Australians are more environmentally conscious than ever, limiting the use of plastics and disposable products, and upcycling wherever possible. This emerging trend is now making its way to the garden with more Aussies getting creative with old household belongings to create their own DIY veggie garden.

“Not only does upcycling your old items save unnecessary waste making its way into landfill, it can also save you money. There are items that may surprise you lying around the house that, with a little love and care can make a standard backyard unique,” says Narelle Peart from Scotts Performance Naturals.

For those looking to get creative, Narelle has compiled her top five upcycling ideas for the backyard veggie garden:

Gumboot planters

Gum boots aren’t just useful to keep your feet dry in the rain, they also make fantastic DIY pot plants. Try using a variety of different coloured or patterned gumboots to create a quirky backyard vibe. To make the garden even more unique, gumboot planters can also be hung on the backyard fence or balcony.

Colander hanger

If you have an old colander that you’re no longer using, try turning it into a mini hanging garden. Colander hangers give your veggie garden a rustic look and are great for showing off those delicious strawberries or tumbling tomatoes. For best results, use a natural fertiliser rich in organic matter and high in nitrogen that is formulated for vegetables and herbs.

Toilet paper roll seedling starters

Instead of throwing out empty toilet paper rolls, plant them in your garden instead. Toilet paper rolls are biodegradable and can make great seedling starters. Simply place your seeds inside the toilet roll with some seed raising and cutting potting mix, and grow indoors until they are ready to plant in the garden, toilet paper roll and all.

Recycled seedling containers

Polystyrene Boxes and Pallets

Polystyrene boxes and pallets are the perfect size for beginners who want to create their own veggie garden, especially if you have limited space. Simply save the polystyrene box from your last weekly meal delivery or ask your local hardware store if they have any old pallets. To make the most out of your box or pallet, make sure you use each layer to fill your mini garden with herbs, lettuce and other leafy greens. The sides of your polystyrene box can even be used as a vertical garden!

Wooden pallet creative idea for making stylish garden hanging planter for herbs or vegetables. Wall mounted planter

Repurposed old furniture

During the next council clean up, make sure to check if anything could be repurposed for the backyard herb garden. An old chest of draws, wooden box or night stand can be great for planting herbs. As most furniture won’t come with a drainage hole, be sure to add a layer of pebbles to the bottom to help with draining. Use a premium potting mix with the Australian Standard red tick to ensure your herbs grow strong and healthy.

For more gardening information visit www.lovethegarden.com.au

Do you have any other creative upcycling ideas for your backyard veggie garden? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • Love love the idea of recycling toilet paper rolls to home seedlings!


  • Some great ideas , thank you .. I’ve got a date with some old gumbo it’s in the shed????


  • I love a quirky, sustainable planter in the garden! Great ideas here to do with the kids!!


  • I love the pallet planter, that was really cute! – great ideas and starting points to let the kids get creative with things to use!


  • We used a gum boot to plant seedlings in just this morning. I’ve always liked the idea of doing that! The kids loved it.


  • We’re trying to find old things around the house than can be used like wooden beams that no longer have a purpose. Find whatever you can get and make sure it works.


  • Love recycling, these are great ideas, love the polystyrene planters!!


  • what great ideas. Something to do with the kids.


  • I have three of the pallet wall gardens with strawberries in them.


  • I love the idea of the Gumboot planters – soo many gumboots I’ve thrown out over the years that were in good nick, just outgrown.


  • Love the toilet paper roll seeding starters… seems nifty and easier to manage.


  • The gumboot planters look ridiculous. I’m not much of a gardener and these ideas look like hard work


  • I think the gumboots idea might annoy me and look a bit cluttered but i love the pallet idea.


  • I love the vertical herb wall made from an old pallet. Ive seen quite a few creations from old pallets, theyre handy to have around

    • They sure are and look so cool !


  • Great ideas! You can also make plant pots with plastic bottles.


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