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DIY Project - The Art of Kokedama Gardening

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)



Have you ever heard of kodedama - Japanese moss balls? This is a variant of bonsai where you wrap plants in moss instead of plunking them in pots. I decided to try it to see exactly how feasible it actually is. I wanted to know how to display it, how to water it, etc.?? Good questions, don't you think? Traditionally these little moss balls which are held together with thin florist wire, are displayed as mini hanging gardens hung from the ceiling - somewhere not too sunny as too much light turns the moss brown.




This project was very easy (a little messy) and took very little time. And since I have nowhere to hang these little moss balls and realizing that watering might prove a problem, I decided just to place the three I made on a vintage silver tray. I added stones to provide a bit of texture. Watering is easy as all I have to do is add enough to cover the stones and the moss balls suck up the water quickly. After a week my plants are thriving. This arrangement looks absolutely charming as a table centrepiece when I add a few tealights. 


IDEA: To make this all you need is some moss, florist wire, and a little plant. Nice business idea for someone who likes imaginative gardening. 


Try it - you might like it. For the how-tos, click here.

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Kitchen Table Business - Gardening

Posted on August 4, 2017 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

If you're serious about starting a craft kitchen table (i.e., home-based) business you have to look at legal issues. The best place is your own city hall and tax departments. You can get free information there although it may cost you to register your business. None of my postings will be looking at these issues since every place has different rules and regulations. That's one of your jobs!!



To get back to my search for crafty kitchen table business ideas, I love gardening (albeit on a small scale given the size of my balcony). With this in mind I came up with the concept of a simple garden business idea in an eggshell - and no, it's not my original idea. Gardening in an eggshell is all over the Internet. My spin is using seeds from what fruits and veggies I buy and eat. It always seemed to me that it was a waste just to toss seeds into my compost box (also very tiny as I live in a flat!!).


I saved the eggshells from my morning scrambled eggs. To transform these into little seedling ‘containers’, I used a sharp knife to make holes in the top and bottom of the eggshell by just gently tapping the eggshell with the knife until a hole appeared. I made the top hole larger so the egg would fall out into the frying pan for my breakie. The small bottom hole is to let excess water out when watering the little plants. I tried various seeds - lemon, pepper, orange, and cantaloupe. Only the cantaloupe seeds germinated, but, no worries. My 'soil' was really only tea and coffee grounds mixed with a little of my compost.


Et voila, in 2 weeks the little seedlings emerged.


This is a great idea for a stay-at-home mom who enjoys gardening but has got room for a garden, has kiddies to look after, or no extra money for tools, supplies, etc. This is a nice, inexpensive way to start your own little gardening biz. All you need are a few eggshells (don't forget to empty the eggs first) and some seeds.


Can't you just see yourself providing cafes and restaurants with tiny herb seedlings - perhaps in a vintage eggcup (check out local charity shops for these). These would also be great little fundraisers for your kids' school projects, a favourite charity, etc.


Cost for my cantaloupes, by the way, was zero.

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.