Gardening is the type of hobby that seems more affordable than it actually is. Sure, there are ways around this — like borrowing items from a tool library, and taking advantage of some of the (legal) ways to get free plants — but you have to know where to find these money-saving programs and supplies.
Fortunately, you don’t need to look very far to find even more free stuff for your plants. That’s because there are a number of household items that you can repurpose and reuse in your garden. Here are a few examples.
Household items that can be repurposed as garden supplies
Instead of tossing these household items when you’re finished with them, save yourself some money by giving them a second life in your garden:
Place a few pages on damp soil, followed by mulch, like wood chips. This will provide another layer of protection against weeds.
Speaking of mulch, you can also use pieces of cardboard to create heavier-duty sheet mulch that still lets some water and air through. This Lifehacker article breaks down how to do this.
Even if it can no longer carry water, you can use an old garden hose to support a sapling, instead of rope or twine.
Plastic bottles or jugs
Think of them as tiny greenhouses. Cut in half, plastic bottles or jugs can be used to protect small outdoor plants from frost. Alternatively, you can cut off the bottom of one and place it over an indoor plant that loves humidity.
Use old shower curtains in place of tarps in your garden to transport materials, or to cover plants or piles of mulch or soil, as necessary.
If you’re going to be away for a few days and are concerned about plants in containers getting enough water, an empty wine bottle with a screw top will come in handy. First, use something sharp to pierce a small hole through the metal top.
Then, fill the bottle with water, and screw on the top. Place the bottle cap-side-down into the soil of a container — deep enough so that it stands up on its own. This will slowly water the plants in your container garden while you’re gone.
Empty wine bottles can also be used as garden stakes or decorative borders.
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