Frugal Gardening Tip #6 – Don’t Let a Sturdy Container Go to Waste
I have an abundance of #10 Cans. All serious food storage people do. They are such a great way to get a jump on your food storage. I receive a few new ones every month with my Thrive Q shipment and we use a few every month when we get beans, rice, and oatmeal from our existing stores. I know I can put them out in recycling each week, and I often do just that. Right now I have 8 cans that need to be recycled.
I also have several plants that need to go into pots in the garden and I have several herb seeds that need to be started.
I’ve decided to make good use of them and recycle #10 cans into garden pots. Here’s how to do it. It only takes a few hours, start to finish.
Homemade Goo Gone
Screw & hammer OR drill and drill bit
Cardboard box (to reduce overspray)
Frugal #10 Planters in About 3 Hours
1. Remove all the stickers (or as much as you can) and apply homemade Goo Gone by using one of these recipes 1. Vegetable Oil & Baking Soda Goo Gone or Coconut Oil & Baking Soda Goo Gone. I decided to save my coconut oil for eating and lotions, rather than using it to get the goo off of tins. If you have an abundance of coconut oil, go for it. This worked pretty well but the cans were left VERY oily where the stickers were removed.
2. Wash the tins with a scrubber and dish soap to remove all the oil. Dry them off.
3. Punch 7-10 holes in the bottom with a screw and hammer. After you have the first can punched, experiment with the rate the can drains water and adjust the number of holes. I tested the draining capacity of a #10 can and 10 holes are the magic number for me. They will certainly not get waterlogged. If you’re like me and you have a ton of those white plastic tops, add them to the bottom when you want to retain the water for longer.
4. Get a cardboard box and place a can inside it. It will prevent overspray getting onto your area.
5. Spray paint the cans your favorite color. They make paint in just about every color you can imagine. I used Rust-oleum Painters Touch spray paint with paint & primer, which I purchased at the local big box home improvement store. It cost $3.59
6. Wait for the paint to dry and add a second coat if needed. Mine did, just to touch up a few areas I missed.
7. Use a suitable potting soil for container gardening. Don’t use garden soil, it’s too heavy and will not drain properly in your new container.
8. Plant herbs purchased from the garden center or use your new pot to start seeds.
The cost of this project was $3.59, and from start to finish, about three hours of time. I now have 8 recycled #10 cans looking pretty in my garden. They are filled with herbs and seeds waiting to sprout. I’m growing stevia and anise. I’ve also planted seeds for Lemon Balm, St John’s Wort, Lemongrass, German Chamomile, Plantain, and Yarrow. I have enough paint left to do at least three cans in the future.
Share some of your ideas for other sturdy containers in the garden.
Melissa Moraja says
Such a great idea! My son is always using plastic containers. I like the can idea much better! Stopping by from Live It Up Hop!
Deborah Davis says
This is such a great, green reuse idea! I am already scouring my home looking for appropriate containers to repurpose so thank you so much for sharing this Frugal Gardening Tip with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I’m inning and sharing.
Really good idea, im going to have to start saving all my old tins! A great way of recycling and with good quality paint I guess they will probably last for quite a few years!
Hi Paul, yea they last a long time. Make sure you put more holes in the bottom than you thought was necessary, mine have tended to drain slowly.