As responsible gardeners, we should be concerned about the environmental impact of the hundreds of thousands of plastic planting pots placed into the waste stream every year, and with spring just around the corner (15 days to go), this topic comes to mind again. Personally, I wash and store away any plastic pots I might be able to reuse, and in doing so I’ve avoided having to purchase a mountain of new pots. I use smaller pots for indoor seed planting and medium sized pots as liners for my many decorative planters. The larger pots come in handy when thinning and transplanting perennials, as potting-up the newly dug material facilitates moving the plants to other areas or permits me to easily house and water them until I find them a new home. During especially busy periods, you’ll likely see a collection of yet to be replanted greenery neatly arranged in shady areas of my yard … all patiently waiting for their keeper to re-sink their roots into newly prepared beds.
Still, I’m unable to use many of the pots that come my way. Fortunately, a nearby garden center sets aside an area specifically for collecting no longer needed plastic planters – a recycling bin I visit regularly during the growing season and after late-season clean up. Come to think of it, I should find out exactly what they do with their collection … and report back. Hmmm … sounds like a good topic for a future post.
In the meantime, you might consider using CowPots – that’s right, planters made from cow manure. I was reminded of these by a fellow CT gardening blogger’s post about CowPots. The creators were featured on the Dirty Jobs television show last year. What a great idea to convert manure into planting pots – just the type of inventiveness we need more of – and they’re made right here in Connecticut. Anyone out there used them yet?