Master Gardener: Recycle, repurpose and reuse

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Repurposing. Recycyling. Reusing. Whatever it’s called, it’s finding another use for something not in its prime, something you might have too much of, something you can use in another way to keep from buying something new. Some of the following ideas you may be familiar with, others not.

Recycle an old mailbox into convenient tool storage out in the yard. Would also work for an unused paper drop-off box if the carrier doesn’t want it back.

Milk jugs can become water cans. Cat litter containers can become portable water carriers or water-filled still, as weights to keep pool cover secure.

Latex gloves can be used for the wet, muddy or messier chores in the garden.

Butter knives are good for weeding. Spent serrated knives make good mini machetes for cutting thick or bunched stems. Also good for digging deep, narrow planting holes.

Use degradable newspaper and cardboard in place of landscape fabric.

Find a garden center that will take your excess plant pots or give them to other gardeners.

Two-liter bottles with their bottoms cut off make good mini-greenhouses.

Place crushed milk jugs or soft drink bottles in the bottom of a large planter to conserve soil and lessen its weight. Same goes for bulky foam packing material.

Many things can be recycled into plant containers - cooking pots, tea kettles, wash tubs, wheelbarrows, the list goes on.

Many items make good plant trellises - cut tree limbs, the stalks of spent sunflowers when teepeed, the base of a bed frame, etc.

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