siphon works well. A pvc pipe attached to the bottom can be just as effective.
Protect seedlings using mini green houses
Growing a new batch of plants can be especially difficult in the beginning, in their infant stage, they are susceptible to various pests that can easily cause them to wither and die. Not to mention storms, or various people or things stomping on them.
For my new seedlings, if I have any spare smaller plastic bottles I slice the bottom of the bottle off, and use it as a shield for any of my baby plants. Remove the lid so it receives air and a place where you can water it from.
While pests can get to your seedling from the top of the bottle it definitely does hinder their efforts. Even if your babies aren’t needing protection, plastic bottles can act as perfect green houses, if I have any lying around simply slice off the bottom and pop it over one of my seedlings.
Bottle tower gardens
Bottle tower gardening is one of my favorite concepts and just goes to show all the different ways you can use a plastic bottle in your garden. It’s easy to set up and looks phenomenal.
In the video above, it explains how you can create a bottle tower garden, although until your plants properly grow it will look like a tower of plastic full of dirt. Here’s another greate guide for building a bottle tower garden.
Plastic bottle bird feeders
Although it’s arguable if bird seed in the long term is actually healthy for native birds. I’ve decided to include it anyway.
There are lots of ways to create your own bird seed instead.
The bird feeder is a simple concept, cut four holes in total for the spoons to stick out of. Two at the top and two at the bottom, like in the photo below. Place the spoons in them until they’re snug.
Then fashion the hole where the head of the spoon is sticking out a little larger. Fill it up with bird seed, and you’ll see the majority of the bird seed is protected and only a small portion of it is actually outside the bottle at anyone time.
Making herbs self sufficient
Improving our gardens efficiency is always ideal. Would it be possible to make watering your garden a thing of the past? well not quite, but definitely close. Using a single one litre plastic bottle you can create self-sufficient herbs.
Cut the top of the bottle a quarter way as seen in the photo, turn it upside down and have the mouthpiece sitting at the bottom. Fill it with dirt and plant your herb. Over time the herbs roots will be attracted to the bottom and make their way through the mouth piece.
Plastic from the grocery store for your garden
Shallow trays to grow Microgreens
You know those trays that come with sliced meat, such as pastrami, ham or salami? These same trays are perfect for growing microgreens, one thing to note is that they aren’t too shallow. Although generally you can find ones that will provide enough size for microgreen roots.
Multi cell trays
Something I always thought was a bit silly about garden stores was that their multi cell trays were always made of plastic. Surely there could be a better alternative to storing store bought plants.
Instead of purchasing seedlings in multi cell trays from your local hardware store. Use yogurt containers, or anything similar to the dimensions of multi cell trays. Buy the seed of the plant you want to grow, and then plant them yourself in the trays you received when purchasing other products from the grocery store.
This method is awesome because you save money, by not buying seedlings, you save plastic because you didn’t purchase seedlings, and you reused some plastic you already had lying around.
Create your own seed or gravel trays
Buying seed or gravel trays really isn’t that necessary, if you eat meat on a regular basis. The trays that steaks or chicken fillets are packaged in, make PERFECT alternatives.
There is literally no difference between a seed tray and the tray that delivers your chicken breast. Again, this method saves you money, time and plastic. What more could ask for?
keeping birds at bay
If you’re like me, birds eating the fruit your trees and plants produce is a weekly battle, some success I’ve had is using old cd’s as deterrents. Hanging old cd’s from the branches of a tree or around plants you wish to protect can work wonders.
There are tons of different ways we can all reduce our plastic usage, through buying less plastics to reusing them again and again. One positive about these products is since they can’t be recycled we can reuse them dozens of times.
What bugs me the most is how ignorant grocery stores are these days, The majority of fruit and veggies are wrapped in plastic, when it is most definitely not necessary for everything to be wrapped in plastic. Although we can all reduce our plastic footprint the next best thing is making larger companies and corporations follow suit.