Check out these 10 household items to recycle in your vegetable garden this year to boost your yield and save money.
Sometimes gardening can be an expensive “hobby”, especially when you are first getting started.
You need to buy materials for raised beds or rent a tiller. You need to buy seeds or seedlings and tools for planting. You probably need to buy compost, soil and watering systems too.
But not everything in your garden has to come new from the store. You can save money by recycling household items you may already have to strengthen your garden.
Today, I want to share with you some things you can use in your garden that you might already have lying around your house. Not only are they cheap (or free), but they can add value to your garden area.
10 Household Items to Recycle in Your Vegetable Garden
1. Banana peels
Banana peels are excellent sources of potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. You can use them in your garden several different ways:
- add them to your compost.
- bury them in your garden beds in the fall to add nutrients to your soil over the winter.
- make a banana peel “tea” for soil amendment
2. Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds can help your garden by adding nitrogen, potassium and other minerals. They can also improve soil quality, increase acidity and plant growth. Use them in your garden by:
- adding them to your compost.
- use it to make homemade fertilizer.
- add it as mulch on top of your soil.
- use it to repel cats and keep slugs and snails away.
3. Egg shells
Egg shells are a great source of calcium and other nutrients that you probably throw away every day. Instead, use them in your garden by:
- adding them to your compost pile.
- start seeds in them. Then you can plant the whole egg shell + seed into your garden.
- grind them and add them around your tomato plants to help with blossom rot.
- add them to your garden to keep snails and slugs away.
4. Tea bags
Do you drink tea everyday? Here are some ways to recycle used tea bags in the garden:
- add to your compost pile (unless the bag is made from polypropylene, which won’t break down).
- add it to the bottom of your flower pot to keep soil from running out.
- add them to your garden soil to add nitrogen to your plants.
5. Egg cartons
I have stacks and stacks of egg cartons in my pantry. My chickens aren’t producing alot right now in the winter, but I know they will crank out eggs in the summer. So I will need those cartons.
But besides holding eggs, egg cartons can be useful in other ways:
- use them to start seeds in the spring.
- add them to the compost pile.
6. Wood ash
If you have a wood stove or fireplace, you can save lots of wood ash throughout the winter. Use this resource in your garden by:
- adding it to your garden soil to increase pH.
- add it to your compost to keep rodents and animals away.
- add it to the hole while you are planting tomatoes to keep black spots away.
- sprinkle in the garden to keep slugs and snails away.
If you have wood pallets lying around your homestead, you can use them to build all kinds of things. In your garden, you can use them to:
- build raised beds.
- build fences.
- build trellises or cages for vertical gardening.
8. Windows & doors
Old windows and doors can still be used, even if they don’t look so nice at first. Reusing these items instead of buying new can save you alot of money. In the garden, you can:
- Use them to make a greenhouse. All you need is the frame and roof and you could have a great place to plant all year long.
- Use old windows as cold frames to extend your garden growing season.
- Use an old door as a gate for entry into your garden.
9. Plastic bottles
Plastic is something most homesteaders try to stay away from. But whether it is old milk jugs or water bottles, it is most likely you have some laying around. Here are some ways to recycle them in the garden:
- Use them to start seeds.
- Use them to self water your garden (slow drip).
- Use them as mini green houses to protect your plants from frost.
- Use them to build a vertical herb garden.
- Use them as sprayers for homemade fertilizers and bug spray.
Newspaper is something not as many people use as much as in times past, but you probably have some still lying around. We have lots of cardboard boxes from monthly deliveries from Amazon and other places. These items can be put to good use in your garden:
- Use newspaper and cardboard in your raised beds (lasagna method of gardening) to block digging animals, weeds and nourish your plants.
- Use newspaper or cardboard between your garden rows or boxes to keep down weeds and give you a place to walk.
- Add both of these items in your compost.
- Use newspaper to make biodegradable seed pots to start your seeds.
Sometimes I think we overthink our garden and all the things we need to get it started.
By using these recycled materials in your garden, you are saving money, saving the Earth and increasing your garden yields. You just can’t get better than that!
What recycled items do you use in your garden? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share! Thanks!