Garden Recycling - Plastic Containers 2

Posted on May 24, 2016 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

For those who were wondering if my plastic container garden was ever completed, wonder no more. Over this past long weekend, the weather warmed up and I found the time to repot into my recycled plastic containers. It was surprising to see how quickly the plants resettled in. Once the plants are sturdy enough, I will repot them up permanently in my larger metal garden containers - old kettles and pails. With more warmer weather on the way, it won't be long.

This year I've planted sage, tomato, flat-leaf parsley, oregano, thyme, chives, some garlic, rosemary, and mint from seed. All of these were started off in empty eggshells 'pots', then each one placed back into egg cartons. If my egg cartons had been those paper ones, I would have simpled planted the seeds into the carton compartments but mine are clear plastic and I like to reuse these over and over again. I stored the carton 'incubators' under the kitchen sink cupboard - a nice dark and cosy place for seedlings to sprout. Once the seedlings had grew a few inches, I transplanted the little fellows into plastic milk containers (the ones I used for the pizza gardens last year).

Note that before transplanting, I gently crush each eggshell and then place each in the new container. Even though the eggshells will soften in the new pots, it's still a good idea to crush them as it allows the seedling roots to quickly reach out and settle in new soil. Because it was too cold to put these outside, I placed the plastic containers in front of a sunny window near the heating ducts. When it was warm enough outdoors, I moved the containers onto to their bamboo perch.

This is such a simple way for anyone to garden. The kids that live in my apartment building are already working on this year's balcony gardens (I gave each one my surplus seedling plants) and were, again this year, eager to see the results. Note you don't have to use plastic containers - waxed milk containers work just as well. So do tin cans. If you are using tin cans, remember to put something under each can to prevent rust showing up on your patio or balcony. An old saucer or plastic lids work well.

Also you don't have to start off your seedlings in eggshells - egg cartons (as I mentioned above), newspapers or cardboard toilet rolls work just as well. Use what you have and get the kids involved. As with the eggshells, you should make tears in the toilet roll pots and open up the bottom as cardboard takes a long time to disintegrate and this can stunt the seedling roots. Newspaper on the other hand falls apart quickly.

Enjoy your gardening!

Recycling Plastic Jugs - Hanging Gardens

Posted on May 11, 2016 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm getting so impatient to start my little balcony garden. I've managed to start chives, garlic, and thyme plants this year and have kept these nice and warm under my kitchen sink. Now it's time to get them outside. However, here in Ottawa it's still a little too cool to put out my plants. My plastic milk containers, all in a row, are ready to be filled. 

I slipped a bamboo rod throw the handles of each container to hold them in place and then added two over-the-door hooks to secure the rod to my balcony railing. I love this time of gardening as it saves me lots of room on my long, but very narrow, balcony. And it's portable, too, so I can move it when the plants need more sunshine. Once the plants are too big for the containers, I will transplant them into bigger garden pots.

This is a great idea to get kids interested in gardening because it's so convenient - you don't need a big back yard, tons of pots, etc. Kids will have fun not just creating this hanging garden but also in maintaining it as all it takes is a bit of watering as needed.

Recycling Plastic Twiston Caps

Posted on August 24, 2015 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Plastic twiston caps- what can you do with them?

Meet Dan de D. Munch, a French Parisian artist, who considers bottle caps a serious art medium and, to prove it, he has created a whole plethora of 'toys' just by using these ho-hum caps who until recently were not recycable!

The caterpillar is just one of his many, many ideas. It begs the question - why buy your kids toys when you can create them at home using this totally recyclable material?  His works is hard to find online but this project looks like it could be fun.

I'm off to find some more plastic twiston caps!

New Year New Start

Posted on January 11, 2014 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Over the past few days I've been clearing out my closets and storage area with the aim of downsizing the stuff I haven't looked at or used over the past year. Some of these are already posted on my Etsy shop and on UsedOttawa and Kijji. All the money that I make from selling my stuff goes into my grandson's college fund (he's only 3 but, hey, the sooner you start saving, the better).

Unlike the hoarders you see on those reality TV shows, I really don't have a lot of stuff. I find having too much weighs me down mentally so normally when I get something new, my philosophy is to get rid of something that's not being used. It usually works. My problem is that I can see possibilities in almost anything for the purposes of recycling, reusing, or upcycling so it can be a tough process. I'm off loading the what's left of my Tiffany glassware (via my Etsy shop), my cherished vintage canning jars (mantra - I don't need them, I don't need them, I don't need them, etc.) via Kijji and Used Ottawa for starters.

I did use my canning jars for storage but these took up a lot of room as I could not stack them. Now instead of storing craft stuff in my lovely canning jars, I'm using clear plastic containers my neighbours pass on to me. Before the canning jars, I kept my little bits and pieces in boxes but could never find anything without having to open up every box (labels always mysteriously disappeared). Keeping them in jars made finding stuff easier. Now the plastic containers will serve the same purpose - they are also stackable, lightweight, almost non-destructible, and I don't have to worry about broken glass if these get dropped.

Also, I'll be reusing any jam, pickle, mustard, etc. jars from the grocery store (emptied, of course!). Aren't the stylized Union Jack lids of these jars cute. They came on condiment jars I purchased at Marks and Spenser's food court in Edinburgh and, after finishing off the contents, now serve as containers for my office supplies.

How are you getting organized for the new year or are you?