Reuse and Reduce
Simple ways to reduce waste, save money and help the planet!
A couple of simple tips on how to reduce waste by reusing materials:
Instead of garden twine:
use strips of old T-shirts, tights, tea towels, sheets, basically anything made from cotton
These last surprisingly long, especially old tights which are also slightly flexible and soft. I've used old sheets for supporting my pumpkins (see picture) and I've even heard someone using an old bra for the same purpose!
Cardboard and newspapers:
can be used as ground cover in between vegetable plants or as ground cover for winter.
Just remove any plastic tape before putting it on your vegetable beds and secure against winter storms with rocks and stones you may have dug up from the garden. Cardboards and newspapers will naturally decompose, adding texture to the soil, which improves drainage.
Instead of bamboo sticks:
use old tent poles and guy lines for securing tall growing vegetables like runner beans. We are very exposed to westerly winds up here in Glendevon and always secure our runner beans with old tent guy lines. I suppose, you could even use an old tent as a temporary greenhouse!
Broken plastic plant pots
can be reused around cabbage plants to protect them against high winds. Cut out the bottom and put the pot over the plant. Just remember that if your cabbage plant is still small, that it will grow and that the pot may become too small.
Large plastic lids, or other flat plastic items
these can be used to protect cabbage plants against cabbage root fly. Cut out a hole big enough for the stem in the middle of the plastic lid and a slit from the hole to the side and put this around the stem of a cabbage plant.
(Ice) Lolly Sticks
Wash and dry empty ice lolly sticks and use them instead of plastic plant labels. Cheap and green!