Recyling on the allotment

Pop Bottles

Growing peas in a pop bottle

Growing peas in a pop bottle

Pop bottles are probably our all-time favourite useful items.  We rarely throw them away because we find so many uses for them.

One day we’ll write a book called ‘A million ways with pop bottles’.  OK, we haven’t got to a million yet, but we’re working on it.

  • Cut into rings to form slug barriers – with or without copper tape
  • Cut in half length-ways, pop bottles make a great substitute for guttering when it comes to planting peas
  • With a hole drilled in the bottom and the lid left off, pop bottles are great to put over canes to support netting.  As the plants grow, simply ‘pop’ another bottle on top!
  • Cut off the top and bottom of the pop bottle for perfect little cloches.  They fit neatly on a 3” flower pot.

The ‘Compote’ Bag

The 'Compote' Bin

The 'Compote' Bin

While sitting at home one day (must have had a day off!), I was interested to see our neighbour hard at work landscaping his garden.  Outside his house were a couple of large tote bags containing sand and hardcore.  We know from previous experience these bags are not recycled.  Even if they are returned to the builders’ merchants, they are simply thrown away.  So what could we do with a tote bag?  After all, it would be a shame to see them go to waste!

And so the ‘Compote Bin’ was born!  A simple framework made from some old wood, supports the inside of the bag.  The loops will pop over the corner supports to help prevent slippage, and an old pallet underneath completes the line-up.  Some plastic sheeting or perhaps some recycled carpet will protect it from the elements and keep in the heat.  From inception to completion, our new compost bin took around 30 minutes to build and will be worth its weight in gold.  What’s more it didn’t cost a penny and saved yet another useful item from going into a landfill site!

Pallet craft

Potato planter made from pallets

Potato planter made from pallets

Pallets are a great source of free wood.  All over industrial estates and superstore sites, pallet mountains grow.  Often the custodians are pleased to see the back of them (it’s a good idea to ask first!), so us allotmenteers can develop our pallet craft skills.  Most of our shed / compost bin was made from old pallets, but it was our garden in Sussex which really topped the pallet craft bill!  Pallets there created a compost bin, part of the shed, a stunning 3 –tier strawberry planter and a slotted potato trough which grew with the spuds.

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