Make the most of May with some quick recycling projects

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May is a great time to start enjoying the warmer weather and longer days by getting out in the garden.  By taking the time to smell the roses and stroll around the allotment plot or garden you can help to combat stress levels and restore the Zen to your busy life. Discovering the plant life and wildlife using your senses will bring you closer nature. While you appreciate these little natural miracles why not give a thought to how we can help the environment at home.

While you are (hopefully) having fun in the sun you could have a go at a few recycling and repurposing activities. Here are a few tips that can help you turn your rubbish into something beautiful or functional. 

1. Turn rubbish into a planter.  A chipped cup and saucer, a teapot with a broken lid, a lonely wellington boot, all can be filled with compost and turned from something unloved into something beautiful. It’s true that flowers can work wonders to cheer up a dull space, all you have to do is to drill some holes in the bottom of the receptacle, fill it with compost and plant flowers or seeds. Summer bedding plants are in available at garden centers right now and can be used to add an instant impact.

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2. Build a bug hotel. These can be made from all sorts of weather durable scraps of building material and garden material. The easiest bug hotel can be made from broken garden canes which are too small for anything else. All you have to do is chop them up into similar lengths and tie them together with twine and leave it in a quiet corner of the garden. Bugs, insects and even bees will crawl in to this safe place during bad weather and frosts. 

3. Make use of kitchen scraps.  Slugs are a gardener’s public enemy number 1, use broken eggshells or anything prickly (holly leaves work well too) scattered around your most precious plants to deter the slimy horrible critters from munching their way through the irresistible fresh new shoots.  Other kitchen scraps such a vegetable peelings can be added to the compost where they will provide valuable nutrients and help improve the structure of the soil.

4. Use finished water bottles. Empty water bottles are one of the world’s biggest recycling problems but there are so many uses for them around the garden. In May when frosts can still happen, water bottles filled with water can be used to protect courgette plants. By filling up the bottle with collected rain water and then placing the bottle (or 2 of them) next to your courgette plants you can provide extra warmth during the last frosts. The water in the bottle will warm up during the day in the sun and then cool down slower than the air at night, thus keeping your plants toasty should a frost happen. Used water bottles can also be made into slow release drip feeders which will make efficient use of water as none runs away from its intended destination.

With so many ways to recycle you need never look at your rubbish in the same way again!

This article is a guest post from Dan Whiteside, Dan blogs about DIY and gardening topics at DIY Newbie, where he discusses a variety of issues including plumbing repairs and building projects.

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