As students return home for the summer and the spring migration of renters gets underway, it’s time look at the discarded IKEA furniture they'll leave behind in alleys and dumpers in a knew light and upcycle it into something useful in the garden. Here are some creative garden hacks that I culled from-appropriately enough- IKEA Hackers to give you some ideas of what's possible.
1. Cold FrameA cold frame is a good thing to have in the garden if you live in cool climate. In the early spring, while gardeners around you are still sowing seeds indoors you can start cool season crops in a cold frame, and harden off your warm season fruits and vegetables. In the fall, when everyone else is putting the garden to bed in anticipation of winter you can still sow another round of cool season vegetables and root crops. Lorene Edwards' cold frame from Gorm shelving is a creative reuse of shelving that may be broken or missing pieces.
2. Chicken Coop
If you were among those who rolled their eyes at the $1300 Williams-Sonoma chicken coop, this coop by Aaron and Corinne Bell may be more to your liking. This polished chicken coop came as a result of the couple’s interest in urban chicken keeping. According to the couple, the project to turn the Mydal bunk bed into a chicken coop took about a month's worth of weekends. See more photos of the finished chicken coop at IKEA Hackers.
Birds are an important component of gardening naturally. Not only do they add life to a garden, but birds earn their keep by eating many garden pests like slugs and beetles. Karen Bertelsen created this birdbath for her garden out of a candle dish and three dowel rods after deciding that the birdbaths available were either too ugly or expensive for her liking.
4. Windowsill Greenhouse
Christian, a chili pepper enthusiast from Germany, hacked SAMLA boxes to sprout his garden's chili pepper seeds on his windowsill. See the greenhouse post at IKEA Hackers for his tips on drilling the plastic and assembly. Sure, you can buy seed starting trays at the garden centers, but they're not as sturdy and won't last as long as one of these.
Hugo Abreu built this composter out of a SULTAN LADE bed base a couple of metal hinges. He was looking to organize his garden and had the bed base lying around and found it to be the perfect solution. He says the compost bin is still looking good after six months of use. Visit the IKEA Hackers post for a photo of the bin closed. If you need more homemade compost bin ideas check out my previous post on compost bins.
Have you hacked something from IKEA into a piece of furniture or decoration for your garden? What did you make and how has it held up?