Recycle in the garden

astuces recuperation jardin jardinage

To plant, sow, propagate, fertilize at the cheapest possible price, think “recycle”!

Wondering what eggshells can serve for? Want to turn a trimming chore into a cuttings bonanza? Repurpose pits? Create your own fertilizer? There are 1001 ways to upcycle existing waste to make your garden better.

Recycle egg shells

Pop a small hole at the bottom of each half-shell, set them back in their egg crate, and you’ve got a great seeding set! Fill them up with soil mix and sow your seeds.

When the plants have sprouted, squeeze the shells to splinter them and plant the whole thing in the ground.

Roots will cross over through the shells, and the calcium will break down and feed the plant as it decomposes.

Propagate your favorite roses

Are you simply in love with the cut roses you were just given? Grow them in your garden!

Snip the stems of a couple of the roses in bits 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long, and plant these rose cuttings in a spot full of shade. Water regularly. A year later, in fall, you’ll be able to transplant those cuttings that have developed a root ball.

Select your future apricots

Found an apricot particularly delicious? Set its pit aside to germinate in a pot filled with sand. In March, transplant the seedlings directly to the ground.

Come fall, you can set this apricot tree in the in the orchard section of your garden, it will produce fruits similar to the one that wowed you earlier.

Create your own fertilizer

Do you have chickens? Recover the feathers they lose every now and then and “steep” them in a pail filled with rainwater. Immerse them under the water level with mesh wire weighted down with rocks or they’ll simply float. Macerate in the shade for two months. This traditional Chinese recipe produces fertilizer that has very high nitrogen and trace element contents – something any plant will appreciate!

Feed your rose trees

With high levels of phosphorus and potassium, banana peels are great ingredients for your compost.

You can also use them as is for rose tree fertilizer: dice them up and bury them about 1½ inches (4cm) deep at the foot of your rose bushes.

Create more humus

Pile dead leaves up in a corner of the garden. Water, stomp the leaves down to crush them, and throw in a couple shovelfuls of healthy soil before adding the next batch of leaves.

In the following spring, use your spade to split the pile and use this mostly broken down organic matter to lather your flower beds, around the trunks of your trees, and the growing beds for the vegetable patch. As they continue breaking down, the leaves will turn into humus that will fertilize the soil.

More “Tips & tricks on gardening”, published by Reader’s Digest selection.

Laure Hamann