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Seasoned gardener shares zero-cost method to start growing your own food: 'This came at the perfect time'

"You don't need much to start a garden."

"You don't need much to start a garden."

Photo Credit: Instagram

People thinking about getting into gardening might imagine it to be an expensive hobby, requiring all sorts of pricey equipment. But as one seasoned gardener recently explained in an Instagram video, you can just use a bunch of stuff that would otherwise have been thrown away to start your garden.

The scoop

"You don't need much to start a garden," Amy Chapman (@inthecottagegarden) told her 179,000 Instagram followers. "You can reuse things you already have to sow your seeds."

Carbon containers such as oat milk cartons make great seed trays, Amy explained, as she off the side of one such carton with a pair of scissors and poked a few holes in the opposite side for drainage. She then filled it with soil, which she planned to use for microgreens such as fenugreek seeds.

Amy then demonstrated a similar method, using a plastic container that some plants had come in to make another planter, again poking holes in the bottom for drainage. She then made yet another planter out of an egg carton and another out of toilet paper tubes. 

It seems just about anything can be a planter if you put your mind to it.

How it's helping

In addition to saving money on new planters, growing your own vegetables can save you money at the grocery store. 

Not only that, but gardening is good for your local ecosystem — helping out pollinators — and for the planet as well. By growing part of your food supply at home, you are decreasing your dependence on commercially grown produce, which creates tons of pollution with fertilizer runoff, plastic packaging, and transportation emissions.

For every pound of food transported, .18 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution is created, meaning growing 300 pounds of your own food each year can reduce around 50 pounds of carbon pollution.

As an added bonus, studies have shown that people who garden improve their physical and mental health.

What everybody is saying

"​​When I finally get a garden I know what we will be doing with our oatly cartons," wrote one commenter. "Better than ending up in the bin."

Another person commented: "This came at the perfect time, thank you."

"Wow, totally blown away by those tips," wrote another.

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