Garden Supplies On The Cheap: Your Home Edition

comments (6) February 2nd, 2010

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yourownvictorygarden Greg Holdsworth, contributor
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While walking around the house yesterday, I wondered what kinds of things I could use in my Victory Garden that I already had at home. This could be a tool, a container, or just about anything. We green thumbs have such a huge selection of products available to us, both in local stores as well as online. So here it goes, my unabridged list of stuff (I mean garden supplies) that I found at home, and what they could be useful for.

• Empty gallon water containers - make great frost or wind protectors. See my article on these from last year.
• Empty water bottles - can be used as a "watering can" for transplants.
• Used containers (washed, of course) like plastic/styrofoam cups, egg and milk cartons, small boxes, etc. - great for seed starting.

  More creative recycling ideas...

Old Bedsheets Make Great Tomato Ties
Use Stockings as Plant Ties
Watering on the Cheap
Shield Your Seedlings from Cutworms
Free Coffee Grounds for Your Plants
Cutworm Combat
Save Recycled Containers for Starting Spring Seeds
Gardening Tools on the Cheap
Water Container Frost Protection
• Old sheets, blankets, towels or throws - make great frost or wind protection screens.
• Coffee cup "sleeves" (they protect your hand from the heated beverage) - make great cutworm collars. Compost 'em when they're no longer needed.
• Cardboard boxes - cut into rectangles to also use for cutworm collars. Also, large boxes can be opened up and laid down as a definitely weed-proof foundation prior to laying down mulch
• Plastic baggies - stores seeds, soil mix, packets, small tools, etc.
• Old pairs of my girlfriend's nylons - secure tomato or pepper branches to their supports; also to strain compost or pepper tea.
• Old or worn out shirts - I use these as a "cleanup rag" when I'm doing tuneups on my gas lawn and garden equipment.
• Old toothbrushes - again, very nice to have when servicing lawn and garden equipment.
• Toilet paper - put it in the "trench" you make in the soil to sow tiny seeds. It simulates a seed tape.
• Old kitchen knives - keep near the compost pile to cut up plant matter into smaller pieces.
• Broken or old broom handle - use as a guide for making straight rows or aligning transplants.
• Rocks, scrap lumber, or other small but heavy objects - use to hold down tarps, fabric, row covers, etc. I have the "discs" from an old iron barbell weight set that do this wonderfully.
• Shoebox or recipe card holder - makes for a great seed packet holder/organizer
• Old large metal coffee can - stores your charcoal briquettes for your grill (sorry, couldn't resist that one!).

OK folks, step up to the plate and share your unusual yet effective tools or supplies that you don't have to buy... because you already own it!

Wait, wait...there's more. See Garden Supplies On The Cheap: Thrift & Dollar Store Edition.


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posted in: tools, garden supplies

Comments (6)

Dysonste writes: nice 1
Posted: 2:47 am on July 2nd
Kitchen55 writes: An old bowling ball keeps a garden gate shut well.

Egg cartons, or egg shells to start seeds.

Mason jars turned over protect seedlings from unexpected harsh weather, like a mini greenhouse.

An old butter knife is very helpful for weeding (getting weeds out by the roots).

A favorite empty wine bottle is great for indoor watering.

Pruned tree branches can be used as plant supports (check here if you like http://kitchen-55.com/?p=127)


Posted: 2:34 pm on March 12th
psmurawski writes: I use old throw rugs as weed blockers between rows in my vegetable garden. They also serve as padding when I have to kneel onto my knees to pick or tend to my vegetable plants.

I wash my used nylon stockings and use them to store my onions over the winter. I just drop an onion in the stocking, tie it off, and then repeat the process until the stocking is filled. Then I take the strings of onions and hang them from a rafter in my basement and use as needed.

Posted: 8:00 am on March 6th
peegee writes: small yogurt and sour cream containers work well as cutworm collars.
Posted: 12:07 pm on February 5th
Aberwacky writes: I use:
old window blind slats as plant markers

newspaper as weed barrier under mulch (worms LOVE it)

old beatup rimmed baking sheets under my seedlings to catch and store water

emtpy toilet and papertowel rolls for cutworm collars



Love the toilet paper/seed tape idea!
Posted: 10:26 am on February 5th
ydavis writes: I cut empty cleaned sour cream/yogurt/whipped cream containers into strips and use them as my plant labels.

Posted: 2:09 pm on February 2nd
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