Materials Needed: Old cans
Cost to Make: $0*
Almost every single household consumes some type of canned drink at least a few times a month. Instead of sticking them in the recycling when you’re done, you might want to think about saving them. They could actually be a very valuable – and totally free – gardening resource.
Placing a few old Coke cans at the bottom of a planter before you fill it up with compost acts as a drainage aid, making sure your plants don’t wither and die before they’ve even got off the ground. After all, the aim is for things to live!
Materials Needed: Eggshells, compost, seeds
Cost to Make: $1.46*
Getting seeds to start can be a risky business. They need just the right conditions to grow and thrive, but buying seed starter trays can cost you upward of $10 a time on sites like Amazon. Instead, you could have the answer already lying in your compost bin: eggshells!
Eggshells provide the perfect safe, warm space for seeds to get started. All you need to do is carefully place soil and seeds within the shell and wait for the magic to happen. The box itself can act as a stand. Even if you don’t have eggs at home, you can pick a dozen up at Walmart for less than $2.
Materials Needed: Potatoes, rose bush clippings
Cost to Make: $3*
Beautiful rose bushes are the crowning glory of every garden that’s well-tended and looked after, but growing them from scratch isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’ve always liked the idea of planting cuttings but the idea of propagating scares you, look no further.
All you need to do is take a trip to Kroger and pick up a pack of spuds for just $2.99. Wash them, stick the rose bush cutting your mom gave you in the top, and plant them in the ground. Not only does the potato hold the cutting in place, but they supposedly grow wonderful bushes. Who knew?
Materials Needed: Muffin tray
Cost to Make: $4/free*
Some gardeners like to scatter seeds willy nilly and see what pops up to create a beautiful cottage garden. There’s a lot to be said for that technique, but that’s not to everyone’s taste. Others like a more organized outdoor space, but creating perfectly spaced-out plants can be time-consuming.
But, if you nip into the kitchen and take out a muffin tray, you could save yourself precious hours. Using the tray to imprint the soil gives you a perfect guide on where to plant. If you’ve already got a tray it’s a totally free hack – if you need to buy one, Amazon sell them for just a couple of bucks.
Materials Needed: An old shoe, compost, plant, waterproof liner
Cost to Make: $10*
Let’s face it, we’ve all got at least one pair of old shoes lying around in the closet that we don’t use. While sending them to Goodwill is one option, you could actually turn it into an interesting garden feature.
Lining an old boot with a waterproof liner, filling it with compost, and sticking a plant inside it may not seem like a “normal” thing to do, but these sole-ful planters can actually look great if given half the chance. What’s more, if you take the lace and dip it into water, it acts as self-watering. Can you get more eco-friendly than that?