Don’t pitch it – put it in the garden

St. Louis Post-DispatchMay 3, 2013 


Recycled oak wine barrels make good planters because they are deep and sturdy.


Going green in the garden is not only about planting trees and flowers, but it’s also about using natural and organic products. It’s finding natural ways to solve traditional garden issues such as pests or disease. It’s also a way to make a beautiful and safe garden to enjoy.

One of the best and easiest ways to recycle in the garden is to make a compost pile. Grass clippings, old leaves and food waste can be made into compost. Repurposing unexpected items, such as an old dresser, a used car tire or even an oversized vegetable can, offers a natural look in the garden with a creative spark. With a little imagination, anything that soil can go into can become a planter.

Here are a few of our favorite recycling ideas

1 Don’t trash that old baby crib. Use the crib rails to make a trellis.

2 When the kids grow out of their rain boots, reuse them for planters.

3 Fill old dresser drawers with dirt and soil. Add your favorite annuals and greenery.

4 Repurpose an old tire as a planter. Spray-paint the tire. Add dirt and soil. Plant your favorite annuals for a colorful display. For instructions on painting a tire, visit and search “how to paint a tire.”

5 An old wooden ladder can become shelves for small potted plants.

6 Turn a six-cup metal muffin pan into a bird feeder. Drill holes in the four corners and slide string or a thin chain through the holes. Fill cups with bird seed and hang from a tree branch.

7 Don’t throw out your old wooden windows. They can make an eye-popping display. Place your garden pots on the window pane.

8 Reuse empty vegetable cans and coffee cans. Spray-paint them with an exterior rustproof paint, poke a few holes in the bottom of the cans and fill with soil and annuals.

9 Recycled oak wine barrels make good planters because they are deep and sturdy.

10 Reuse wine corks, stuck through wooden skewers, to label herbs in your garden.

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