While terrace gardening keeps us busy and allows us to grow organic produce, many worry that this is an expensive hobby. This is because purchasing new plants, organic potting mixes, fancy planters and more can burn a hole in one’s pocket.
However, Mohammed Mohin, a Telangana-based entrepreneur, has a simple solution to reduce the money spent on buying planters. He recycles things in his home that are otherwise set aside to be discarded, including broken kitchen utensils, empty metal oil cans, water drums, old shoes, and even denim jeans.
“I started my gardening journey in 2017 by growing a few vegetables on my terrace. I planted most of them in terracotta pots initially, but slowly stopped purchasing them as I realised that anything and everything around my home can be converted into a planter. Today, in my 1,500 sq ft terrace and the space surrounding my house, I have over 400 plants, including 12 varieties of fruits, 10 varieties of vegetables and others, growing in recycled containers,” says Mohammed in an interview with The Better India.
He often paints these containers or creates external covers using recycled denim to add aesthetic value and brighten up his space.
Some plants Mohammed grows include tomatoes, moringa, palak, chillies, petunia flowers, chikko, pomegranate and dragon fruit. While the ones with a widespread root system like chikoo tree or moringa are grown in 500-litre water drums or 20-litre cans, the others with shorter roots are grown in tires, oil cans and more.
“Initially, recycling these materials made me feel enthusiastic about being eco-conscious. However, my garden looked boring. So I started to paint each container to add some colour,” says Mohammed.
During the lockdown, he came across a video on YouTube of a gardener converting their old jeans and cotton pants into planters to make them look attractive. Today he has recycled three old jeans into planters.
“Recycling jeans reduces the waste generated, and when used as a planter, it will hold any potting mix that may spill. If you are placing indoor plants inside, then it holds water that seeps from the bottom and prevents the floor from becoming damp,” says Mohammed.
Deepika Aggarwal (35), a resident of Dehradun also makes planters by recycling old jeans.
She says, “I started gardening as a hobby last year during the lockdown. To keep my indoor plants, I followed some YouTube videos and made planters from old jeans and cotton pyjama pants. This not only keeps my surface clean but also makes it look like my plant is an actual person.”
These gardeners share how they made these planters from old jeans so you can try them out too.
Things you will need:
- Old jeans or cotton pyjama pants
- Old cloth, newspaper, or cotton
- Rubber bands
Step 1: Tie the bottom parts of both legs with rubber bands and ensure there is no gap.
Step 2: From the top, start filling in old cloth or cotton to make both the legs look full.
Note: Fill it up to 3 inches over the knees. You can also use any flexible material as stuffing.
Step 3: Position this like a person sitting on a stool, wall or shelf.
Step 4: Place a plant in any circular recycled container or a pot filled with organic potting mix.
Step 5: Finally, place this container at the hip of the pants, and lift the sides of the jeans and fold it into the container’s rim.
Image courtesy: Deepika Aggarwal and Mohammed Moiez.