With all the emphasis these days on protecting the environment by recycling, I’m always looking for clever ways to reuse empty containers. You know me—I’ll never throw anything away if there’s a way to reinvent it, especially if it can come in handy around the yard and garden. Whether it’s coffee cans, pantyhose, paper clips or old hoses, I just can’t seem to bring myself to get rid of some things.
One container not to throw out is that empty bottle of liquid laundry detergent, bleach, or fabric softener. It’s one of the handiest outdoor helpers you could ask for–a big, sturdy plastic bottle. Here’s how you can put ‘em to work in your yard and garden:
- Drip irrigation system. Poke small holes in the bottoms and sides of the bottles, bury them in the soil at strategic spots in your garden, and fill them with water. The moisture will flow out at a slow, steady rate, directly to your plants’ roots, where it’s needed most.
- Garden-tool caddy. Make a big hole in a giant bottle on the side opposite the handle. Then insert your trowel, pruning shears, and other small hand tools through the hole to carry them wherever they’re needed.
- Plant labels. Cut the sides of white or yellow bottles into strips, write on them with an indelible marker, and shove the strips into the soil next to the appropriate plants.
- Scoop. Cut diagonally across the bottom, screw the top back on, and use it to scoop up sand, fertilizer, compost, cat litter, or just about any other nonedible substance.
- Watering can. Drill a dozen or more holes in the cap of a giant bottle. Fill the bottle with water, and screw the top back on. To water your plants, flip the bottle upside down, and let the H2O flow!
For more outdoor tips using supermarket “stuff” like detergent bottles, aspirin, bleach, or even beer, check out my best-selling Supermarket Super Gardens book. Try it FREE for 21 days!