Toyls and other unusual tools

img_35661One of my favorite tools started out as a toy (thus toyl).  I can’t even begin to count how often we use this pink plastic toboggan.  We use it year round, the smooth plastic bottom glides over the grass nicely when loaded with a shrub or something heavy you don’t want to lift up into a garden cart, and as you can imagine it works great in the winter.  On Sunday I loaded with a bale of wood shavings when I tidied up Henbogle Coop.  Someday, I will fill it with damp sand and use it to make a sandcast hypertufa replica of a standing stone I saw in Scotland on Raasay island.img_3567

Also in tow, in the plastic tub, is a gallon plastic jar filled with scratch, which we keep stored in our handy re-purposed mailbox.  The jar formerly held pretzels, and is oh so handy for keeping the girls’ treat handy and safe from hungry rodents.

We have several of these mailboxes around the yard, all purchased at tag sales.  One is next to the hose bib and stores hose parts, another near the vegetable garden to store twine, stakes, and clothespins, and other useful odds and ends.  springgarden1

Gallon milk jugs are another useful garden tool.  They make great hotcaps, creating a warm micro-climate for tender young seedlings, and provide slug protection as well.   A milk jug with a few holes in the bottom makes a great slow trickle waterer, and of course they also make great pots to transplant starts into.

An old metal breadbox serves as a dandy place to store garden seed safe from mice and other rodents.  Milk crates are excellent at marking out squares a la Square Foot Gardening.  Plastic underbed boxes make terrific seed starting trays.  What repurposed items have you put to use in your garden?

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11 Responses to “Toyls and other unusual tools”

  1. nancybond Says:

    About the only thing I’ve recycled on my balcony is the 2-litre soda bottle that’s been converted to a bird feeder, but I love the idea of reusing and recycling. Your ideas are wonderful!

  2. Christa Says:

    Great ideas!

  3. Clarkie Says:

    Excellent ideas. You should send these to one of the gardening magazines, like Organic Gardening or Countryside, for their tips columns!

  4. Weez Says:

    We recently installed a new fireplace front with glass doors & screen, so the old freestanding screen that was there will be used out in the garden as a trellis for Scarlet Runner Beans to grow on. With a little vine training I know it’ll work, the holes are great for securing any needed ties. It could be painted cool colors!

  5. Farmgirl_dk Says:

    This is a great post! Love the mailbox idea. But I noticed this a long time ago with your yard and garden – you have great ideas, and combine creativity with functional use that provides an adorable touch to things.

  6. jeannie177 Says:

    Great usage guys! I have recamended your blog to a few more friends of ours, and they can’t wait to go home and see you on their computer. From one of the ladies here I’m going to learn how to make plastic yarn out of plastic bags and then crochete’ with it! ( she’s from Canada)Also childrens summer toy the sand sifter works out great all over the house for different things! Just think a small Strainer for those little things like fruit or vegetables.
    Luv ya.

  7. jeannie177 Says:

    P.S. I love the mail boxes.

  8. Kim Says:

    Grreat idea. Love the mailbox one especially!

  9. Kim Says:

    oops can’t spell tonight

  10. Steve Says:

    Now you tell me about saving milk jugs… and it’s almost February! Guess I’ll be getting more vitamin D in the next few weeks!

    • Ali Says:

      Steve, they are so useful, it will be worth the extra vitamin D. Or you could ask your neighbors and colleagues to save some for you :-)

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