This year really feels like the year of new gardeners. It’s been so much fun helping friends and family find some joy in growing over the last few weeks. But lots of people I know, don’t really want to spend a huge amount of money on new pots or planters. They just want the fun of growing. And who doesn’t?! So here’s my list of 5 Upcycled Planters, made of things you might have around your house already.
I definitely get some strange looks when I see something that others might consider trash and say “oh! That could be a planter!” And don’t get me wrong, it does feel a little bit weird to be planting vegetables inside old tires. But the joy I feel when I look around my property at the Alice in Wonderland style collection I’ve made is worth it.
Essentially anything can become a planter and it keeps more things out of landfills. Giving our used up items a second life is one of the best ways to shrink our carbon footprints. So get creative with these ideas, and make them your own. Let your silliness shine through, and bring some joy to your lawn, porch or balcony. If the item you’re planting in is porous all you need to do is throw some soil in and plant. If it’s a solid object; either drill some holes in the bottom, or break open a small section on the underside to allow for drainage.
Planters from Old Clothes
Old clothes is a super easy upcycle for anybody to do, and is a great one for folks who only have a balcony for their growing space. We as a society go through our clothes at an alarming rate. So when you’re done with a shirt or pair of pants, instead of throwing them out, sew up the bottoms, fill them with soil and plant some flowers! My favourite bit of clothing to plant in is shoes. I know personally, I wear my shoes until they are literally falling apart, so this is a great one for me. And moms, we’ve all seen kiddos grow out of their shoes so fast, it’s amazing they even wore them at all. So fill those shoes up with soil, and get planting.
Old Furniture Planters
When we moved into our house there was an old china cabinet in the garage. I didn’t want to throw it out because it was still in okayish condition. But we had no use for it inside the house. SO planter! Furniture is a really fun upcycle project. Old dressers are really fun to use. If you open the drawers more and more as you work your way down you can use them as a beautiful cascading garden. Or for strawberries! Paint them for an even more colourful look. You will want to add some drainage holes throughout so they don’t rot or leave your plants with wet feet. And if certain parts aren’t getting as much rain as others be sure to water those parts thoroughly.
Planters from Old Tires
Tires are so much fun to use as planters. They were some of the first things I used as an upcycled garden. Hubby works in the auto industry and has access to a lot of tires that are no longer road worthy. But we have also collected tires from ditches and from neighbours who are throwing them out. I paint mine because I love the extra colour, but you don’t need to! They’re so easy. No need for drainage, just fill them up! If you do paint them, remember to use a paint that is meant for outside, so that it can survive the elements.
This one is probably the weirdest/silliest one on the upcycle list. But why not keep our old appliances out of the landfills right? I got the idea actually from seeing lots of gorgeous farm properties using old barrels and old farm equipment either as planters or as garden accents. Then one day we got rid of an old, in-counter stove top, and I was like, “Hey! This is hollow!” Using a strong drill bit, I drilled some holes in it for drainage, them planted some annuals inside where the elements used to be. I also snipped off the plug and removed any bits inside that were in the way. But it was still way less waste than just throwing the whole thing out! Now I’ve been thinking of all the ways to use our other aging appliances, and I can’t wait!
Urban Leaf Wine Bottle Garden
Using wine bottles as planters isn’t exactly new, but most of the posts I see involve cutting the glass bottle in half. And I’m not super into slicing glass, even though I’ve been reassured it’s easy. I’ve also been reassured by glass many times that I don’t like being cut by glass. Well this company (Who isn’t a sponsor and I’m not being paid to talk about) is super cool and has the solution! They sell kits that come with different seeds for planting in wine bottles using their plugs that go in the top of the bottle. No bottle slicing required! This is just such a fantastic idea, and they have a whole bunch of great options, from herbs to edible flowers. I have ordered the edible flowers collection and will update this section once they arrive. So check them out here and make use of your growing collection of quarantine wine bottles ;).
So I hope that everyone who has caught the gardening bug this year has fun and learns a little about plants and where your food comes from. And I really hope some of you find your new passion and stick around with us gardening weirdos into the future. I’m so happy to share these fun and silly ideas, and if you try any of them out I’d love to see your pics! So email me or shout me out on Instagram, and Happy Gardening!
Have you just started your seedlings for the first time this year? Check out this post to help deal with Legging Seedlings.