Reuse and Recycle in the Garden to Save Money

Frugal GardeningI love frugal. Saving money has become an Olympic sport for me. I’m always looking for ways to pinch my pennies, and when doing so helps save the environment too, that’s even better yet. Gardening and growing your own foods is a great way to eat healthy and save money. For me, there’s great satisfaction in raising my own crops and seeing the benefits of all my hard work during harvest. Thing I love most about gardening, though, is being able to take many of the things my family uses every day and reuse them in the garden. Here are some of the ways I reuse and recycle in the garden to save money.

Paper or Plastic?

There are so many things you can do with paper and plastic in the garden. Don’t throw away old newspapers or cereal boxes. Use them in the garden to deter weeds and feed your plants. Got plastic milk jugs or even plastic silverware? There’s a way to reuse these, too!

Cereal boxes – Tear empty cereal boxes into small pieces and add them to existing mulch. The pieces will break down over time and help keep weeds at bay. If you have stubborn grass creeping into the edges of your garden, place flattened boxes under the mulch to keep it at bay.

Newspapers, junk mail, old envelopes, etc. – All these paper products can be shredded and added to the soil to feed your plants. If you bury the pieces in the fall, they will decompose over winter and create healthy, fertile soil for planting in in the spring. Newspapers can also be used to make pots for planting seeds in. Simply use a seedling pot as a guide to create the right shape, tape it together and fill with soil and seeds. Once it’s time to put the plant in the ground, the entire pot can be planted – the newspaper pot will decompose!

Plastic silverware – Never throw used plastic eating utensils away. Instead, use them as plant markers in the garden or in seedling pots to mark what the plants are. Simply write the name of the plant in permanent marker and stick the handle in the soil. Never wonder what’s growing again!

Milk jugs – Protect delicate plants from frost by cutting the bottom out of a milk jug and placing it over the plant. Create a hands-free berry-picking bucket by cutting a hole opposite the handle and hanging the jug on your belt. Worried that spraying weeds with herbicide might damage your plants? Cut the bottom out of a milk jug, cut a hole in the side and place it over the weed you intend to spray. Use the hole you cut in the side to spray weed killer on unwanted plants without worry of accidentally damaging the good ones.

There are many other ways to save money by reusing and recycling in the garden. Check back again for the next installment where I talk about using old and broken mini blinds, glass bottles and old screen doors in the garden to save money!

Image Credit: Thinkstock