Take a good look at your beloved garden. Do you see anything that doesn’t belong there? Aside from the weeds, plastic should be banned from your garden. Heck it should be banned from the planet. Sadly, plastic will not be saying it goodbyes just yet. But everyone can do something to lessen the harm that this, uhm, harmful material brings to Mother Earth and her inhabitants. For those with green thumbs, a plastic-free garden is definitely one way to help out.
Don’t Use Plastic Pots
The most obvious way to have a plastic-free garden is to not buy anything plastic. Plastic pots, for example, are pretty common. If you already have these pots in your garden, don’t throw them out just to keep with your plastic-free garden theme. Make the most of them since it’ll take a thousand years before they decompose.
If you have clay or ceramic pots, make the most out of them, as well. Don’t replace them with plastic ones if they break. If they’re still serviceable, keep your plants in them. Country Life suggests using the broken pieces in larger pots to improve drainage. You can also place them in the soil to keep pests away or turn them into plant labels.
A better option for your plastic-free garden is to use starter pots made from other materials such as metal, wood, and paper. The Potmaker Paper Pot Press is a tool made of solid maple that turns normal paper such as old newspapers into plant pots. Use these biodegradable pots to grow your seeds, seedlings, and cuttings.
Use Plastic-Free Garden Tools
It’s easy to forget that the things we use every day come with plastic. In fact, it’s quite ironic that we’re talking about saving the environment through a plastic-free garden yet we’re reading this on a laptop or phone that has plastic components.
In your garden, you probably use a hose to water your plants. Hoses are usually made of synthetic rubber or soft plastic. Take a look at your shovels and other tools, as well. Do they have plastic handles?
It’s really difficult but it’s not impossible. We need to do what we can to help the planet. Start by buying plastic-free garden tools and accessories the next time you need to replenish your gear and supplies. Like with the plastic pots, don’t throw away your plastic tools just yet. Replace them with plastic-free ones when you really need to buy new tools.
If your garden hose or plastic water sprinkler is broken beyond repair, for example, you can replace them with a tin pail or a clay watering vessel.
The porous Oya Clay Watering Vessel is buried neck deep in the ground and filled with water. The water is slowly released reaching the roots and saving water in the process. Plus, you don’t have to water every day. You just have to refill the clay vessel when it’s near empty, which takes a few days.
Buy Plastic-Free Garden Supplies
In all your years of gardening, chances are high that you’re guilty of using supplies packed in plastic packets, bags, bottles or bins. While that’s not okay, you can’t do anything about the past. The future, however, is bright especially if you succeed with your plastic-free garden and get everyone else on the planet to do the same.
Start off with your seeds. Most companies pack their seeds in plastic. These plastic packets end up in the trash immediately after opening them and planting the seeds.
The growing Wishes Organic Herb garden is a kit containing six different organic herbs packed in their own plastic-free container. The six are the packed in a larger steel case.
The Honey Bee Habitat Scatter Garden uses a gorgeous plastic-free minimalist packaging. One pack contains 20 different seed varieties.
With the Herb Garden-In-A-Pail, the seeds are packed in a — you guessed it! – steel pail. Each recycled pail contains soil wafers and coconut husks aside from the seeds of different herbs.
Another more environment-friendly option is to save the seeds from produce and plant them later. You can also grow new plants from kitchen scraps.
Make Your Own Compost
If you buy fertilizer, it usually comes in a plastic sack. For a plastic-free garden, avoid such products and make your own compost instead.
You can purchase a compost bin or make one yourself. What’s important is that you don’t throw waste any food as well as your kitchen scraps. Just throw them into your compost bin and you’ll have organic compost for your plastic-free garden in a matter of weeks.
Keep a ceramic compost keeper in your kitchen. Use this plastic-free and odor-free jar to store your compost materials before you take them to your composter.
If you don’t want to wait for weeks, you can use a food recycler such as the Food Cycler. This ingenious kitchen device turns your cooked and uncooked food waste into a nutrient-rich mixture that can already be used for your plastic-free garden in 3 to 6 hours.
In keeping with your plastic-free goals, don’t buy fruits and vegetables that are wrapped in plastic. Grocery stores are notorious for doing this. Bananas, for example, come with their own packaging. It’s called a banana peel. You don’t need it to be vacuum-packed in clear plastic or worse with a Styrofoam base.
And if you buy your produce from a farmer’s market, please say no to plastic bags. Bring your own reusable environment-friendly bag or basket instead.
Plastic-Free Garden Toys
Instill the love of plants and gardening in young children by letting them tend the garden with you. Get them their own set of plastic-free garden tools so they can do some digging themselves. Of course, you need to guide them so they won’t end up ruining your garden.
A wheelbarrow will keep them busy and interested. However, your trusty wheelbarrow may be too dirty and probably unsafe for young kids. Make them a child-sized one out wood instead.
Plastic has had such a bad rep in years that it’s quite strange that many people still don’t care about its consequences. Although more and more people and even corporations are doing what they can to help planet Earth, plastic is still widely used today. You can do your share of taking care of the planet by avoiding anything plastic. In case you have no choice, you can recycle and reuse plastic so they don’t end up in the trash.
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