Making your own pots and containers can be great fun – and provide some quirky interest for the garden.
It’s about adding a bit of personality as well as putting recycling to good use.
You can use anything that will hold soil. Germinating seeds in egg boxes, potting on young plants into Costa coffee cups or even planting mini bay trees in buckets. Here are some quirky container ideas that I’ve found useful in the past.
Bin there, done that
Dustbins are great for growing potatoes. Drill holes into the base and fill about two-thirds full of soil before planting the spuds. Mound up the soil around the new shoots and, as the plant grows, mound up further to keep the leaves as far away from the potatoes as possible. These are especially useful if you are struggling for space or aren’t easily able to kneel down.
The shoe is on the other foot
Old wellington boots make another unusual container. As with dustbins, drill holes in the bottom to aid drainage, then plant. Herbs are ideal for wellies, or even secure them on to a fence panel to make wall hangers – use plastic ties – and fill them with trailing plants like begonias and creeping Jenny.
Adventures of tin tin
Believe it or not, old food cans also make great pots. Modern can openers have done away with sharp edges, so, positioned on a shelf just outside the back door with their original labels, they can look really stunning for herbs. Just remember to include holes in the bottoms to help drainage, and take off any remaining sharp edges with a file. An old washing-up bowl will make a great trough. Kids, can use them to create their own colourful little gardens. And finally, plastic takeaway food trays can have a second life as seed trays. They are perfect for sowing, and storing seeds.
Once your seedlings have begun to sprout, you can easily pot on and re-use. Now, how about sending pictures of your best recycled containers to me via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Links below.
How to make your own wellie planter
How to make a compost scoop
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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