Recycling those empty #10 cans : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Letter to Organic Gardening, Apr 1996.

Fifteen years ago, a friend who worked at a school cafeteria gave me some large (institutional food size) #10 cans. I have made good use of them all these years in my garden--the cans are perfect for putting around tomatoes and other plants to protect them from birds and cutworms. I cut the bottoms out of the cans (the tops were already gone) and when I set my plants out into the garden, I push a can into the soil around each plant, angling the can to the south (so the plants get exposure to the sun).

Since I started "planting cans," I no longer lose plants to birds or cutworms. The cans also protect the young plants from the spring gales that are common here. Once the plants are off to a strong start, I remove the cans and store them until the next year.

-- Old Git (, May 02, 1999


You can also use your old cans as "pots" for your growing seedlings. Take a "church key" type can opener and punch holes in the sides, at the bottom. 3 or 4 should do. Then use your church key to punch the triangular tabs as flat to the bottom inside as you can. Then take your regular can opener and cut off the bottom. Slide it in through the top so it sits at the bottom, on the triangular tabs. Voila, instant "pots". I use these a lot for my seedlings that are too small to put out yet, or if it is still too cold to plant. Also for rooting cuttings, with a plastic bag over the top.

-- Mommacares (, July 06, 1999.

Hang onto a few for use in grain grinding by those who don't have hand-operated grain miils. A #10 can, some one-inch plumbing pipe with an end-cap screwed onto it and you have an instant motar and pestal for grain. Third-world technology at its finest. And it sure beats the stone-age technology of pounding the grain between rocks.


-- Wildweasel (, July 10, 1999.

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