Friday, March 11, 2011

10 Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs

10 Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs
by Tawra Kellam

  • Cut the tops off of plastic milk jugs, poke holes in the bottom and use them to start seeds.
  • Cut the bottom off and use as mini-greenhouses to cover plants. Remove the cap on warm days to let heat out and remove altogether when it gets hot in there so you don't fry your plants.
  • Cut the top off, fill with sand and pour some used oil over the sand. Keep it where you can put your hand tools in there to clean and oil them all at once.
  • Cut the bottom off of a 1/2 gallon jug of milk or juice and make it into a scoop. These work great to scoop out bird seed, fertilizer, grass seed, sand and many other things like that.
  • You can also use old milk jugs as weights. Fill them with dirt, sand or even water. These work well if you need to tarp something like a pile of firewood or if you need to hold bird netting or row covering down on the sides. Just tie a cord to the jug handle and then tie the other end to a corner or grommet in the tarp and let them hang.
  • Cut milk jugs into long strips and mark them with Sharpies as plant tags.
  • Fill plastic milk jugs with sand or rocks about 1-2 inches deep. Then poke 2 or 3 very small holes in the side at the bottom. Fill it with water and it makes a great drip irrigation system for your plants. Just refill with water and a scoop of liquid fertilizer (as needed) and water. The plants do better with a slow trickle than a huge dump of water.
  • Cut the bottom off about 2 inches from the bottom and use as plant saucers.
  • Cut a section out of the front on the side opposite the handle and then use it to harvest berries and cherry tomatoes.
  • A full sized milk jug is one gallon, so use it as an easy measure when watering with liquid fertilizer.
...and here's a bonus tip I thought was too important not to use!
  • Cut the bottoms off of plastic milk jugs and put them over plants you don't want to hit when spraying weed killer.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes, including gardening tips, visit


  1. When is a good time to start planting tomatoes and peppers around here?

  2. After the last hard freeze for sure, Laura. John always allows the ground to warm up good before planting as, otherwise, it stunts the plant's growth...especially with tomatoes. I think he usually gets his plants in the ground the end of May or first part of June (when daytime temps are staying in the 70's). When you go to plant tomatoes, pinch off the bottom two or three sets of leaves and bury deep. That way the plant will put out lots of root hairs, become firmly established, and be much hardier.


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