Upcycling In The Garden

Upcycling In The Garden

my upcycled garden
Although it's been pretty miserable this week it is actually gardening season, a very exciting time if you ask me. This week I'd like to talk about upcycling in the garden.
It feels like gardens are the one place that people recycle and upcycle freely, even people that aren't eco conscious tend to be when it comes to their gardens, so it's a great place to start some no waste habits. 

So where do I start upcycling in the garden?

The best place to start is to take a look around your kitchen, those empty plastic fruit boxes we all hate, make great mini greenhouses for your seedlings, ive been using the containers that the kids sausage rolls come in for this and it works brilliantly!
A plastic bottle cut in half makes a great mini cloche to protect the plants outside from the cold. In Fact  i use almost all my plastic kitchen waste again in the garden.
It only takes a little imagination to realise that almost anything can be a planter, yogurt pots work great for seedlings, tin cans can be decorated and hung on fences etc. 
Old biscuit barrel ? Plant in it! Bread box? Plant it! Old pots n pans? Plant in them! Everything can be a planter, some of it might need a few drainage holes, but a collection of pans planted up will look super cute! 
Jars are great to store seeds in, old clean ice lolly sticks can be plant labels, as can a cut up milk bottle. The possibilities are endless with upcycling in the garden.
recycled seed starters

Recycling and Regrowing food.

While we are in the kitchen lets not forget the actual food too, you'd be amazed how many vegetables you can regrow and eat all over again without it costing a penny.
Just stick the roots of a spring onion that you didn't eat in a glass with a little water, make sure it's not totally submerged and watch it start to sprout new greens that you can eat! (You will want to change the water every couple of days)  Transplant it into a pot or outside once you are happy it's growing.
The same goes for lettuce, celery, leeks and garlic greens, with garlic you will only be eating the green shoots much like you would a spring onion, (garlic can also go straight  to a pot, no need for the glass of water).
Then there are tomatoes…
Cut a slice of tomato, put it in a pot of compost then cover it over with more compost, put on a sunny windowsill, water and within a couple of weeks you will have baby tomato plants! It really is that easy! 
A polite warning,this method produces A LOT of seeds and i shall not be held responsible for the abundance of tomato plants you now have!
 (please note it is not recommended to do this with supermarket tomatoes as they may be treated.)
Don't forget that your food scraps can also be recycled into amazing nutrient rich compost, you can either make a compost heap or if you're short on space buy a slimline compost bin.
I think a lot of people make composting sound overly complicated when it's really not. All you need to do is add equal amounts of green material, like kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and grass clippings with brown material, things like cardboard , shredded paper and sawdust. Mix it occasionally and keep adding more material, eventually you will have compost!
 Easy as that!

Getting creative with garden upcycling.

Now you know that almost anything can be a planter, you will start to see things differently. Even things like old drawers can be used as planters if they are lined first. Old wellies look great with flowers in them, imagine a row with all your children's outgrown little wellies. All my planters outdoors are made from wood I've found, if the wood i collect is no good for my signs, then it ends up in the garden, old decking planks are great for this too.
 And it's not only planters, there are so many ways to add a bit of magic to your garden by recycling other things as garden decor, my garden is full of rusty lanterns no longer any good for indoors, i have border edging made from glass bottles on end, and windchimes made from old keys.  I've seen trellis made from bicycle rims, seating from beer barrels, bird tables made from glass tableware and greenhouses made from windows. The only limit to recycling and upcycling in the garden is your imagination, there are an abundance of ideas on my pinterest
upcycling in the garden
If you have a garden upcycle project you are particularly proud of then please share with me in the comments, i'd love to see what you have created.
And that's it for this week, in the coming weeks i will be introducing you to one of my favorite EcoFreaks so we can join him on his brand new eco journey, and i'll be spending the month talking about nature and the outdoors.
 In the meantime happy garden upcycling EcoFreaks!

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