When you have a reputation for turning piles of junk into.. less junky piles of things people save all sorts of things for you. This project starts out with an old chair destined for the dump. Lets start out by saying this chair was disgusting. It was covered in dust/dirt (I couldn’t even see the carved pattern on the back rest) and there might have been some creepy yellow fungus growing on it. You can see in the picture below where I started wiping the dirt off on the left side.Google+
Who doesn’t love the look of lush, overflowing baskets of flowers hanging on the porch? I spent a few years dutifully filling coir-lined baskets with plants and soil, watering them religiously for a few weeks and then forgetting for a day or so and then everything dies. It doesn’t take very long at all for all the moisture to disappear and the plants get crispy. Turns out there is a trick to using those baskets, a trick no one told me. In an attempt to save some plants I’m passing it on to you today. This tip is brought to you by Chicken Scratch and Miracle-Gro.
- a coir-lined basket (Lowes has 2-3 styles and all are under $5)
- a sheet of heavy plastic (I used an empty mulch bag)
- Moisture Control Potting Mix
- Bucket or empty planter (optional)
Set your planter on top of the bucket to keep it stable, or just prop it up on the table. Line the basket with the plastic, clip a few holes in the bottom to prevent water from pooling or causing a volcano-style run over. Add some potting mix, enough to bring to top of your plants to the top of the basket when you set them in. Clip the plastic back, about an inch or so below the top of the liner, it’s not pretty so you don’t want it to show.
Break up the root balls and place your plants in the basket. Add more soil around them, press down to eliminate air bubbles and keep the plants steady. Give them a healthy watering and hang them up, thanks to the special moisture control potting mix and the plastic liner your plants are ready for the summer heat.
I hope this helps your summer planting projects stay healthy. If you need some more planting inspiration check out Miracle Gro on Pinterest and be sure to follow their boards for fun garden projects for the whole family. If you’re more interested in an interactive community go visit The Gro Project on Faceboook. Now go get dirty!.
Last year I started of my frugal garden series with a post on dividing large plants. I purchased a large bleeding heart and cut it up into 3 pieces, planting them in a small shade bed on the side of my house.
I was out doing some yard work and noticed they were coming up, they’ve tripled in size since I added the mulch a few days ago so I’ve got high hopes for lots of flowers. These particular bleeding hearts seem to die off about mid summer so I’ve planted some hosta in the same area to fill in over the summer.
I can’t wait for the tulips to flower, we had a few extra Carnival de Nice bulbs so they went in the bed on the side of the house (the front is planted with red appledorn tulips and white
I feel like I’ve been hibernating and now that the sun is out I’ve got many, many pages on my to-do list. This is a project I’ve had in mind since late December. Forget the boring X’s and O’s, it’s time to add some life to the game board with some insect-inspired stones.
A trip to Tractor Supply to price check for our big spring project. We’re raising 50 meat birds this year and plan on building 2 cattle panel chicken tractors to raise the birds in the orchard. They will hopefully hold meaties in the spring and fall and be used as breeding pens in the summer so we can hatch out our own light brahmas, red laced blue wyandottes and orpingtons without crossbreeding. They will also provide shelter for the muscovies when they do their thing and provide me with dozens and dozens of ducklings. The other benefit will be not mowing the orchard nearly as often, the birds will keep the grass down, eat bugs and fertilize the soil.Google+
I’m a little bit Irish (I like to joke that I’m a mix of everything that sunburns) so I wanted to make a little something to wear for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a simple folding/twisting pattern loosely based on the cloverleaf (the basic pattern used for barrel racing). You can’t do a true clover leaf or your zipper gets twisted up.
Are you ready for your (slight late) monthly dose of font love? I’ve got a great round up for you this time with a whole collection of polka dotty goodness.Google+
I’ve got a super easy St. Patricks Day word search for you:
You can download the PFD from Google Docs. I provide these wordsearches free of charge, print as many copies as you would like but please do not sell them!
I’m sorry I’ve been completely absent, my husband and I have been working endlessly on a new project. I hope I’ll be able to share it with you all very soon!Google+
It’s a special time of year in the North East. All over the place people are bringing out their drills, taps, buckets or lines and boiling equipment to get ready for the earliest harvest of the year. Billions of gallons of watery sap will be collected from maple trees by large companies, small farms and even some adventurous home owners to be boiled, and boiled, and boiled to yield sweet amber syrup.
100% maple syrup is an amazing treat. It’s the best topping for pancakes (obviously), baked apples, roasted sweet potatoes and chicken; I could go on forever. My favorite syrup is grade B or simply put, the dark stuff. It’s thicker and has a much stronger flavor. I’ve never been able to stomach the fake stuff, truth be told, I don’t understand why any one would want it! I remember checking sap buckets on my grandparents farm when I was little (I always felt sad for the ants that fell in the buckets and drown) and for the last 8 years I’ve (somewhat) helped my mother-in-law with her sap collection and boiling.
Of all the farming ventures I’ve been a part of maple syrup has a special place in my heart. There is no way to control the maple season. It comes when it wants, it lasts as long (or short) as it wants and you only get one shot. All the technology in the world can’t make it come earlier or last longer. It’s a truly wild industry. In a world where it seems like every one is obsessing over the next new iphone it’s incredibly refreshing to know that there is something we can’t control with the click of a button. Advancements in the boiling process have shortened the trip from sap to syrup but the basic process remains the same.
In honor of the short and sweet sugaring season here is some maple syrup trivia:
- It takes 30-40 years for a tree to grow large enough to be tapped
- Sap ‘runs’ during the warm early spring days when the temperature is above freezing and the night temperatures drop back below 32 degrees
- It takes 40-45 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup
- Vermont makes 7% of the worlds supply of maple syrup
- There is a “Maple Syrup Cartel” in Canada and it was robbed of $18 million worth of syrup in 2011-12
- The syrup season is over when the buds break (open)
- Maple syrup can be boiled further to make maple candy, maple sugar, maple cream, maple butter and other sugary treats
- Maple syrup was used as a sweetener by abolitionists before the Civil War because molasses and cane sugar were made by slaves
- A stand of maple trees tapped for syrup are called a “sugar bush”, the building where the sap is boiled is called a “sugar shack” or “sugar house”