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Thread: Bits and Pieces...The reduce/reuse/recycle thread

  1. #1
    zazen999 is offline Funky Cold Ribena
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    Default Bits and Pieces...The reduce/reuse/recycle thread

    Prompted by a post on the Loo Roll thread, I thought it would be good to have a thread completely thrown over to recycling and how to use 'stuff' that we would normally throw away for our gardening.

    No chat please, just good tips on reusing anything for gardening purposes.

    Even if you think it's obvious, someone else might not have thought about it so go for it in here.

    I'm going to start with loo roll tubes.

    I save them all year round, for sowing main peas and beans into. This means I get alot of them and have to store them somewhere.
    To minimise space, I flatten them, and fold in half and slide them into a non-flattened tube. You can get about 6 or 7 into one tube if you squish them in.

    Then, once they are out, I open them and make them into squares. Then, they can be put side by side in trays for sowing, rather than staying circular which wastes room on the tray!

    I also use them for module sized sowing, cut the tube into 3 or 4 inch deep sections, and these can be used for example, for pinches of onions for continuous spring onion sowings.

    Some people microwave them before sowing, for a few seconds, as this inhibits any mould growth, but I don't have a microwave so I can't! Any mould grown is harmless and soon goes once the tubes are planted out.
    Raybon likes this.


  2. #2
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
    Two_Sheds is offline Compost Everything...
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    Default plastic milk bottles

    plastic milk bottles:

    - cut off bottom, remove lid, and insert top end into soil at the base of your thirsty plants, to water into. Send the water directly where it's needed: the roots

    - use the biggest ones (4 or 6 pint) as containers for stinky comfrey tea. Fill with leaves, top up with water and leave for a week or two. Then use a bit of the tea, and refill the container with more leaves.

    - the lids: collect and use as drainage crocks in your pots.

    - 1 and 2 pint milk bottles are great packaging if you're sending plants through the post. Pop the plants inside, put on the lid, wrap everything in brown paper, and post. Light and strong.

    - I've even rigged up a downpipe to my waterbutt made of pop bottles joined together. How tight am I ?
    Last edited by Two_Sheds; 29-03-2009 at 07:40 AM.
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  3. #3
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
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    Default plastic food bags

    I re-use bread bags and apple bags from the supermarket for wrapping my own bread in.
    The bags are stronger than the ones you buy on-the-roll, and I leave a pile of them in my shed for bringing veggies home in.
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  4. #4
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
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    Default Egg Boxes

    cardboard egg boxes are good for:

    - chitting spuds in
    - sowing small seeds in (like peat pots)
    - put whole in the compost bin to create air pockets
    - reused by your friendly chicken-keeper for their eggs
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  5. #5
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
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    Default Newspaper

    I get a newspaper every day, so I generate a lot of waste.

    - shredded, it is used for guinea pig bedding
    - one sheet goes on the floor of the bird cage
    - then composted (it's best mixed with greens, not put on in big lumps)
    - scrumpled balls of newspaper make good air pockets in your compost bin
    - I wrap kitchen scraps in a sheet of newspaper before adding to compost: a good green/brown mix
    - one sheet of tabloid makes a good paper-pot for sweet peas etc (see pic)
    - a whole newspaper, wetted, makes a great mulch/weed suppressor (put a layer of soil on top to make it look neater)
    - shredded newspaper goes in my bean trenches to retain moisture at the roots
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  6. #6
    Twinkle's Avatar
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    Default

    plastic bottles that are a bit more rigid, the ones that fruit squash comes in can be cut to make a sort of scoop/trowel with a bit of careful scissor activity.
    Use the neck as the handle, remove the base and cut a "U" shape out to make a scoop - works for potting compost, animal feed pellets... all sorts. The Lidl hi-juice ones make particularly good scoops and the squash is nice too - no artificial sweetners

    Square plastic trays - the sort that supermarket mushrooms are packed in make ideal seed-trays, and also hold about 6 paper pots for passing on/selling seedlings.

    Old tyres are excellent for growing potatoes in - stack and add more compost as the spuds grow.

    Small plastic pop bottles make good cane-toppers (and won't blow away as readily as yogurt pots)
    Last edited by Twinkle; 29-03-2009 at 09:02 AM.

  7. #7
    Snadger's Avatar
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    Wherer would we be without the umbequitous pallet?

    Useful for all sorts of things like using them whole around a compost heap.

    The sky's the limit with what can be made with them from chicken coops to plant labels, raised beds to sheds,net supports to cold frames, broody huts to storage boxes..and on...and on.......and on etc
    di and pandasyard like this.
    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
    to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

    Diversify & prosper



  8. #8
    Snadger's Avatar
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    Plastic 1000 litre storage containers can be plumbed into a shed downcomer and the water used for gardening purposes. Gather as many water butts as you can scrounge and you shouldn't need to resort to tap water (which is full of chlorean anyway) apart from filling your kettle!
    NoTWHaTiTWaSNT and pandasyard like this.
    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
    to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

    Diversify & prosper




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