Top five upcycle ideas for backyard vegetable gardens | The Canberra Times

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Australians continue to become more environmentally conscious than ever, limiting the use of plastics and disposable products, and upcycling wherever possible. This emerging trend is now making its way to the garden, with more Aussies getting creative with old household belongings to create their own unique veggie patch. “Not only does upcycling your old items save unnecessary waste making its way into landfill, it can also save you money,” says Narelle Peart from Scotts Performance Naturals. “There are items that may surprise you lying around the house that, with a little love and care can make a standard backyard unique.” For those looking to get creative, Narelle has compiled her top five upcycling ideas for the backyard veggie garden: Colander hanger: If you have an old colander you’re no longer using, try turning it into a mini hanging garden. Colander hangers give your veggie garden a rustic look and are great for showing off those delicious strawberries or tumbling tomatoes. For best results, use a natural fertiliser rich in organic matter and high in nitrogen that is formulated for vegetables and herbs. Toilet paper roll seedling starters: Instead of throwing out empty toilet paper rolls, plant them in your garden. Toilet paper rolls are biodegradable and can make great seedling starters. Simply place your seeds inside the toilet roll with some seed raising and cutting potting mix, and grow indoors until they are ready to plant in the garden – toilet paper roll and all. Gumboot planters: Gumboots aren’t just useful for keeping your feet dry in the rain, they also make fantastic DIY pot plants. Try using a variety of different coloured or patterned gumboots to create a quirky backyard vibe. To make the garden even more unique, gumboot planters can also be hung on the backyard fence or balcony. Polystyrene boxes and pallets: Polystyrene boxes and pallets are the perfect size for beginners who want to create their own veggie garden, especially if you have limited space. Simply save the polystyrene box from your last weekly meal delivery or ask your local hardware store if they have any old pallets. To make the most out of your box or pallet, ensure you use each layer to fill your mini garden with herbs, lettuce and other leafy greens. The sides of your polystyrene box can even be used as a vertical garden. Repurposed old furniture: During the next council clean up, make sure to check if anything could be repurposed for the backyard herb garden. An old chest of draws, wooden box or night stand can be great for planting herbs. As most furniture won’t come with a drainage hole, be sure to add a layer of pebbles to the bottom to help with drainage. Use a premium potting mix with the Australian Standard red tick to ensure your herbs grow strong and healthy. For more gardening information, visit

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