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28 Upcycles for the Garden

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I have been gardening for about 8 years. Over the years I have upcycled many things into my garden, some for practical reasons, some to save money, some to be environmentally responsible and some just for fun.

In this Instructable I will demonstrate how to upcycle 28 (or more) everyday household items for gardening.

 
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Step 1: Styrofoam cups with dome lids

Styrofoam cups with dome lids, like the kind coffee or bubble tea comes in, can be upcycled as micro green houses for rooting cuttings, transplanting seedlings and seed starting.

Just wash well.

For cuttings; fill cup with sand or light potting soil, poke small hole in bottom for drainage, dip cutting in rooting hormone powder, stick stem in soil, put dome cap on and place in cool, shady to semi-shady spot.

For seed starting; fill with seed starting mix, add seeds, water lightly, place dome on top.  If dome has hole in center, cover with tape, remove after seedlings get first true leaves. Set in warm (not hot) spot.

For transplanting seedlings; poke small hole in bottom for drainage, fill cups with light weight potting soil, poke a hole into soil with pencil, add seedling, damp soil lightly around seedling, water. Add dome and set in semi-shaded to partially sunny spot.

Check regularly to make sure the soil is not drying out if dome is the kind with a hole in the center.

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Gabeuse made it!4 months ago

I made a pineapple-in-a-can! :)

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sparkleponytx (author)  Gabeuse4 months ago
AWESOME!! :)
nerfbianx4 months ago

Thanks for the ideas! I have been wanting to repot one of my plants that has outgrown its pot, but unwilling to go out and buy a new pot. Thanks to you I was able to identify an empty icecream carton as a potential new pot. I love the resourcefullness and the unique look of these upcycles!

Thanks! We have a terrace, so I grow everything in compost, which I have to buy. Your system will work really well for me. Thanks so much..
sparkleponytx (author)  Duffledilly1 year ago
You're welcome. Good luck!
You can also use broken terra cotta pots in the bottom of your plant pots for drainage... They also help hold a bit of moisture in and provide oxygen to the roots!
I also use shards of broken dishes in the bottoms of my pots.
Broom2 years ago
I love you! And I love this instructable!

That is all. :D
triumphman2 years ago
Hope you have a good garden this year, 2012! I am guessing you are from Texas, the license plates on your fence are from that state! Texas has dried up so bad! Wirst year for farmers and cattle ranches. They have had to sell their herds at a big loss. The grass is all dried up! Very bad, to say the least! Good luck, wishing you the best! Triumphman
sparkleponytx (author)  triumphman2 years ago
Thanks! The drought seems to have helped the weeds and the June bugs tho. We have scars of them this year!
sheinonen2 years ago
Great idea! Maybe if you cut a "door" into the side of the can just above ground level and hinge it in place you could shovel out only the "fully cooked" bottom layers, leaving the ones on top that aren't quite ready to fall to the bottom and start again.
batmmantam2 years ago
Excellent ideas, thank you for reusing things and not contributing to our already over-full landfills, and thank you for sharing. Happy gardening!!
batmmantam2 years ago
If the pots are too broken for this use, I smash them with a rock and keep the broken pieces to use in the bottoms of my pots for better drainage.
sparkleponytx (author) 3 years ago
No, actually it was fine. It was a hemp area rug. Tho we have used other regular area rugs and they were fine too...the Texas heat dries them in no time.
Grape tomatoes, watermelon and acorn squash have grown from my scraps.
I have used dog food bags that are multiple layers with waxy finish.
csantiago33 years ago
When it rains it would really stink
csantiago33 years ago
This is a good idea for those branches in my back yard
asmith-93 years ago
This is absolutely BRILLIANT! I have a whole bag of corks from a wine rep friend in my craft room. I had more than I needed for my other projects. This is fantastic! I'm off to buy a plastic hanging basket, or 4, to do this.
Thanks so much - I LOVE upcycling!
Natty G3 years ago
I am excited to try and grow a pineapple plant. I am fairly certain I won't get any fruit but the foliage is beautiful anyway! :) How fun!
lej6193 years ago
nice!!!
sparkleponytx (author)  lej6193 years ago
Thanks!
lej6193 years ago
you possible could use rope to hold the plastic on the out like. rap it around the plastic like you did for the "ugly plastic pot" . just a thought
sparkleponytx (author)  lej6193 years ago
Good idea! That would look very cool. Thanks.
lej6193 years ago
what about a piece of cardboard instead? that way it will compost and still do the job you want it to.
sparkleponytx (author)  lej6193 years ago
Yeah, you could use cardboard. It would work...if you could bend it to fit a curved basket.

But the reason I used the plastic potting soil bag is because hanging baskets tend to dry out really fast. The plastic lining helps to hold in the moisture and protect the plant. The good thing about plastic is you can rinse it off and use over and over.
lej6193 years ago
Thanks !! I really like this idea!! I have been looking at compost bins for a while now, but they are somewhat expensive. Thanks again for the idea.!
mizflame983 years ago
Not all foods will successfully produce fruit from their seeds. A lot of supermarket fruits and veggies are genetically modified to not reproduce. That way you have to continue to buy more fruits and veggies.
They still can make beautiful plants though so if you don't mind that they won't bear fruit then that's cool too.
sparkleponytx (author)  mizflame983 years ago
Maybe that's true...I'm not sure. I know that many citrus seeds or other fruit tree seeds will not reproduce the same fruit as the parent tree because they are grown on root stocks.

But the point I was making is that--with a little imagination and a little work, you can grow stuff from "scraps" of fruits and veggies. Some of these throwaway plantings you can eat, some of it you won't...but like you say, you will usually get a nice plant.

But anyway, thanks for the comment.
AlKaswa3 years ago
Beautiful. Although, it would probably take me eighteen years to use a gallon of Kikkoman shoyu.
sparkleponytx (author)  AlKaswa3 years ago
Thanks, but it wasn't a gallon. It was 1 quart.
Ooh. >.< I assumed, since it looks rather like the gallon tins of Sultan brand olive oil my mother uses. Beautiful idea, of course. Silly me.
You can have your mom save those tins for you now.
emmarocket3 years ago
This is a great idea! where do you attach the bag to though? Do you attach it to the plant its self or like to the cage? :)
sparkleponytx (author)  emmarocket3 years ago
Thanks. I tied the bag to the tomato support pole...or you can tie it to the cage.
Cool- that is what i thought - I can't wait to try it out! Cheers, and thank you for such a nice instructable :)
Puzzledd3 years ago
What a great range of ideas! I especially love the fence paling idea- would look great at our place (mud brick and timber house). Thanks for the inspiration- your garden must be so interesting!
sparkleponytx (author)  Puzzledd3 years ago
Thanks! Yes, my garden did look great but then we moved (this summer). We bought a house and I haven't had the time or energy to put in my new garden yet.
castersama3 years ago
This year I grew both Basil and Thyme in a large Olive Oil tin and it worked very well! Make sure to poke holes in the bottoms though. Large harvest with both plants this year. RECYCLE YOUR WASTE, PLEASE!!!
sparkleponytx (author)  castersama3 years ago
Thanks for the comment. That's great you grew the basil and thyme in the olive oil can. Kudos. I'm not sure why you shouted the "recycle your waste" thing tho. That was a little weird, especially since my whole Instructable was about upcycling and recycling.
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