Local council kerbside recycling within my area has helped to dramatically reduce the amount of household waste that we put out for the refuse collection each week.
Paper is either recycled in the compost bin at home, used as a mulch around plants or put out for collection. Kitchen green waste also makes a welcome addition to the growing compost, even glass jars get recycled for jams, pickles and condiments. But what about all of the plastic bottles that we accumulate? Well, they are a used widely throughout my garden and allotment.
One of the uses for the smaller plastic bottles is to add onto the top of bamboo canes to prevent injuries to eyes when gardening.
Larger empty water bottles make great cloches. Simply cut it in half around the middle and use the top to protect delicate plant seedlings from the elements. The base of the large bottles also serves as a ‘make do’ plant pot – ideal for keeping an eye on root development!
Milk cartons or large fizzy pop bottles are useful to collect comfrey or nettle tea, making the liquid convenient to store and easier to add to the watering can.
Water can be added in various sized bottles and kept in the greenhouse so that plants can be watered using room temperature water rather than the colder temperature water found in water butts or directly from the tap, helping to reduce plant shock.
Squash sized bottles make an ideal automatic watering system for plants. Pierce the bottle cap a couple of times, fill the bottle with water and place upside down on the surface of the plant. The water will slowly drip over a period of time making this a useful irrigation system, great if you have holidays and cannot tend to the plants!
Milk carton or fabric conditioner bottles also make great plant labels when cut into sizeable pieces.
With all of these uses for plastic bottles within the garden, will there be any left for the general refuse collection!!
No one can ever accuse me or my household of not participating in the local recycling scheme!