How Spring Cleaning Recycling Can Contribute to Your Community Garden

Are you and your family about to undertake an annual spring cleaning? You can use this household event as a means add some inspiring touches to your local community garden. In removing some of the clutter from your home, you can identify items that can be repurposed in a fun yet effective manner in an urban farm environment. By doing so, you provide your kids with yet another outdoor learning experience which teaches them about sustainability while fostering their creativity. And who knows, you may even get them excited about housework in the process. Maybe.

5 Old Household Things That Can Be Repurposed to Brighten Up Your Local Community Garden

1. Turn Old Boots into Fanciful Planters

Repurposed in Community Garden

Matrix planting (focusing on diverse, aesthetically pleasing plants) is encouraged in a community garden environment as a means to provide biodiversity, attract beneficial bugs, and promote the overall beauty of the plot. Simply put, you will want to add non-food-bearing flowers here and there around the garden, without intruding upon the space needed for food-bearing varieties. This can easily be accomplished with a series of small planters. And when it comes to finding fun and aesthetically pleasing options, a quirky option has become quite popular – rubber footwear. 

Give those old piles of rain boots in the closet the boot by drilling some drainage holes through the soles, stuffing them with potting soil, and planting seeds for flowers that grow well in a contained environment.  

2. Furniture Makes for Fun Planters Too

Repurposed Community Garden

Tired of the eye-sore dresser drawer in the bedroom? Losing sleep over the antiquated bed frame? Does that old steamer trunk leave you steamed over a lack of space? These are just a couple of examples of household furniture than can be repurposed as a planter in small plot community gardens where raised planting beds are needed. Before you take any piece of furniture to the dump, take a second look to see if it may be suitable for soil containment and plant growth. Even a defunct baby grand piano can be used (view more on repurposed instruments below).

3. Use Books to Build a Book Exchange in the Garden

garden book exchange

Practically every family home is stuffed to the gills with old books that have been read and reread a dozen times. It gets to the point that you hesitate to buy another page-turner in fear that adding one more item to the shelf will send it tumbling down. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to clean house on the library, and you can use your local community garden as a place to channel the excess. Use your antiquated (to you) collection of fiction and non-fiction to set up a casual (or official) library exchange, which will serve to help turn the community space into a comprehensive outdoor learning environment

4. Instruments as Birdhouses

Repurposed Community Garden

Biodiversity is the key to a thriving community garden, which is why you want to make local birds feel right at home. Colorful and creative birdhouses are one way to do so, while livening up the scene. One especially creative way to provide a birdhouse while repurposing something that often goes unused within the home, is to look to that old musical instrument collecting dust in the basement.

Has your preteen given up his/her ambition of becoming a rock star, and traded their guitar for another flavor of the month? Is that $20 tourist ukulele from your last family trip to Hawaii only contributing the unintended kitsch factor in your home? We’ve got great news for you. Old guitars, ukuleles, violins, thumb pianos, and other wooden string instruments with a hollow core and entry point make for great eye-catching community garden birdhouses. Just remember to remove the strings before putting them up.

5. Give Up Your Seat

Repurposed Community Garden

Another way to help support the growth of a learning garden, while at the same time providing for a more accessible community space, is to add convenient seating within and around the plot. If you are looking to get rid of any old chairs, benches, or other forms of seating that will hold up well in the outdoors, a community garden will likely welcome them with open arms.

The great thing about this one, is that you don’t need to change a thing, although applying a fresh coat of decorative paint can be fun for the kids. Just position the chair or bench in its agreed upon place and let the visiting public and hardworking volunteers do the rest, and take their seat. Of course, chairs can also be repurposed as planters with a little creativity.

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