Re-useful #6: £1 pvc dome umbrellas

Ok, so this is not strictly a recycle post, but it is both a repurpose and a budget alternative. I have been unable to find any pop-up cloches for my garden for under £6. I do use cut off bottles, but they just aren’t big enough for many of my plants which could use some little protection from the elements this winter…

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I picked three of these cheap, clear umbrellas up in a pound shop in Leamington (and I’ve seen them in the 99p Store in Shirley too). I used a hammer to crack the plastic handle, which slid off easily once split, and then used the metal handle to secure them into the soil. I’ve had no problems with wayward wanderers thus far, even in our recent gale-force winds! I’ll certainly be going back for a few more!

Re-useful #4: old banana skins & egg shells

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Of course, you can just add these to the compost too. We eat a LOT of bananas in this house – a LOT – so we have plenty of skins. I put these on a tray in the bottom of the oven, allowing them to air dry until I bake something, then heat dry for the rest. Then I grind them in a coffee grinder, with any (washed, dry) egg shells and last year’s red clover harvest (as it turned out, I didn’t like it as tea!). Store the mixture in an old antibacterial wipes container, sprinkling a good handful in the hole before planting out plants, or mixing through my own compost to boost it. I’ve also occasionally dissolved a spoonful in the watering can to give the plants a kick!