Recycle In The Garden

Giving Would-Be Garbage A Second Chance

Winter is the time to recall mistakes I’ve made in the past season and plan for a better growing season by not repeating them.  It’s also a time for choosing a couple of new plants to add to the garden.  There are plenty of temptations since the plant and seed catalogs seem to show up in our mailbox everyday at this time of year.  I haven’t decided yet what my new choices are going to be. Still have some time to leaf (pun intended) through a whole pile of catalogs.

Winter is also a time to look around and see what I can do to lessen the waste on this planet.  What I can re-use in the garden instead of throwing it in the garbage.   This is a third post regarding using many common things that might end up in the garbage.  I posted the first one two years ago about using coffee grounds and stirrers and, followed by chopsticks and plastic cups.  Last year I found a use for a coffee cup sleeve. It is perfect for preventing a plant from cutworms as well as seedlings from birds and slugs.  It’s even better than a plastic cup because I don’t have to cut the bottom off like one must with a plastic cup and it can go right in the compost pile afterward.  Some of them, with no color or dye, will just compost in the garden.

Recycle after recycle
Recycle after recycle

I let this one stay and compost itself in the vegetable garden.  The name tag is on a stirrer.  It will last for a while, if there isn’t much rain.

A whole row of coffee sleeves around tomato seedlings
A whole row of coffee sleeves around tomato seedlings

Some sleeves have a very nice design on them.  So aside from being a very good seedling protecter, it’s a good decoration as well.  I have no problem with cutworms on any of the plants I put the cup sleeves around, but will here and there on  plants without them.

A garden visiting colleague has been keeping these sleeves for me now.  If I have too many, I just throw them in the compost pile.  It’s a good source of carbon.

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