Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays passes, the winter blahs set in. Many of us spend January and February wishing it would warm up so we could get busy in our gardens. We start with grandiose ideas which slowly dissolve as the cost tallies up. Christmas bills, higher heating costs, and income taxes put a damper on our budgets and those gardening plans take a back burner.
According to early 2011 holiday shopping statistics, there’s an 80% chance that you are one of the holiday shoppers that has ordered gifts or other holiday items online. You’ve probably figured out that online shopping yields boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. They are difficult to store and usually get tossed in the trash. Instead of tossing them, why not repurpose them in your garden? Simply break your boxes down use to mark off a new garden spot, expand an existing garden or as a weed preventer in your current garden or flower beds. Be sure to save a few to lie in the aisles of your garden in the spring to help keep weeds at bay.
Instead of throwing away Styrofoam packing materials, break them into small pieces and place in the bottom of flower pots or mix into soil for plants that require good drainage.
There is no need to buy expensive trays to start your seeds in this spring. Use the trays from your holiday chocolate assortment, sausage links, deli meats, and even that egg-carton type packing material. These work just as well as any store bought containers and cost nothing.
Recycle your seeds. Find some great or unique produce this winter? Simply clean the seeds as well as you can (don’t rinse them) and dry on a paper towel. Once dry, transfer the seeds to an airtight container. These will germinate just as well as store bought seeds. Seeds from vegetables such as squash, tomatoes, and peppers preserve well.
Start a compost bin or pile. You can frame up a bin with any boards you have laying around or start a pile directly on the ground. If you live in an apartment or rental home, you can use a large bucket or trash can. Fill with vegetable scraps, dryer lint, coffee grounds, and even wrapping paper. By spring, you should have a great pile of compost to give your garden a boost.
Do you have any other great ideas on how to recycle holiday waste into your garden? Leave a comment below to share your tips!