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How to use old kitchen pots and pans in the garden – 5 clever ways to repurpose them

 A rustic kitchen with hanging copper pots.
A rustic kitchen with hanging copper pots.

Once our kitchen pots and pans get worn out beyond repair - whether it’s a pot that’s been burnt one too many times or a non-stick pan that’s lost its coating - we tend to get rid of them, heading straight for the bin. But if you have an outdoor space, there are ways to reuse old kitchen pots in the garden to prolong their life and service.

Even the best saucepans get battered with time and often burned. And if your know-how of cleaning a burnt pan doesn't do the trick to save it, then there are other ways in which you can repurpose it. And the garden is the best place for it.

So if you’ve got some old pots and pans lying around that you don’t know what to do with, then here are 5 ideas how you can give them a new lease of life.

A rustic kitchen with hanging copper pots
A rustic kitchen with hanging copper pots

How to use old kitchen pots and pans in the garden

We love an upcycling idea for the garden. And repurposing old kitchen pots in the garden is a great way to get upcycling as a beginner since it’s so easy.

‘Old pots and pans from the kitchen could come in handy for use in the garden,’ starts Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench.

And just like the ways in which you can use old towels in the garden, there are more ways than one to make the most of pots when gardening – we put together five of them here.

A colander used as a hanging planter in the garden
A colander used as a hanging planter in the garden

1. Use old kitchen pots as garden planters

‘Add a rustic look to your garden by making them into pots for the plants,’ suggests Petar Ivanov, Fantastic Gardeners' gardening expert. ‘Before you use them, drill holes in the bottom of any old stock pot or saucepan to help the water drain.’

But if you have an old colander, then that’s even better as no drilling is needed. ‘Repurposing old colanders into plant pots is a great idea, especially because the drainage holes will prevent waterlogging in plants and allow for proper drainage,’ Steve explains.

Garden planters with plants growing in them
Garden planters with plants growing in them

2. Use old kitchen pans as drip trays

‘You can also make drip trays from old frying pans,’ Petar says.

If you have any sheet pans or larger frying pans to spare, then those can be easily made into drip trays to put underneath plant pots in the garden to collect excess water.

3. Use old kitchen pans as seedling starters

Similarly to using saucepans as plant pots, you can also use them as seedling starters if they’re shallow enough.

‘You could use shallow pans or trays as seed-starting containers, which are generally smaller than normal plant pots,’ Steve notes. ‘Just fill them with a decent potting mix and plant your seeds directly into the pans/trays. Once the seedlings have grown large enough, you can transplant them into larger pots or directly into the garden, where you will need to ensure adequate drainage.’

A planter with sand and gardening gloves
A planter with sand and gardening gloves

4. Use old kitchen pots as bird baths

Having wildlife in your garden can both boost the value of your property and maintain a well-developed ecosystem. And having bird baths in the garden is one way to achieve this. So why not make an old kitchen pot into one?

‘You could turn your more shallow old pans into bird baths. This is a great way to attract wildlife to your garden,’ Steve suggests.

5. Use old kitchen pots for garden decor

With a little bit of a creative spirit, old pots can easily be turned into decorative objects for the garden. The possibilities are endless here.

‘If you have a bit of DIY knowledge, you could always turn your old pots and pans into decorations, whether that be using them as reflective mirrors or using to paint in and create a wall decoration,’ Steve concludes.

Now you won’t ever have to throw away an old kitchen pot again.