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Garden Tools from Recycled Items

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With inflation and rising food costs, it may seem almost impossible to get ahead these days. However, Jason Hartman shows that you can profit from prudent borrowing, and actually earn money with your investments. You can beat those rising food costs by gardening, and here are some tips for creating useful garden tools out of everyday items that you already have.


Yesterday’s news can do more than line Tweety’s cage. To create a new flower bed or vegetable garden without the work of tilling you’ve got to begin in the fall. Simply mow the grass low and cover with a layer of newspapers at least six sheets thick. Top with compost or soil to hold the papers in place and then wait. By the time warm weather comes, you’ll have a beautiful planting area with no grass, weeds, or rocks.

Milk Jugs

Plastic milk jugs are great garden helpers. They’re sturdy, flexible, waterproof, and have a handle.

– To make a scoop, cut close to the handle and then on the sides opposite the handle, cut to a point. Keep the lid on and scoop compost, fertilizer, or potting soil for easy spreading and carrying.

– Cut off the bottom couple inches of a gallon milk jug to start your seeds. These little seed flats save space and can be easily rearranged to make the most of lighting conditions.

– Use the top half of the jugs to make a scoop, or save them and create a mini-greenhouse during the cooler months at the start and close of the season. Just place the top half of the jug over seedlings and new transplants to protect them during frosts. You can take the lid off or poke holes in the jug to allow more air flow on nights when it’s cool, but the temperature isn’t dropping low enough for a frost. Be sure to remove the jug during sunny days or you’ll destroy your plant for certain.

– If you use a nail to poke holes along the face of a milk jug, the upper portion of the two sides opposite the handle, you have a great watering can. Just fill with water and sprinkle on your plants. Plants love the rain-like experience.

– Here’s a neat trick: Place milk jugs filled with water inside your cold frame. The sun will warm the water during the day and heat the cold frame at night, preventing both temperate extremes.

Other Items

– Use a vinyl tablecloth to haul heavy items, such as bags of mulch or burlap-bagged trees from the store. The smooth vinyl will pull easily along the grass and you won’t have to worry about lifting the heavy item out of the wheelbarrow.

– Egg shells make great biodegradable seed starters.

– Carpet scraps lined in the walkways of your garden make for a soft place to walk or kneel and effectively block out weeds. (Top image: Flickr | john-norris)

The Holistic Survival Team


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