This isn’t the first time I’ve geeked out over using old things in a new way in the garden. Remember my tin can and jar lanterns? Or my cutlery plant markers? And you know how I love to think outside the box when it comes to container gardening, like my succulent window “box”, pallet herb garden, and tin can flower pots. I love it when I think of a new way to use something I already have to enhance the look of something in my yard or to solve a problem. So here are some of the new uses I’ve found lately for some old things.
Picture hanging kit = DIY trellis
A pack of picture hangers that cost $1.50 at Target and some wire I already had was put to use to create a makeshift trellis on my wood fence for my trailing nasturtium. Originally, I thought I would like them to sprawl on the ground, but not so much.
Old, rickety ladder = hose guide
I found this old, rickety ladder, which has left here buy the previous owners, growing in no man’s land. It was covered in morning glory and moss and was too weak to stand on, so I leaned it against the fence and it became a shabby chic hose guide. So glad that puppy didn’t end up at the dump.
Patio table and umbrella = dehydrator tray and rack
I needed somewhere to put all the fresh garlic and shallots I just harvested so they could dry out and cure in the sun for a while before I brought them inside to braid and store. As soon as the sun comes out (hint hint, Seattle sun), my garlic and shallots will be ready and thanks to the umbrella, will be protected from all this summer rain.
Tomato cages = sunflower supports
Indeterminate tomatoes often outgrow tomato cages, so this year I’ve begun trellising them in a more efficient way. To put all the cages that I already owned to good use, I’ve used them to support my towering sunflowers. If you’ve ever grown sunflowers before, you know their stalks get huge and can sometimes fall over with the weight of their blooms. Containing then inside tomato cages gives them a little extra support. The stalks that don’t fit in the cage can be loosely tied up to the sides of the cages. Now all we need is a little sun so those babies will bloom! By the way, I use tomato cages to support my peonies too.
Weed cloth = shade cloth
A bit of permeable weed cloth stapled onto four posts at each corner of my lettuce bed has provided my little greens with some shade to keep them from bolting. It’s permeable so when it rains, it lets the natural irrigation pass through and when the sun shines, it protects the delicate greens from wilting in the hot sun. Win win!
Barbecue = super fun container
I recently splurged and got myself a gas grill, so the old charcoal grill was repurposed as another fun herb garden container. This time, I planted lemon balm, mint, lime thyme, and golden thyme. The steam vents in the bottom served as drainage holes. Bonus! And double bonus for those who let their chickens free-range, it’s elevated so your chickens can’t destroy it unless they are mischievous enough to fly up to it.
Coal-heating chimney and cinder blocks = vessels for container gardening
Who needs a coal-heating chimney when you just filled up your Weber with dirt? I certainly don’t. So for now (and I say for now since I’ve only recently discovered how huge borage can get), it’s planted with borage. And tucked in beside it is a couple rogue cinder blocks that are holding lime thyme and shasta daisies. Since those are planted with the holes in the bottom, the containers drain well and allow the roots to travel down beyond the container, where I happen to have pretty good soil anyway. Just have to remember to keep those puppies watered since containers can dry out very quickly, especially when they’re made out of cement.
Grandma Mae would be proud. How are you thinking outside of the box in your garden? What are you reusing?