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Reuse or Recycle in the Home Garden

Updated on February 11, 2018

7 Ways to Recycle in the Home Garden

If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to reuse items before taking them to the recycle center. It is amazing how many items can be recycled in the home garden. It has never been so easy to recycle or help your plants thrive! When you are using items that are not biodegradable, go ahead and take them to the recycle center after you are done using them in the garden. Below are 7 helpful ways to recycle ordinary trash into useful items in the home garden.


#1 Recycle in the Garden

If you aren't composting, this is a great way to bring nutrients back to your garden soil without fertilizer. Simply recycle scraps from fresh fruits and vegetables by placing them in a bin in your kitchen. When the bin is full, take the scraps to your garden where they will decompose and replenish the nutrients of the soil. Limbs and leaves can also be composted. Anything that comes from nature and remains in it's natural form, can be returned to nature. Do not add grease or meat to compost.

How to Compost

Broken Plates, Cups and Saucers for the Garden

Watering Spikes for Recycling Plastic Bottles in the Garden
Watering Spikes for Recycling Plastic Bottles in the Garden


#2 Recycle in the Garden

Many gardeners I know poke holes in plastic buckets or recycled milk jugs. This allows the water to trickle out at a slow pace near a freshly planted tree or garden plant. It avoids water waste and water run off created when the water is running too fast, as from a hose. Because the water is running slowly, it has time to soak in deeply into the soil near the plant and get to the roots where the water is needed. In addition to poking holes in buckets or a recycled milk jug, you can recycle plastic bottles by adding a watering spike.

In addition to recycling plastic bottles and jugs for watering slowly, try to recycle your waste water for the garden. Water collected in rain barrels, or water from the bath or laundry can be used in the garden.

Recycle Seeds
Recycle Seeds

Recycle Your Seeds from Garden Produce

#3 Recycling Idea for the Garden

So many gardeners buy seeds and I've never understood why you would buy something that is free. Not only are garden seeds freely available from your garden harvest, you can encourage the traits that you want in your garden vegetables, by harvesting and reusing your seeds to plant next years crop. Not only that, but saving seeds allows you to preserve and sustain heirloom and organic seeds. Learn more how to do this:

How to Save Fruit and Vegetable Seeds

Recycle to Start Seeds
Recycle to Start Seeds

How You Can Recycle to Start Seeds Indoors

#4 Idea Garden Recycling

Spring brings on dreams of next years garden and it is time to bring those dreams to life by starting seeds indoors. Starting seeds allows you to get a jump start on some vegetables, by growing them indoors before the chance of frost has passed. Not all garden seeds can be started indoors, but many of them can, such as tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, and cabbage.

How and When to Start Seeds Indoors

Reusing Eggshells as Planters for Starting Seeds

Recycling Water for the Garden
Recycling Water for the Garden

Water Recycling in the Garden

#5 Recycle Idea for the Home Garden

If you are currently using a garden hose to water your garden, you may want to search your inner environmentalist to find some less wasteful ideas. Down spouts on your home can be used to collect rainwater for the garden. Also gray water from your home laundry and shower can be routed to the garden. I personally use water from my children's swimming pool each year to water the garden. If you don't have a pumping system set up, a water pump can be purchased fairly inexpensively online and it will allow you to recycle water for use in your garden year after year. Recycling conserves and reduces water consumption and waste, saving the plant and saving you money.

Recycled Garden Cloche
Recycled Garden Cloche

Extending the Growing Season and Protecting from Frost

#6 Recycle to Protect Garden Plants

The idea of a cloche (French for bell) is that you can extend the growing season by warming the earth. This is done by covering the plant with a plastic covering to warm the earth similar to a greenhouse. The sunlight comes in, but the cold air stays out. This can also be used to cover plants if a late freeze sneaks in after the last expected frost in your area. You can recycle plastic, scrap lumber, a plastic jug, or bottle to use as a cloche.


#7 Recycle in the Garden

Mulch is used to keep moisture in the ground and discourage the growth of weeds around your plants. Almost anything that is heavy enough to stay put and is biodegradable works well as mulch. Recycle hay, grass clippings, wood chips, or leaves as mulch in the garden.

Reuse in the Garden - to show your love for the Earth!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photos of my organic home gardens. Click on another thumbnail below to see more.
Photos of my organic home gardens. Click on another thumbnail below to see more.
Photos of my organic home gardens. Click on another thumbnail below to see more.

Recycling and Reuse in the Garden

© 2010 hsschulte

Comments or questions about reusing in the garden? - Leave them here!

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    • ehomedesignidea1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I want to add that those buckets or jugs used in watering must have a lid to prevent it from becoming a breeding place of mosquitoes. Though the water is not stagnant, you do not want to take chances, right?

    • sondra1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. Very useful. I like your blog on freezing zucchini! I have yellow squash and am going to do the same!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the water jug idea for the garden. I think we will try to implement that this season. So simple, can't believe we didn't think of it before. Thanks!

    • pauline60 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, just goes to show us how much more we can do if we just try.

    • pauline60 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, just goes to show us how much more we can do if we just try.

    • Carpenter76 profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice ideas! Thank you for sharing :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the wonderful information. It is very useful.

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 

      6 years ago

      Your ideas about garden recycling are really great! Thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens. Our garden has been planted and I'll use your ideas this year. Thanks.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 

      7 years ago

      i love all of these ideas!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i am speachless, very great lens and great ideas....

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      Great ideas for recycling uses in the garden. We garden organically and compost as much as possible, including the used shavings from the chicken coop and the guinea pig cage along with the kitchen scraps. Nicely done!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      another great lens. I don't know how you do it.

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 

      8 years ago

      Great Lens I want to lennsroll:)

    • FunkyJewelleryUK profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens! Great work :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      An excellent lens for those of us keen on recycling and gardening.

      Lensrolled on to 2 of my lenses.


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