One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The problem is that we have too much stuff over the years that get dumped either in the garage or in the attic. We postpone discarding the things either for sentimental reasons or for sheer laziness. There comes a point in everyone’s life when it just gets too much and the accumulated junks spur us to take action.
What to do with the fall leaves?
The yard usually has a healthy supply of fall leaves and other decaying organic materials. Pick up any of the buckets that are sitting in the garage. Use the organic material gathered around the yard to fill two-thirds of the bucket. If you have a hobby store nearby, go around and get some earthworms and throw them in the bucket. Now, add some water and fill the remaining quarter with soil. Leave the bucket under a shady spot for a few weeks (10-15 weeks). This would give the earthworms enough time to chew through the organic waste and make them into manure, the stuff that plants thrive on. The manure made by the earthworms are rich in nitrogen and phosphorous and potassium which the plants need to grow.
Buckets ready for plantation
After the stipulated 10-15 weeks time, the buckets are now ready to move into your lovely gardens. They can be used to grow tomatoes, beans and other small varieties of veggies and a single large bucket of 10-15 gallons of volume can hold two tomato plants and can produce up to 50 tomatoes per plant in 5 weeks after the saplings are planted.
Repurposed drip irrigation system
If you are tired of watering the plants everyday, there is a simple way to re purpose the old dusty hose sitting in the garage. A simple solution will turn the hose into an automatic watering system called the drip irrigation pioneered by the Israelites. This method not only conserves water but also alleviates the need to continuously water the plants. Make tiny holes on the hose corresponding to the number of buckets one has and make sure to space the holes so that each bucket has at least one hole from which the water can trickle through. Now that your drip irrigation system is ready, connect one end of the hose to faucet and turn it on for about 30 min everyday, once in the morning and once in the evening and watch your lovely tomatoes grow.
Repurposing milk cans
Keeping with our theme of using waste to improve your home garden, milk cans can act as water storage units instead of the drip irrigation system. Take the milk gallons and make 10 mm holes at the bottom of the cans. Fill the cans with 1/4th volume of straw and fill water. This milk can filled with water can then be buried inside the buckets and they will release water slowly and is an alternate to the drip irrigation system
Using pop cans to keep insects away
Soda pop cans accumulate in no time and we can re purpose them to keep our garden from getting infested with insects. There are two simple ways to do this, fill up your pop cans with 50 ml of water and 20 ml of vinegar. This concoction can also be bolstered by the addition of neem oil (Azadiracta indica) which can be bought from certain medical stores.
Seedlings have to be grown for any garden. The top of milk jugs can be cut and filled with soil and seedlings can be grown in these milk cans.
Hand held shovels
Any garden will require some tools. Instead of buying tools from the hardware store and further clutter the yard, you can use the milk can and cut it as indicated in the image and use it as a hand-held shovel.
Alternate irrigation systems with bottles
Everyone has a lot of bottles left over. you can use these as a tool of drip irrigation system. All you need to do is to fit a small pipe to the nozzle of the bottles. Fill the plastic pipe with 25 percent sand and 75 percent straw and insert the pipe into the soil.
Re purpose plastic bottles
Birds are a good way to keep insects from you garden. One of the best ways to attract birds is to design a bird seed vendor. Buy bird seeds, fill up bottles and then make a hole so as to push a spoon through it. As the birds feed, the seeds will automatically drop into the spoon.
Garden cloche out of bottles
Garden cloches are rounded glass jars that are used to keep the plants warm in winters. This is akin to a greenhouse; but a miniaturized version. Cut the bottle top and upturn the bottle on to the plant so as to protect them.