Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

Waste Not, Want Not

With these more difficult economic times, it is making some us us reflect on our past behaviors. Things that annoyed us, we find uses for and maybe have even come to like, use and depend on. Things we may have once thrown away become valuable decor. Take a look at some of the things I've been working on lately.

Let's first think about rocks. I'm sure we all have plenty of them, they can be dug up from just about any corner of any . Usually they're piled in a corner of the yard once we run out of uses for them. I've been known to throw a few into the woods around here. I hated digging these things up in my yard and I didn't knew what to do with them. Sure I had a couple of uses last year that I shared with you such as filling in the bottom portion of a raised bed, edging a garden, and filling in the window wells so sand would stop splashing onto my basement windows, but then the ideas ran out.

Today, I found some more uses for them.

They make great weights for the bottoms of flower pots when you don't have enough soil to fill a whole pot. Who ever said the whole pot needs to be filled with soil anyway? Some pots are quite large. Why not fill the part that no roots will grow into with those extra rocks? They'll also help keep the plant from drowning in too much standing water. They promote good drainage in those pots.

They also keep out mulch in place around our plants. These plants need plenty of TLC while they become established. Sure, just mulching them will probably work just as well... Unless you live here with oblivious children playing in the yard or people who don't watch what they're mowing down. They serve as great garden markers to call attention to sticks that may otherwise be destroyed.

Did you run out of mulch? Rocks can help shade the soil, keep it moist, and prevent weeds too. They work in containers as well as gardens.

Do you need splash blocks? Why waste your money on those store bought ones? Just arrange as many rocks as you need at the end of your downspouts to divert the water.

Let's not forget about the soil we used in our containers last year. Cheesehead used to throw the containers, soil, and all out every year. How wasteful was that? If your plants were not diseased the soil can be used again, but it may need some rejuvenation.

I dumped all of my hanging baskets out into my wheel barrow, broke up the clumps, and added some leaves, compost, perlite, and spaghnum to the mix and refilled the baskets. Not only did I avoid buying $10 hanging baskets but look at all of the stuff I kept out of the landfill! I'll show you my filled baskets on bloom day.

Memorial day is coming soon.

What do you do with your cemetery flowers from last year that have faded in the sun? Why not repurpose them?

I placed some of the stryofoam over the rocks in the clay pot I showed you earlier, cut stems from various faded cemetery flowers, and rearranged them into a plant to place in my wishing well. After all of the flowers were in place, I weighed down the styrofoam with more rocks.

I seemed to forget to water that a bit too often. With the roof on it I can't count on rain to keep it watered either! I don't need to remember to water fake flowers.

Sprouted potatoes? Don't throw them out. I was thinking about placing mine into my compost pile, but I decided to see if they'd give us some potatoes to eat instead. Mine were rather large potatoes, so I cut them into smaller pieces. You should let them cure prior to planting to help prevent disease.

Look what's popping up already. Looks like we should be getting some of our very own potatoes soon!

Cardboard can be used in places other than lasagna gardens too. I cut pieces to place into some of my containers to help the plants retain a bit more moisture. They dry out very fast in the summer. It is my hope that this will help them have a happier home.

Broken clay pots? One of those pieces will make a nice toad house I think. The rest...
can be broken down further and help keep the roots of the cardboard lined planters dry and happy.

The bluebirds really did a number on my coco lined basket. There were a few places that were getting rather thin. Cheesehead wanted to throw it away and buy a new liner. Not me!

I made those thin spot into holes where more plants could round out the fullness of the planter. I tore up some leaves and placed them around the holes I cut to help the soil retain some moisture that might try to evaporate out of those holes.

What about all of those pesky pine needles?

Why not use them to mulch your acid loving blueberries? The sand looses moistures pretty fast so the pine needles also make a wonderful mulch for that blueberry patch. Maybe I'll add some rocks later....

Lots of lumber but no place to burn it?

Then cut them into thinner pieces and make them ready to be used as stepping stones for your garden. I haven't had the time to get them dug in yet. So many projects, so little time! I'd better get back outside and get back to work.

Thank you for stopping by to chat with me. Please leave me a message, I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great ideas. Everytime we put the shovel in the ground, there is a rock. I'm always looking for ideas for them. Our neighbor recently cut some trees that have not been dealt with. What a great idea for stepping stones..wooden ones. You have so many materials. I wish I had some of all the pine straw. It would go around the strawberries.

our friend Ben said...

Great ideas, Cinj, thanks! I have to use rocks and branches to protect my new plantings too, until they look more like real beds. Helps keep the dog out, too! Your shed and deck look so great. You all did an amazing job!!!!

Anonymous said...

A great example of RECYCLE, REUSE & REPURPOSE! :) Wonder tips today Cinj.

Dawn said...

Good ideas! You could, later on down the road, use the rocks to make a fire pit and to burn extra cut down brush! Always get a fire permit first though!

Mary Q Contrarie said...

I have found that by searching on the internet for tips for drying flowers I have found a lot of other great ideas. Thank you for sharing yours with all of us who are searching for ways to re-use, re-cycle and beautify!