How To... Get Started on a Recycled Container Garden (Guest Post) - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

How To… Get Started on a Recycled Container Garden (Guest Post)

| March 11, 2011 | 37 Comments

We have the lovely Chris visiting us again from Thinly Spread – where she writes about her appraoch to parenting, crafting, gardening and lots of lovely recipes! Check out her “Something for The Weekend” party for lots of weekend family ideas. Not only is Chris a fellow crafter (see her great Christmas Crackers she did for Red Ted Art before), but she is also a great gardener. Over the coming months, I will be turning to her and her blog for advice and direction!!! Today, she brings you a fabulous intro into getting your garden ready – plant some seeds and make some fabulous recycled container gardens. Great for small or big space. Hello Chris!:

Although there is still a distinct chill in the air and the last two nights have brought frost here in the South West, there is now no doubt that spring has sprung! It is time to spruce up the garden and prepare it for its mad blowsy season. I have spent the last few days clearing the veg patches ready for action as it’s much easier to get on with it now before the weeds take hold. I have been digging in compost and drawing up a plan on a large piece of paper to show me what is going where this year. I have seeds planted in loo rolls and newspaper tubes all over the house all ready and waiting.

But, I am an impatient woman and this is not enough so I always create a bit of instant garden at this time of year to get me in the mood. I don’t want to spend a lot of money so I make container gardens out of things I have lying around and things picked up for pennies in charity shops.

You can use almost anything to plant into. Old wellies, boots and shoes are good as are pots, pans and colanders. Cases and bags which are past their prime can look fabulous overflowing with summer flowers or bursting with tasty herbs and salad, your imagination is the only limitation!

Here’s a little

‘How To’ to get you started with recycled container gardening!

You need to make sure there are drainage holes in your container so that your plant is not sitting in a swamp. Colanders are obviously fine here but most things will need you to punch or drill holes into the base to allow excess water to drain out. Colanders and sieves will need lining with newspaper to stop all the compost washing out of the holes when it rains.

Once you have punched your holes, you now need to cover them up! Pop in some pebbles, bits of broken pot or broken up polystyrene packaging. This is to ensure that the drainage holes don’t get blocked up with compost. If you are using a tall container like a welly, do fill the bottom with pot or pebbles rather than polystyrene or they will be top heavy and fall over!

Next fill your container with peat free compost. If you are using a boot, you are unlikely to need to fill it with compost unless you are planting a deep rooted plant so you can fill it to about half way with broken pot pieces to save on compost.

When you are planting up make sure you put the lower growing plants at the front of your container and the taller ones at the back so you can see and enjoy everything!

These wellies are hand me down hand me downs which my daughter plodded about in for ages. The lining has gone and they leak; even before I punched holes in them! I will get enormous pleasure seeing them spilling over with flowers and remembering many happy walks hand in hand with my little girl!

These colanders seemed to be crying out to be filled with herbs. I am going to stand them outside the kitchen door in the sunshine for quick pickings (I will be protecting them from frost for a few  more weeks yet as they are new young plants and I don’t want them zapped before they get a chance to get going!)

As they grow, they will outgrow your container and need moving on. Pot them into larger containers or start a herb garden and plant them in the ground. Read the plant labels or seed packets for care instructions for each plant, I can’t cover them all here!

If you have planted spring bulbs, allow them to die back and then remove them, dry them out and plant them in the ground (or another container) in the autumn and pop some summer bedding in instead or scatter some salad seeds on the surface and wait for your garden to grow!

Container gardening means you can grow things for your kitchen or to cheer your day with colour and scent even if you only have a small patch or a window ledge. Gardening in upcycled containers means it doesn’t need to be expensive and growing from seed means you get a lot of plants for a small outlay!

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Category: Gardening, How To's, Recycling, Spring

Comments (37)

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  1. mamimadeit says:

    Fantastic idea! Great tips!

  2. Liz Burton says:

    I love the old trunk you’ve used in the last shot.

    I have a few pairs of cracked wellies I could use, thanks for the great tips x

  3. Bev says:

    I love this! I am about to plant my seedlings like you…in toilet tubes and nespaper pots… :)

    Love the wellies idea x

  4. Catherine says:

    Such a great post – thank you. We’ve got Minnie’s first pair of wellies as planters on our patio & they always make me smile! My green fingers are just itching now to get outside & get planting! :-)

  5. Sharon W says:

    My children’s nursery have put plants in lots of children’s wellies and fixed them all to the fence. It’s such a cute display as you go into nursery!

  6. Alethea says:

    Oh I love that! I will have to pop into some charity shops to collect some mismatched colanders for a windowsill herb garden!

  7. Red Ted Art says:

    Ooooh Sharon – I bet all those wellies look fabulous!

    Alethea – good luck at the charity shops – win win!

    Catherine – I REALLY will be waiting now for Pip to outgrow Red Ted’s 1st wellies… then we know where they are going!

    Bev – hooray for loo rolls

    Liz – share some pics when you do!

    Mamimadeit – thanks for lovely comment!

  8. What a fab idea!
    Love it, will use it, thanks loads.
    My reasons for being cheerful are over at

  9. Amy says:

    I have seen this before.. I want to try this when the weather gets warmer. Thanks for sharing..

  10. Gattina says:

    I am probably on the wrong post, because gardining and I are two different things instead of having a green thumb mine is still pink ! (or black)

  11. Isil says:

    Great tips,I just didn’t know how to get started. Thanks :)

  12. sunnymama says:

    Love the wellies! :)

  13. All really great ideas and advice – and I love those wellies!

    I also love colanders for growing alpines in –

    Plus, if you add twine of chain you can also make them into great hanging baskers –

  14. divasupermum antoinette says:

    i love quick simple ideas, great job

  15. Michelle Twin Mum says:

    I am just in complete awe!

    Fantastic, Mich x

  16. Thank you all for your lovely comments! I really enjoyed writing this post so it is fabulous to have it so well received! Recycled container garedening is such fun, I hope you have all taken away some useful ideas! I shall be hanging the colanders up as hanging baskets…I forgot to write that bit so thank you Dawn! 😀

  17. Oh goodness I so love love this idea! The boots are my favorite :)

  18. Jingle says:

    love the boots, plus the garden plants.
    have a lovely day.

  19. Mariposa says:

    How creative! :)

  20. Stacey says:

    I adore this idea. We are constantly on the move and I’m tired of buying new ceramic pots, which are too heavy to take with us each time. I can’t wait to go scouting for recycled containers!

  21. I LOVE the rainboots as planters idea! I am totally going to use my old boots as planters! Thank you so much for sharing! LOVE it!

  22. Marianne says:

    I was planning on doing something like this this summer and I might still, but it will not be at my house but my parents where we will be staying all summer.
    Now I just wish I had kept my daughters wellies that started leaking last year.

  23. Amanda says:

    Hi Maggy! I’ve put together a round up of great garden projects on Craft Gossip today and included your post. :) You can see it here

    If you would like to share the Craft Gossip love and show your visitors you’ve been featured, you can grab a button here!

  24. Robin says:

    I love the idea of using shoes as planters and those boots are adorable.

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Yes, I think the wellies are just too cute! Such a great way to recycle them if they end up too worn to pass them on!

  25. Claire H says:

    Got me really thinking… will be looking at all sorts of things to do the same now – they\’re brilliant.

  26. Red Ted Art says:

    Claire – brilliant – \”job done\”… hope you fun planning your garden!

  27. amie says:

    holes in the bottom of the boots… that explains a lot with something i tried last year!! neat ideas!

  28. becky says:

    I am loving your wellies Chris!

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