5 ways plastics can help
Whether you’re into veggies, succulents, or roses, growing a successful garden can be a lot of work. But a little ingenuity can make cultivating a fabulous little plot of land a bit easier.
Durable, water resistant plastics are a natural in the garden. Here are five innovative ways plastic tools can help you green your garden… with the added bonus of being planet-friendly, too.
1. Rain, rain, DON’T go away
Capturing and reusing rainwater to help your flora flourish is useful to any gardener, but particularly so in areas prone to drought. Your setup could range from very basic—plastic buckets that catch rain from downspouts—to tough plastic rain barrels and more advanced irrigation systems that water your garden automatically using gravity. These rain barrels, hoses, and piping typically are made with durable plastics that will last a very long time, helping conserve precious water.
2. Make treasure from trash
Get some veggie peelings, some lawn and garden scraps, a little water, and a big bin, and you’re on your way to creating nutrient-rich compost your plants will adore. Choose the right size container for your space, follow the easy directions (some sun, moisture, mixing) and your compost should be ready in a few months. Purpose-built compost bins made with plastics (even recycled plastics!) often have features, such as hatches at the bottom, that make composting easier and cleaner. And since plastics resist weather damage and won’t rot, your bin can last a long time.
3. Hire some new assistants
Looking for some low-maintenance pest control? Birds eat garden destroyers such as grasshoppers, aphids, larvae, moths, slugs, and beetles (curse you, Japanese beetle!), so installing some sturdy plastic birdhouses and feeders can attract new feathered friends to help your garden grow. You can find a wide range of long lasting plastic birdhouses and feeders at your local garden store or online, in multiple designs to coordinate with your home and garden’s style and décor—some even made with recycled plastics.
4. Maximize your gardening space
Think you don’t have the space to grow a thriving garden? Think again. Thanks to innovations in plastics, you can maximize your gardening space by growing plants, flowers, and even edible herbs and vegetables on a vertical surface—known as a “living wall.” While vertical gardening has been around for centuries, it’s really caught on in the past few years. From do-it-yourself wall gardens made from used plastic bottles to attractive hi-tech systems made with recycled plastics, vertical gardens bring living and breathing greenery into areas where horizontal space for traditional gardening is limited.
5. Box it in
Raised bed gardening is really useful in areas with poor soil. Build four low walls, fill the space with compost and soil, and you’ve got a garden. Lumber made with plastics is especially well suited for these walls—it’s durable, water resistant, long lasting, and won’t rot. It also can be easily cut and fastened like wood. And today much of this plastic lumber is made with recycled materials.
As you’re prepping your garden this year, remember that it’s becoming easier and easier to find attractive outdoor furniture and garden tools made with recycled plastics. Seeking out recycled plastic products helps keep used plastics out of landfills to live another life—so they’ll help make your garden even greener.