Tin can planters make a brilliant salad garden

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We tried making these tin can planters as a fun way to grow extra salad leaves this year. We tried upcycling to make our own salad garden in a few small spots around our garden. A fence, railing or balcony can be put to use as a productive salad or herb patch.

But, Why recycle to make a tin can planters?

There are many of us who love to grow everything from fruit to flowers and Vegetables, but unfortunately not everyone has a large back garden with a vegetable patch to grow in. Many are lucky if they have a balcony or patio these days.

But not to worry there are many ways to grow in even the smallest of spaces.

this project allows you to reuse waste products like tin cans and put them to a good use and save yourself some money too.

Tin can planters are fantastic for small spaces

A small herb garden on your windowsill, pocket planters on the balcony rail, or try this tin can salad garden, which can be added to any wall or fence.

Other small space gardening tips can be found here

There’s no excuses for not growing some wonderful food, whether or not your short on space, time or money you can find lots of tips here.

What’s the best way to recycle tin cans?

It doesn’t need to cost the earth either recycling containers such as soda bottles, tin cans and other materials can make this a very simple and cost effective way to contribute to your plate.

What you will need

  • Tin cans (I’m using soup and bean tins)
  • Sandpaper
  • Cable ties
  • Length or wood or broom handle
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver or gun
  • Compost
  • Chosen seeds
Tin can salad garden

How to make tin can planters

  • Most of us use tinned food and what better way to recycled them that reuse them for this craft.  Gather together the tins you want to use and wash and dry them.
  • It’s a good idea to sand the top edges of the tin cans with a piece of sandpaper. Some tins can be sharp and jagged so sanding it first will mean the tins are easier to deal with.
  • Next you need to make a drainage hole in the bottom. I used a hammer and a long nail to knock a hole in the bottom
  • You also need to put a hole at the top of the tin so you can attach it to the rail. I found the best way to do this was to go from the inside of the tin and pierce through with a sharp pair of scissors. This may leave a sharp area around the hole so sand this carefully if needed.
  • Now is the time to paint your tins of you choose to. I decided to leave mine plain as we will be rotating them regularly but there’s many ways to colour them. If you choose to paint them try to use a water resistant paint. If the kids are helping you could also let them have a go or put stickers etc on.
  • Now take your cable ties and place one through the hole and close it to make a ring through the hole in the tin. You then need to take another one and put it through the first and seal it but leave a larger loop than the first.
Use cable ties to add loops to your tin can planters
  • We fixed a wooden batton from an old pallet onto the fence using screws, giving us a rustic look on a spare piece of our fence but you can adapt this to suit the look you’d like.
  • We added some screws all along the length of the wood about 10cm apart. Leaving them sticking out from the wood to make a kind of hook to hang the tins from.
  • Now all you have to do is fill your tins with good quality compost and your chosen seeds or plants. We added lettuce seedlings we sowed in a shallow tray to the tins and watered them well.
  • Hang these from the screws. You can see from the picture we also experimented with soda bottles, making sure to put a hole in the cap. These are great for strawberries and larger clumps of lettuce or salads. You could even add a few herbs.
  • As each tin is ready to be harvested, sow more tins on your windowsill so when one tin is finished, you’re ready to hang the next one in its place.

You can continue this all year round. In the colder months you can simply move the tins indoors onto the windowsill.

This is a lovely way to grow lots of salad and recycle lots of tins. Using this method helps to keep the leaves away from slugs and snails. And can be decorated and planted to suit your tastes and whether or not the kids are helping.

Let us know if you enjoy this project and what you enjoyed growing in them.

If your looking for other projects to try why not have a look at salad bowl garden, or 23 recycled crafts to try with your kids, most of these are fantastic for small spaces. 

Happy gardening.

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