Reusing and recycling plastic bottles come with several benefits – from reducing environmental pollution to saving you money. Gone are the days when people felt compelled to recycle plastic bottles as a way of “saving the world.” Nowadays, people have realized the many benefits of being self-disciplined, creative, and environmentally aware. In fact, home recycling has gotten easier and enjoyable over the years. People can now recycle or reuse plastic bottles indoors and outdoors, where they create value or aesthetic appeal. That said, we’ve rounded up five ways you can reuse or recycle plastic bottles in your garden to inspire that creative, fresh and unique look.
1. Use Plastics to Make Garden Tools
With the right ideas and a bit of curiosity, you’ll realize that plastic bottles can make some great garden tools. Some of these tools include:
- A water sprinkler – Simply drill holes through the cap of the bottle, then fill the bottle with water, and you’ll have a DIY water sprinkler.
- A garden scoop – Use a knife to cut an angled line on the bottom section of the bottle. You can always make some modifications depending on the size and shape of the bottle. For instance, cut larger plastic jugs into garden shovels for scooping mulch and compost.
- A lawn sprinkler – Drill holes on one side of a lighter bottle, then attach a garden hose on the bottleneck. This can be used to irrigate plants or the entire lawn. You can also create a fountain by making the holes smaller and using maximum hose pressure.
- A DIY drip irrigation bottle – Poke ? to ¼ -inch holes on the side of a 2-liter bottle. Fill the bottle with water and set it close to the plant. You can also add water-soluble fertilizer and position the holes closer to the roots.
2. Use Plastics to Make Garden Ornaments
Another great way to utilize plastic bottles in the garden is to make various garden ornaments such as bird feeders and garden lights. Going DIY with such garden projects will fuel your creativity while at the same time saving you money.
For instance, to make a bird feeder, you will only need to drill a 2-liter bottle, fix a feeding trough at the bottom, and fill the bottle with general seed mix before hanging it on a tree branch. You can make further modifications and add as many aesthetics as possible to attract all the beautiful birds in your neighborhood. With garden lights, you can make your garden as colorful and appealing as possible. All you need are multicolored bottles, sized to fit over the light bulbs placed on strategic locations throughout the garden.
3. Use Plastics as Low-Cost Planters
Perhaps one of the most obvious ways you can use plastics in your garden is for planting herbs, flowers, veggies, succulents, etc. How you are going to use the bottle varies. For instance, you can use plastic bottles to grow:
- Self-watering planter – this relieves the stress of having to irrigate the plants regularly. To make a self-watering planter, cut the bottle into two. Drill some holes on the top half and put soil. Put a cotton wick on the soil, make sure it goes through the bottleneck, and place it on the bottom half upside down — the bottom half acts as a reservoir holding water for the plant.
- Hanging herb gardens – this arrangement saves on space, and if the bottles are decorated, it could further add some aesthetic appeal.
- Flower garden – Systematically arrange the bottles and plant any flowers or succulent of your choice.
- Seed-starter pots – To make a seed-starter pot using a plastic bottle, cut it in half then plant the seeds on the bottom half. Use the top half to shelter and preserve moisture to the seedlings.
4. Garden Pest Traps
This is one of the less common ways of reusing plastic bottles in your garden. Depending on the pests you want to trap, you can always modify your pest trap to suit your needs. To make the trap, remove the cap and cut the neck off. Replace the bottleneck in a reverse direction such that it faces or almost touches the bottle’s bottom.
To trap slugs, pour beer on the inside of the trap and tilt it lightly. Slugs will be attracted to the smell of beer, crawling in and drowning as they lose their way out. To trap wasps, use a sugar and soap solution. This time, set the trap upright in a warm or sunny spot. The wasps will fly in to suck the sugar and immediately sink due to the lowered surface tension. You can always research the bait solutions you should use to trap any pest wreaking havoc in your garden.
5. Use Plastics as Plant Fence
Last but not least, use plastic bottles to make a visually appealing fence around specific plants, herbs, or flowers. Here, you just need to properly arrange the bottles to avoid creating the wrong impression or, even worse, polluting your garden.
Gardening is a fun, healthy, and rewarding hobby, and it takes time and effort to enrich your skills with new ideas. Reusing and recycling bottles isn’t only beneficial to the environment, but it can also bring the best in you and your garden.