Here are some things that would be useful to save for your next garden!
- Milk Jugs
- 2-liter Soda Bottles
These plastic containers have several great uses! If you cut the bottom off, you can use them to cover seedlings like mini greenhouses (or cloches). They also protect them from frost, wind, and strong rain.
You can also use them as a slow waterer for your plants. Cut the bottom of the bottle off, and stick the open spout part of the bottle into the ground about an inch or so from the stem. Fill it with water, and it will drain straight to the plant’s roots. You’ll never waste water around the surface of the garden, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not your plant is getting enough to drink!
- Old Mini Blinds
- Plastic “For Sale” or “Yard Sale” Signs
These make great label stakes to put in the garden. Cut them to size, and use a permanent marker to write the name of your plants on them. You’ll never have to wonder what you’ve planted there again!
- Tin Cans
- Plastic cups
- Yogurt Containers
- Paper Towel Tubes
- Toilet Paper Tubes
Use these things to push into the soil around your young cabbage and tomato plants to protect them from cutworms.
I have a bucket of these under my sink that I’m saving for next year’s tomato plants. Collect your empty eggshells, wash them, and dry them in the sun. When you are ready to plant your tomatoes, crush your eggshells up and sprinkle them around your plants. They give an much needed boost of calcium, and help prevent Blossom End Rot.
- Cardboard Egg Cartons
Great for starting seeds in!
Make your own paper pots, line your garden to keep out weeds, or shred it up and add it to your compost pile!
- Old Nylon Stockings
- Scrap fabric strips, or old clothing
These are useful for tying up your plants to stakes. The nylons do tend to get brittle after a while, but if you have a lot of them laying around you could simply replace the old ones when they start to break. You can also use nylons like a hammock to support heavy produce, like melons, growing vertically.
Strips of fabric, or old clothing, work really well for this too.
- Junk CDs or DVDs
My mother in law hangs these around her garden to keep the deer away.
- Wood Ashes (from untreated lumber)
When spread around garden beds it supposedly repels slugs and snails. Use it to raise your soil pH level. It’s also good for squash plants, as well as tomatoes (I’ve heard adding 1/4 c. of ashes directly into the hole before planting tomatoes does wonders), asparagus, onions and melons; non-acid loving plants.
- Coffee Grounds
These are good to sprinkle around acid loving plants, like blueberries! Also good to compost.
Now, if you can only find a good place to hide all of this stuff until Spring… you’ll be glad you did!! Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear what you re-purpose for use in your veggie garden!