Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Re-purpose Common Items in the Garden

There’s no doubt it’s a consumer culture we live in. We’re encouraged to keep buying the next big thing and, if that doesn’t work, something will break enough to force you to replace it. There are some simple items that don’t lose their value after a single use. While many can be used for a variety of purposes, let’s highlight re-purposed items in the garden.

Plastic Milk Gallons: I’ve seen these things used for almost everything. My grandmother cut the spout off and left the handle for a light-weight clothespin caddy, which lasted about a decade. Lopping off the bottom creates a pretty good scoop for your garden. Leaving the carton as-is and poking holes in the lid makes a great watering can.

Kitchen Scraps: Your coffee grounds, banana peels and egg shells create great fertilizer. The best thing to do is start a compost bin with all your old scraps, from peels to rinds to spoiled produce. If you have a good set-up, you’ll have nutrient rich soil happily inhabited by earthworms within months. For those without the means for an all out composting system, add egg shells to the garden to nourish and protect your plants from slugs and cutworms. Coffee grounds are great for plants that flourish in acidic soils. Banana peels have been found to remove toxins, making them great in the garden and in water contaminated with heavy metals.

Plastic 2 Liter Bottles: These things are just as versatile as milk gallons. Cut a few inches above the spout for a funnel. The bottom part can be used as storage, a planter or whatever else. Fill it with water and turn it upside down into the garden bed for a slow release of water to the roots. This also works with wine bottles and the longer necks help the bottle stand up better. The two liter bottles are also good as is for liquid storage. Just make sure to label them.

When it comes to re-purposing, the sky’s the limit. Take a look at your available materials and ask yourself what can be made out of a few simple cuts. These are just a few suggestions to get you started. All of these items are fairly easy to find and could have a thousand uses beyond the garden. The plastic items can last through years of use and are found almost anywhere. What are your ideas for re-purposing common items?

Written on behalf of the marketing department for Robert Koenig, accident attorney.


  1. Reusing common items will become essential after doomsday.

  2. I'd say plant bamboo as they have a multitude of uses - fire-lighters, shelter, fencing etc

  3. Worms LOVE coffee grounds and they help the garden a lot. If you live near a coffee shop you can ask for their grounds and if they use a filter that breaks down as well,

  4. My older neighbor told me that to use the gallon milk jugs as mini greenhouse starter. Plant your seeds and set outside in sunlight. Plastic warms very quickly, just make sure you water the plants often. :-)


Tell us what you think.

The Blog List