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Gardening is naturally an activity that lends itself to re-using and recycling. In any garden or allotment, the first goal needs to be to reuse what we use. Next we should recycle, especially by composting as much plant material as possible.
As it is National Allotments Week, the team at J&B Recycling have put together our top hints and tips for reusing and recycling in your allotment…
Cardboard toilet rolls. You can start your leeks indoors in a greenhouse if you so wish and these come to a great use, as once planted in the ground, these will degrade into the soil. We love this video by Carrot Tops Allotment about how to make toilet roll seed starters.
Coffee filters. Use them over and over for collecting and drying seeds, and when they won't stand up anymore, use them for sprouting seeds in plastic bags.
Coffee grounds and tea leaves. Both coffee grounds and tea leaves, from tea bags or bulk tea, are high in nitrogen as well as containing many other nutrients for both the garden soil building and the plant’s health. They do bring acid with them as well, so again be sure to keep an eye on the soil pH level.
Fruit punnets. All being well, you’ll be picking lots of fruit and vegetables this summer, these are great for carrying things and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll fill these up. Fruit punnets can also be used for growing seedlings if you find that you’re short of pots or trays.
Glass jars. Thinking of making some preserves or pickles? You’ll need these.
Ice cream container. Keep your supplies fresh and dry with a reusable bait box! Tea bags, sugar, powdered milk… Or maybe even a few sandwiches?
Old garden hose. Use an old garden hose to help with earwig control. Place pieces of old hose a foot or two long, around the areas where they burrow, and next day, shake them into a can of soapy water. You don't want to get rid of all the earwigs because they are good at controlling some bad bugs.
Old socks. Old socks can be cut into strips and used to tie up plants.
OXO boxes. OXO or stock cube boxes are great for storing seeds. Just be sure to label them so you know what they are!
Plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are THE item for allotment recycling! You can use them as individual propagators or cut them in half and fill them with beer to catch slugs. Plastic milk bottles often have a measurement on the side, which can be handy when mixing tomato feed or other fertilisers.
Spice jars. Be sure not to poke your eye out on any bamboo canes that you’re using at the allotment. Simply pop these on top.
Tin cans. You can use the tops and bottoms of tin cans to scare birds and squirrels out of the garden, by punching a hole in them and tying them to a post or tree branch. (Be careful when handling the lids; their edges are sharp!). When they move in the wind, the wild animals are spooked. Tin cans also make handy and durable seed scoops for wild birdseed and or scooping compost into pots for seed starting.
Used dryer sheets. Place them in the bottom of pots to keep the soil from running out or slugs entering to harm plant roots.
Vegetable peelings. Makes great compost!
Washing tablet box. These plastic boxes are made to last and are watertight, useful for storing anything you want keep dry.
Waste paper. Newspaper and all unneeded mail can be composted. Worms love it! Cover with grass clippings and eventually the worms will find it and over time the paper will rot. Start a worm-composting project with just a small garbage container. The “worm castings” left by the worms, make free rich fertiliser for plants.
J&B Recycling are based in the North of England. Our commercial collection services operate from the Scottish Borders down to Hull and North Yorkshire. Our main areas for collecting and processing commercial waste include Teesside (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton), Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Sunderland, North Tyneside and Northumberland.