I have had lots of vegetable transplants sitting around for a week or so…I am admittedly a bit of a procrastinator. They were starting to look a little rough so I figured it was time to get them planted. Most of my plants were going into my raised bed, but these specific plants were going into a new container garden.
One of the main reasons that we homestead is because we want to limit our dependency on stores. We also like to save as much money as possible. In order to achieve independence and save money on this container garden, I decided to find items that I already had at home to use as planting containers.
I had an ah-ha moment when I went to throw out a milk jug and a quick oat carton one morning. Why not use these as planters instead of throwing them in the dump? Later that afternoon I found an old water trough with holes in the bottom (perfect for draining) and a bunch of bricks and cement blocks. Jackpot!
DIY Repurposed Planting Containers
Here are all the materials that you need:
- Jugs, Canisters, Ice Cream Buckets, Cement Blocks, Troughs, whatever you have handy
- Knife or Scissors
- Screwdriver or Drill (depending on the type of material that you are using)
- Transplants or Seeds
- A desire to make the most of everything that you have
Repurposed Planting Container Instructions:
Milk Jug or Juice Carton:
Take your container of choice and cut it in half.
Poke holes in the bottom half of the carton to allow water to drain from the soil. Put the lid is on the top half of the jug or carton and poke drainage holes in it as well.
Add the soil into each half. Place the containers where you want them… The top half will need to be balanced a little since it is sitting on the lid.*
Put the seeds or transplants into their new containers and water them well.
*The top portion of the jug/carton isn’t going to sit upright perfectly so make sure to prop it with something. I used bricks (see photo below), but you can use anything that you like.
Cardboard Containers and Ice Cream Buckets:
Ice cream buckets are pretty simple to turn into repurposed planting containers. Simply rinse them out and poke drainage holes in the bottom. Then you can fill them with soil, plant the seeds or transplants, and water generously.
Follow the same instructions when using a cardboard container like an oatmeal carton–> Cut it in half if it is tall, poke drainage holes, fill with soil, plant seeds or transplants, and water.
Cement Blocks and Troughs:
Fill the cement blocks with soil. Plant your fruits, veggies, herbs, or flowers (one plant per opening). The water will drain through the bottom & the roots can extend from the block into the ground.
If you have an old water or feed trough, then you have the perfect potato planter! Just make sure that there are holes in the bottom to allow the water to drain (if it doesn’t have holes, use a drill to create some), fill it will soil, and start planting!
*Remember that plastic is not biodegradable so you will need to responsibly dispose of these or store them for future use. Cardboard without plastic lining can be safely left outside or in a compost heap to degrade over time. I only recommend using plastic as a planting container when it is an item that is already destined for the trash, not as a new purchase.
What household items will you be turning into repurposed planting containers?