Recycle Week 2018 - How can recycling help your garden?

We all know recycling is good for the environment, but did you know that it can be really beneficial to your garden at home as well?

One of the simplest ways your garden can benefit from recycling is through composting. It’s a great way to utilise foodstuffs that you haven’t managed to eat, as it minimises waste and helps to feed your garden! To create good quality compost at home, start by collecting:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps and peelings*
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Grass and plant clippings
  • Dry leaves
  • Finely chopped wood or bark
  • Straw
  • Shredded newspaper

*Avoid adding garlic or onions, as they repel earthworms.

A good composting tip is to get a container to keep in your kitchen and put your compostable materials in it as you go. Once you’ve filled your container, simply transfer it to your compost heap or a larger, outdoor container. For more information on how to compost at home, visit the RHS website.

If you’re concerned about keeping your water usage down (And if your garden and drainage pipes allow), then why not invest in a water butt? They’re easy to install, perfect for anyone on a water meter and will keep your garden watered during the drier months.

Recycling in the garden shouldn’t just be confined to composting or using water butts. You can transform your garden space on a shoestring, simply by ‘upcycling’ or reusing things that you’d ordinarily throw away. For example:

  • Yogurt pots: Once they’ve had a good wash and had a few drainage holes poked into the bottom, they can be used to plant seedlings!
  • Plastic bottles: Not just for beverages, plastic bottles can be used to create a protective shelter for seedlings. Simply cut the bottom off and remove the lid (This lets the plant breathe and prevents mould and excess moisture from building up) to protect your tiny plants from harsh wind and pests.
  • Fruit punnets: The plastic trays soft fruits are sold in are great for use as sprouting trays or in mini greenhouses.
  • Toilet roll tubes: Perfect to use when planting vegetables with deeper roots, such as peas, beans or corn, as they support growth and the tubes will handily rot away in time.

What’s more, if you dispose of your garden waste correctly (I.e. at the kerbside in your garden waste bag or container or at a recycling centre), it can be recycled and transformed into a nutrient rich soil conditioner for agricultural use.

If you’ve spruced up your garden using recycled materials, we’d love to see it! Send us a photo through Facebook or Twitter or via email to news@plymouthcommunityhomes.co.uk, along with some details of what you’ve done and what materials you have re-purposed.