a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Gardening Show and Tell. . .

More Creative Gardening Containers continuing from yesterday's post.

But first, a little something about the little plastic write-on garden stakes, about 5 inches long, you use to mark/identify your seedlings and plants. I found them at Wal-Mart for $2.99 per pack. I think there were 10 in the pack.

Making the Most of Discards                                   
At a thrift store two years ago, I happened on an used thin metal mini-blind for $2.50.With scissors, as I need them, I cut each blind-strip into the lengths I want---cut a point into one end of each--- and that is all there is to it! 
Enough plant stakes to last a life-time for less than the price of 10!

The next photos will show our movable containers garden when the pool area was still filled with the swimming pool---which took up the other two-thirds of our yard.

A New Life for Retired Tires

The bright pots are wastebaskets from the dollar store filled with bright critter-avoiding chrysanthemums.
The red poppies in the lower right are having their turn in the blue lower half of a 55 gallon water storage barrel.
It has also successfully housed tomatoes, and wonderful come-back wild flowers.
The greenery by the fence on the left is the wrap around part of a grapevine whose leaves
seasonally provide the allusion of coolness and  even produces grapes on occasion.
I doubt if there is a tire store anywhere that will turn you away when you ask for their old tires. One cheerfully encouraged, "for every tire you want, you should take two more."

In all cases we were free to pick whatever kinds/sizes we wanted from the discard pile. We chose matched sets for uniformity in stacking. And while, they don't show in any of the photos, small trailer-type, that we used for small planters. Some people use tractor size but they were too big for us to handle.

There are many Internet sites on gardening in tires. There are sites that show you how to cut a tire and turn it inside out---making a larger planting surface.  That is a lot of hard/heavy work!  We got increased planting surface simply by selecting low profile tires.

Others show you how to decorate them.  You can learn how cut them and paint them to turn them into really bright fun flower containers if you are so inclined. Both are beyond our strength or creativity.

We simply painted ours white to reflect the heat, as explained in yesterday's post.

Some sites strike fear of the tire materials that may leach into the garden soil and compromise the plant and the safety of its produce. Many others dismiss that as untrue.

Our cheapskate nature solved any potential leaching problem

Because we did not want to waste our good potting soil filling the insides of the tires, we made cylinders of heavy plastic to fit inside the stacked tires. We filled the cylinders with the soil --- 
conserving and protecting at the same time!

When the heat became too much for the plants, we erected a
sun cloth to provide some protection.

I'm going outside now to finish planting the lettuce, spinach, radishes, and cabbage.
We are also going to try to baby along two Early Girl tomato plants (one planted directly into the garden, surrounded by 4 one-gallon milk jugs filled with warm water and wrapped in a sheet of clear plastic; and      the other residing in a 5-gallon plastic bucket in our half-deck greenhouse).

It is fun to try something new each season.

On Friday, when I am back at the computer, we'll step through the entrance to the previous pool area.

And. . .I'll  post recipes for cheap and effective home-made vegetable wash.

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