Grow Gather Enjoy: Upcycling

Showing posts with label Upcycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Upcycling. Show all posts

Spring seeding & up-cycled seed starting pots

23 August 2018
When I first started gardening I mostly planted out from seedlings. I dabbled a little in seeds but waited until I had a few live plantings under my belt before taking that next step. However, I always knew I wanted to delve into starting from seed if only for the sheer variety that is available.

Over the years I've tried a few different ways and options for starting out seed. I've found that planting direct gives me very variable results so I generally start my seeds in smaller vessels and plant up or straight out. I now feel I've settled on a system that works for me and a big part of it is up-cycling.

Doesn't matter how many times I see it - still exciting to see a plant popping up.


Recycle: Food Waste Part 4

20 May 2018
Some food waste is inevitable. Even if it's just the bits of your food that you can't eat and can't reuse for another purpose. Realistically though, things get lost in the back of the fridge, plans change and our best intentions are just that.

Once you get to this point of the life cycle of your food you can still reduce waste. Personally I think food has only gone to waste if it ends up in the garbage bin. There are plenty of ways that you can use the resource that is inedible food.

Hello ladies.


Milk carton wicking pots and cloches: garden upcycling

10 April 2018
I'm a bit of a fan of upcycling in the garden. Well, I'm actually a fan of upcylcing everywhere. I like to make do with what I have on hand and find a way to reuse something else for a task rather than buy new.

This doesn't always lead to a magazine shoot worthy garden but it gets the job done.

One of my favourite and most used garden up-cycles are milk carton wicking pots. I read about these in the book DIY Garden Projects by The little Veggie Patch Co crew (It's well worth checking out from your local library if they have it).

'Red Giant' mustard leaves happily growing in their upcycled home.

They are super simple to make. I'll let the pictures run you through it.

Take a plastic milk carton and cut it in half. Grab a bit of old cotton material.

Stuff the material through the 'top' of the carton with some inside and some outside.

Nest your two pieces together.

Fill with desired growing medium and plant. Here are some various seedlings.

I use these a lot to plant up seedlings before they are ready to go in the ground. This year, growing in pots mostly, I'm experimenting with growing leafy plants in them for the long haul.

Another great use for plastic milk cartons is as garden cloches. They offer protection to small seedlings from a variety of things. This time of year they are great for keeping the cabbage moth butterflies off delicate brassica seedlings. The top half is easiest to use as it does let a little air flow through and you can push a stick through the opening and into the ground to keep them anchored on your plant. The bottom half offers more complete protection and creates a mini green house. I just sit a rock on top to stop it flying away.

Here they are in action in my Adelaide garden (see, not magazine shoot worthy)

To store the cloches when not in use I stick a stake in the ground and slide them on. You may be able to see them near the chicken pen in the pic above (but it's a little small).

Once they've finished their use they still end up in the recycling but I like the fact that I've eeked a little more purpose out of them and kept the garden growing better too.

Got any other uses for milk cartons in or out of the garden?
Do you aspire for 'magazine shoot worthy' or more function over form gardening? (not that they can't coexist)


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