Strictly speaking a lot of my activity is not recycling but salvaging and reusing but I’ll stick with the one word for the sake of convenience and because most people have some idea what I mean.
So, what do I ‘recycle’ in the garden?
If you can't find it lying around and you have a local freecycle or freegle group then a simple post on their website may well get you what you are looking for.
|containers can be found, scrounged, begged and borrowed|
and they are great for giving crops an early start in the greenhouse
before moving them outside. I now grow large amounts of food in an assortment of containers
|mini-cloches made from cut plastic bottles|
|Strawberry plants growing happily in an old tyre.|
|plant labels cut out from plastic ice cream tubs|
|and a seed tray made from a supermarket mushroom tray with a few drainage holes added|
Making your own compost is really the ultimate in recycling and is something that every gardener should be doing. Amid all the debate about peat versus peat-free composts what people lose sight of is the fact that if we all made our own compost there wouldn't be a debate. See my section on composting.
Many of you will also collect and store rainwater for use on your crops. If you don't, why not?
Not only is it very easy to do but rainwater is actually better for most of your crops. Some, like blueberries, positively hate tap water!
I hope this is making you aware of some of the stuff that we often throw away but which can be put to good use rather than filling up our dwindling number of landfill sites.
|This edging was made from old tiling laths scrounged from a house re-roofing project nearby|
|two-year old bean poles which I hope will give me another season.|
And don't forget that you can and should re-use your compost wherever possible. I try to get two crops per year from each container full of compost. Hungry crops such as early potatoes can be followed by lettuce or other quick growers. With crops that have a long growing period this won't be possible but the spent compost can be added as a mulch around fruit bushes or just put on the heap to rot down.