Upcycling in the Garden

Upcycling in the Garden

A garden has so many needs, and nurseries and gardening stores sell everything from plant stakes to garden markers to watering systems. Unfortunately, a lot of this stuff can add up and when you really take a look at items, they are just packaged creations of things that already exist around your home. There are so many ways to upcycle household items that would otherwise go in the garbage or recycling bin.

Here are just a few of the easy to upcycle items you already have around the house that you can give new life to in your garden and setting up your garden.

Plastic Bottles

Setting up slow leaking soaker hoses in a garden is great if you have a garden that is located in a spot that makes it possible, but plastic bottles can get the job done too. If you have to vacation for up to a week and worry that the garden won’t be getting enough water naturally, plant a few 20 ounce plastic bottles that have been poked with holes (nail will do the job) all along the sides. When you are ready to leave, fill the bottle with water and they will slowly water the soil.

Empty plastic juice containers can also be buried in the ground, around vegetable plants that slugs like to feast on. Fill the containers with soapy or salty water, or beer, and leave as baits for slugs. At the end of summer, toss the whole lot out.

Egg Cartons

Egg cartons made from recycled paper  make great upcycling material. The individual egg holders are great for starting seeds, and you can transplant seedlings right into the garden in the container because it will break down in the soil. Using the containers to hold bulbs that are 

unable to survive the winter in the ground is also convenient. You can pack them in, mark the name and date on the cartons and then stack them in a dark corner where the material will keep them dry.


Bins, Boots and Drawers

Random bins, boots and drawers that might be on the way to the curb can quickly and easily be turned into eclectic and unique planters. With a few holes in the bottoms of these containers, you can add pebbles, soil and then a selection of plants. Take a second look at items that you would otherwise toss and see if any of them can be turned into something useful.


Stop throwing out your old pantyhose and save them for the vegetable garden. Veggies that grow on the vine, like cucumbers, squash and baby watermelon sometimes need help staying in place so that they continue to grow. Use the pantyhose to create veggie hammocks that you tie to whatever vertical stakes the vegetables are hanging from. If pests are a problem, the pantyhose can also protect them from being eaten through when you drop them inside the hose and let them grow within. Bugs are unable to eat through the material and the hose stretches with the vegetable.

Garden Tools

Old garden tools often get tossed out with the trash because they have fallen apart or rusted so badly they can no longer be used. Old rake handles, ladders and stakes can be turned into makeshift trellises or tied together to form teepees that vegetables can be made to grow


  1. Julie Wood says

    I use the egg cartons for my seedlings. I like the Bins, boots and drawers idea. I will have to try it and hang some plants on my fence. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. What a great idea to do with your kids boots that don’t fit anymore. Very colorful and springy!

  3. shelly peterson says

    A lot sure does go into a garden. these are all such great ideas to use stuff we would normally throw away. Love the boots idea, it’s very cute.

  4. Sarah L says

    Love the boots. Panty house is great in the garden. It’s kind to the plants.

  5. These are great ideas! I have a few friends who use egg cartons for their seeds and the boots are really cute.

  6. I’m not much of a gardener but I love the re-purposed boot flower pots along the fence. That is an adorable idea! Interesting garden tip also using Pantyhose like a hammock for vine grown veggies. I’m going to have to give that a try.

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