Ideas for Repurposed Garden Containers {Green in 365: Garden}


Green in 365 series

This is Day 113 of the Green in 365 series!

By Sara from Your Thriving Family

I love growing our own food!  But we all have challenges when it comes to space, pests and finances.  We’ve been through the gamut here  . . .

Our current challenge is the latter two, we are fortunate to have the space that we need!  But we’ve got gophers galore.  Last year I had a beautiful, full garden going, but then I watched 4 thriving tomato plants disappear.

Repurposed Garden Containers

This year, we are talking with friends about starting a community garden, which means once again digging and laying down smaller wire – more time and money. In the meantime I didn’t want to put off starting all our food! Thankfully my husband tried to “help” me a while back.

I was working on refinishing the outside of a bookcase for my daughter’s room. My plan was to leave the inside pink, while stripping and painting the outside green. Well, hubs thought he’d help and started on the inside – way more work than I wanted to do.  Then my mind was made up for me by the weather and a newly gestating baby – this project was over!

It sat and sat and sat outside. An eye-sore by the garage, until I got it into my head that it would keep the gophers at bay and decided to put it to good use as a garden container – instead of being carted off to the land-fill. Pinterest is full of ideas to get your imagination going and open your eyes to new ideas for all different kinds of repurposed garden containers!

Ideas for Repurposed Garden Containers

Instead of spending upwards of $50 for big pots to grow your garden, take a look in your garage – or your parents, a thrift shop, garage sale or even the junk yard!  I look for larger containers, because honestly, I think non-edible, non-healing plants are a bit of a waste of space. Though I do sprinkle in a few just for color.

You can use all sorts of things for large containers!  Dilapidated furniture, old pools, hollowed out logs, large plastic bins (wrapped with twigs or burlap), tires and a whole lot more. *Emily’s note: My neighbor made her raised bed garden boxes out of old metal filing cabinets with the drawers removed.

upcycled toy box garden container

There are a few things you need to make sure of when repurposing containers for your garden:

  1. Drainage – whatever you use poke or drill a few holes.
  2. Color – don’t cook your roots. If you use dark colored containers either paint them, bury them or wrap them in some inexpensive material – like burlap.
  3. Size – What are you growing and how big do you want it to get?

My failed bookcase above is destined to become a mint garden – if I can keep our chickens out of it. You can see they already got in there and rifled around. We also had a toy chest that my parents left behind.  It is doubling beside the chicken coop to keep them from kicking stuff out as well as an herb garden for them.

Have fun beautifying your yard and feeding your family!  What have you used as repurposed garden containers? 

Sara is a full-time mama to three beautiful, sweet & mischievous blessings. Wife of 8 years to a man who has an amazing heart for working with youth. She is a homemaker, gardener, chicken-raiser, doula, and an adjunct & Theatre Tech at a Christian University. At Your Thriving Family you will find her writing about family, food, marriage,children, miscarriage, pregnancy and God – trying to find some balance it all. As a family they are trying to figure out how to THRIVE, not merely survive this life.

Find all the Green in 365 posts.


Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Sale!

I also want to share an exciting announcement with you! Next week the Bundle of all Ebook Bundles will be going on sale! It is 97 amazing ebooks and 5 ecourses, plus over $140 in freebies!! It is a $640 value, all for only $29.97!

I’m going to be grabbing my own Bundle first thing on Monday morning because I can’t wait to get my hands on all those great ebooks, ecourses and freebies! Get excited about it, and be sure to check back on Monday for a link to the sale!

If you’d like to learn more about living green and living frugally I’d love to have you as a Live Renewed reader! You can subscribe, either by email or in a reader, to get the latest posts, ideas and inspiration for living frugally green. You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!


  1. […] Reality: Shipping is $4.90, you get seeds for Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro/Coriander, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Sweet Marjoram, Chives, Savory, Garlic Chives, Mustard, and Sage. These are all non-GMO.  And I know I would spend much more than $4.90 on 12 packets of herb seeds.  I’ll be planting them in my repurposed herb garden! […]

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