Landscaping, Hardscaping, Gardening & Curb Appeal Tips

Make Garden Containers From Cast-Offs

Upcycle old tin cans into stylish containers for grasses and summer flowers and get ideas for other "free" planting pots.

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Tin Can Garden Pots Make Recycling Fun DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: Spring
At Their Best: Summer to early fall
Time to Complete: 30 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • old tin cans
  • gloves
  • screwdriver with metal drill bit
  • broken clay pot or plastic pieces
  • multi-purpose potting soil
  • Brachyscome, lilac
  • calibrachoa 'Million Bells Purple'
  • fescue 'Elijah Blue'
  • fescue 'Golden Toupee'

Drill Drainage Holes

Soak off the labels from the cans in hot soapy water. Wearing heavy gloves, drill a few drainage holes in the bottom of each can.

Drill Drainage Holes in Bottom of CanEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Firm Plants in Well

Add pieces of clay pot to the bottom of the cans and plant up the grasses and flowers, leaving a 1-inch gap between the surface of the soil and the rim. Water well.

Plant Grass in Old CansEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

More Recycling Ideas

You'll find more ideas for containers made from recycled materials at national flower shows and open gardens in your area, while thriftshops and tag sales offer good sources of planters, such as old handbags and bread bins.

Large plant pots can be expensive but you can get one for nothing at your local recycling center. Old oil drums are perfect for trees or large shrubs (Image 1), while worn tires can be used singly and filled with turf to make stepping stones (Image 2) or piled on top of each other to create taller containers. Old wheelbarrows make excellent containers for summer bedding, such as marigolds (Image 3). Drill holes in the bottom of the barrow to provide drainage.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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