Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One Woman's Trash Is Another's Treasure

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

I found this awesome book at the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant while browsing the store, waiting for a table to open up.

I've already been composting for years, but actually scored a few new creative pointers regarding what goes into the heap.

If you love to garden and hate to throw anything away, this is the book for you. Not only will you save cash, you'll find tips to saving time, and we all need more of that.

Anyway, I wanted to grow cantaloups in an area with bad soil, all packed down and concrete hard. And I didn't want to work at I found out that I could take an old tire (the one that I have to pay to dispose of) and grown the melon right inside. Granted it isn't the most attractive container, so I wouldn't plop it in my front yard, but once the vines start spreading, I bet no one will even see the tire.  And it was so not labor intensive.

Here are more tips from the book:
  • Use those old knitting needles to frame your tender transplants. Stick them in the four corners and make a spider-web maze with scraps of yarn. Kitty won't cross the line.
  • A screwdriver is perfect for cleaning weeds out of the cracks in your driveway or patio.
  • Old straw hats make fun plant containers. Line with black plastic, slash a few drainage holes in the bottom, and voila.
  • Make a hanging basket by lining a colander with landscape fabric or panty hose (remember those).
  • Perk up your annuals with a refreshing cup of leftover tea - herbal or traditional.
  • Have any stale nuts (unsalted) or a tiny bit of oatmeal, cornmeal, or grits in the bottom of the container? The birds will like it.
  • Wonder what to do with Fido or Fluffy's brushed fur? Instead of tossing the contents of the grooming brush, put it in a mesh bag and hang from a tree for nesting material.
See, aren't those cool? Do you have any household or gardening tips to share?


Aurian said...

That is fun! I have no idea what a colander is though. I used to grow orchids a few years ago, and I learned that instead of using those metal thingies in your sandwich bags, you can use pieces of your pantystockings. It stretches, doesn't hurt the plant, and will not get rusted. As I can only wear those pantystockings a few times before there is a hole or a run in them, you never run out of material.

Deb said...

I'm not sure why 2 cover images appeared. Strange. A colander can be metal or colored plastic with lots of holes for draining pasta, etc. I don't know what those metal thingies are. LOL.

Heather Blake Webber said...

Great tips! Deb, I think Aurian means twist ties--from loaves of bread.

I'm trying to think of tips but my mind isn't cooperating! Will jot these down, though.

Aurian said...

Yes, I do, thanks Heather! Sometimes there still is a language barrier ;) And now I know a colander is a "vergiet".

Ann said...

To run off gophers - this is kinda disgusting so you may have to hold your nose. But I take used kitty litter, not the clay kind, but the kind made from newspaper, and put it down gopher holes close to where I’m planting. The plant I was most concerned with was my artichokes, since apparently gophers love artichoke roots, and so far it’s been working. But see what I mean? It’s gross. But other alternatives for getting rid of gophers are (EEKS!) even worse.

Deb said...

I really like the gopher tip, although raccoons are my current issue. The strawberries are almost ripe enough for them to steal.

Ann said...

Deb - You don’t have one of those outdoor kitchens do you? Last thing you need are raccoons making daiquiris. They’re rowdy enough sober.

Hannah said...

Hahaha Ann. I hate when they drink!

Debra said...

Hey Deb,
I was wondering what is an old knitting needle? :>)
Don't you know knitters never get rid of knitting items,except in trade for different knitting stuff?

Deb said...

Debra, you caught me - I can't knit a stitch!