Protection from the Birds and the SunWe added a conduit metal frame with side "curtains" and a "roof" to our grow box to prevent birds from attacking our plants and to prevent the sun from attacking our plants. It works well here in sunny Arizona where temperatures get up to 115 to 120 degrees in the summer.
Spilling Wheelbarrow Garden PlanterHere is a "spilling wheelbarrow" I made, using coleus. It was easy to make and can be used for years.
Turnip Blooms Attracting Honey BeesI'm glad we left the turnip salad in the garden. It is in full bloom now and on the warm days, the honey bees are loving it.
Grow New African Violets and Succulents from CuttingsI have seen these tips on the internet, and had not had a chance to try it till now. A friend gave me one African violet leaf after my AV had sadly died because I didn't understand how to keep it happy. Another friend gave me a sage plant leaf.
Removing Sticky Adhesive Residue from PlasticFill a container with pretty warm water (as hot as you can without it distorting the plastic container of course) and let it sit 5 minutes. This heats up the adhesive on the outside of the container. Don't get the outside (where the glue is) wet though. Dump out the water (still keeping the outside dry) and generously wipe the gluey spot with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil.
DIY Counter CleanerAt one point I started making my own kitchen/all purpose cleaner becuase I wanted to save money and use simpler ingredients.
Sort Laundry As You GoSo as to run full loads only in my washing machine, which is most efficient, I keep 2 popup hampers in my bathroom closet. One has a little hanging tag marked "Lights", and the other "Darks". As I take off my clothes, they are put into the appropriate hamper. When one is full, I do a load of laundry.
Prevent Mold and Mildew on Shower Curtain LinersIf you have a shower curtain or liner that comes in contact with the side of your shower stall or tub while it dries, you have probably noticed that where it makes contact is where you see mold and mildew. That's because it's not drying fast enough to keep those nasty critters at bay.
Succulent Plant StarterThis is a great way to always have succulent plants available for your craft projects and decorations around your home. We all love to decorate and grow succulent plants these days. When we cut our plants there are always leaves that need to be removed. Don't throw them away. Make this easy succulent plant starter and within a few days you can plant those leaves to start growing new plants.
Replacing Your Laptop Hard DriveHas the hard drive in your laptop died? Do you want to replace your hard drive with a larger hard drive? Today replacing hard drives is a straight forward process. Laptop manufacturers place the hard drive in different locations depending on the make and model of your laptop.
Using Old Sinks As PlantersOne way to recycle old sinks from your bathroom or kitchen is to use them in your garden to plant succulents in. These sinks make a great border around your garden and add to the look of the garden. Succulent plants don't need much water. It is easy to use the sink and they have a drainage system. Just dig a hole in the ground and place the sink and the drainage pipe in the hold.
Use Faux Flower Stems to Support Live PlantsDo you have fake flower stems? Do not throw them away, they are very useful as stem support!
Always Have Hope - Rescued PlantI rescued this plant from someone who was going to "trash it" after its first blooming. The plant was almost dead when I got it last year. I'm always trying to save things that other people have given up on or abandoned. After a summer of good care, this is the reward I got this fall.
Making a Custom Bottle WasherI freeze my half and half, plus I make flavored water. When the bottles need washing, it's hard to get them clean.
Recycle Plastic Tubs to Hold CuttingsI recycle margarine and ice cream tubs and use them to put my cuttings in. They will hold around four or five small pots. They are easy to transport and catch the drips when watering.
Refinishing a Wooden PlaygroundWe bought this playground 13 years ago for our 2 oldest kids. We recently decided to refinish it, instead of buying a new one, for our 5 yr old son.
Easy Tree Limb Clean UpI decided to do a little tree trimming in my yard and once I got finished I had a whole lot of limbs in several areas of my yard. It was going to take several trips to get them all moved to my dump pile. In the past I would have dragged a handful of limbs (all that I could get in one hand) to my dump site.
Tablecloth for Reupholstering a ChairDo you have any extra tablecloths you don't need? The tablecloths could be turned into upholstery fabric for your chairs! You could save money versus buying fabric by the yard. This is what we did for the chair seats!
Bamboo Garden GateI live on a small island in the South Pacific, where everything is imported. We do not have a large variety of items to choose from. Years ago when we wanted to put a gate up all we had to choose from was a metal gate. The gate has been up for over 20 years now and is looking shabby and worn.
Use Old Storage Racks In Your GardenEveryone has old shelves and racks that they have bought to use in their garage. From time to time the racks get old and you replace them with new ones. Instead of throwing them away use them in your garden. The racks in the garden will give you more space for your plants. You can arrange the racks at the back of your garden next to the fence. This way you have plenty of room to add your plants.
Save Money On Toilet Bowl CleanerIn a recent post, I gave Dollar Tree's brand of household bleach a thumbs down. I'm back with a thumbs up for another of their products, toilet bowl cleaner.
Dressing Up Your Garden With RibbonIf you want to add a little fall color to your garden on a budget, fall wire ribbon goes a long way! You can purchase it at the dollar store or many craft stores. Along with ribbon you can add fall picks that are sold at the same location. This gives a festive fall look that will carry through the Thanksgiving season. So simple, here's how!
Cleaning a Bedroom By YourselfSometimes, I like tackling a job by myself and the other day, I decided to clean the master bedroom. This is the dustiest room in the house. I guess it's from fanning the covers and the bed is where I fold clothes.
Hide the Plant Saucer Inside the PotNot a fan of plant saucers? No problem, you can hide the saucer inside the pot! Here's a free way of making a saucer. Using any sturdy container that will fit inside your pot, like for me - a greek yogurt container. Then cut the yogurt container down. Place yogurt container inside and you're done.
How to Care for Your SwimwearSwimwear goes through a lot more than your typical article of clothing. It gets in contact with chlorine, salt, sun lotions, and sprays. They're also way more elastic than your usual garment, so throwing them in the washer and dryer will only shorten its lifespan and kill its colour. Here is how I wash my swimwear to elongate its life and keep the quality pristine.
Restoring a Tarnished Gold BraceletI had a lovely Alex and Ani bracelet that tarnished. It was easy and quick to make it look like new.
Repairing Clothing SnagsKnit fabrics are very easily snagged. Here is an easy way to repair the snag using an unusual tool - a dental floss threader. Here we show the process on two men's shirts.
Cable Ties for Supporting PlantsWhen garden plants start to produce, they need extra support. Cable ties are great. They come in many sizes and are inexpensive. You can tie them to a plant stake, another part of the plant, or a fence. At the end of the season, just cut them and dispose of.
Creative ClotheslinesI like to take advantage of warm weather to dry clothing outdoors. Even though I have a couple of drying racks, sometimes it was not enough. I did not want to invest in an outdoor clothesline that would have to be removed every time the lawn was mowed and when the winter came. I solved my problem in several ways.
Yellow Sticky Traps for Flying InsectsI have many household plants throughout my home. I used indoor soil for these plants and didn't think there would be any flying insects. My friend introduced me to these yellow sticky traps (she actually gave me a handful). They are rather large double sided sticky traps so I cut them down in smaller pieces and placed them into my potted plants. A few hours later, the traps are already working!
Protecting Delicate Blooms from Summer HeatDuring these massive heat waves, don't let your flowers wilt and die. Use a patio umbrella to protect them. My spider lilies were wilted and dying from 103 heat (1st picture bottom left.) I gave them some extra water and used a patio umbrella to protect them and it brought them back to their beauty.
The Chem Caddy - Cleaning Supply KitNot only will this keep all materials used to clean any area together, but it's easy to spot what needs replacing at quick glance; fluid levels, bristles on brushes, number of clean rags yet unused plus extra bags for wastebaskets. Sneak a look at that Magic eraser. Dilapidated enough yet to replace?
How to Make a Plant TerrariumHere are my step by step instructions on how to make a plant terrarium with no drainage. Plant terrariums with no drainage require little maintenance - you only need to water every 2 to 3 weeks, or when needed.
DIY Foil Garden Pest DeterrentsFor several years, most of our big fruit trees were being attacked by squirrels, birds, rodents, raccoons, and insects. Deterrent sprays did not work. Hanging shiny CDs barely helped at all. Finally, we tried this foil method and we have all of our fruit intact and growing at extremely rapid rates. Anyone need nectarines? We can't keep up! :)
Floating Flower Bed for the HummingbirdsWe don't have much area to plant flowers in our yard as it's mostly concrete everywhere and an in-ground pool, so we had an idea for our backyard hummingbirds. That was to give them some real nectar, from real flowers.
New Retaining Wall and Early PlantingsDuring the summer of 2018 we added a second tier retaining wall to our front yard. It improved the existing steep slope that was mostly useless, as it was difficult to water and slippery to try and weed.
PVC Pipe as Garden Support/StakeNeed a garden support/stake for your fruit trees, plants, or garden flowers? An inexpensive alternative from trellis and garden stakes is using PVC pipes! They are extremely inexpensive, averaging out to be $2-3 each depending on the pipe you go with.
DIY Wooden Raised Garden BedWe would love to have a garden in our backyard, but supposedly there are gophers. We decided on having a raised garden bed and after looking at the costs of already built raised garden beds and ready to purchase and install yourself garden beds, they were definitely out of our budget!
Propagating Lemongrass in a Plastic BottleHave an empty plastic water bottle? You can cut the plastic bottom down to size and propagate your choice of plant. I like this method because I'm able to see the roots grow and ensure it'll be successful instead of planting directly into soil.
Making Simple Suet CakesWe always pour the oils collected from our (George Foreman) grill into a tin can, add bird seed (dusted in a little wheat flour or ground oatmeal) and leave it cool down (or freeze) and then place in our suet feeders.
Making a Strawberry Planter from a Laundry BasketEven if you purchase everything new, this is not an expensive project. I found the laundry basket at the curb, got the potting soil and burlap on sale, and traded plants with a neighbor.
Use a Powder Puff to Clean Your Cell Phone ScreenI have found a use for the extra powder-puff I have been keeping. It is the type that goes in powder compacts that you would keep in a purse. They work really well at gently moving dust off of a phone screen ;)
Increasing Humidity for Newly Potted HouseplantsTo increase humidity, you can use a plastic bag and skewer. The skewer is used to hold the bag up without touching the leaves. If the plastic touches the leaves, it could cause damage to the plant. The plant was being propagated in water and moved into soil. To help the transition into soil, I placed the plant under a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks to increase humidity.
Growing Passionfruit from CuttingsPlace passionfruit cuttings into water to revive the cutting before planting in the ground. You would want to place passionfruit cuttings in water for a couple of days until the cuttings are less limp and more firm.
Use a Plastic Plate Instead of Flower Pot SaucersAre your looking for a budget friendly alternative to pot saucers? Think plastic kid's plate! I recently was gifted this Castanospermum australe "Lucky Bean Plant". The cheapest saucers from Home Depot were 80 cents (very thin plastic) to $2.68 (still somewhat thin plastic) so I held off on purchasing a saucer.
Use Spray Paint to Have a Choice in Planter ColorsI love pastels! The one problem I have is I cannot find planters in pastel colors. I can find white ones that sometimes work. While out looking for inexpensive planters I found the size and price that I loved. One problem, the color only came in black! Here's how I transformed them to more of a shabby chic look, just by using spray paint.
Using Flower Trays As Seedling PlantersAt your garden center they often have discarded flower trays and pots that are free for the asking.These trays are great for seed starting for all season long plantings. They have sections that are perfect for keeping them separate, without extra cost.
Robin's NestOur spring cleaning and repairs were temporarily interrupted when we discovered two robins making a nest outside our back door. They found our light fixture to be the perfect place. They got all sorts of material to make the base of the nest, including some shredded pieces of tarp that my son missed when cleaning up.
Use a White Board Eraser for Window StreaksAfter washing windows or mirrors take a white board eraser and go over it with that. You'll be thrilled and amazed! We have all had fun trying to rid ourselves of streaking windows and mirrors. Sure newspaper works, but gets ink all over you. And coffee filters are small and it's tricky to keep it gliding smoothly over the surface of things. Just erase those pesky streaks away!
Using a Swiffer to Clean WallsDo you have high ceilings or hard to reach areas in your home to clean? I found that using a Swiffer with the dry cloths works well! When I run out of refills, I plan on using microfiber cloths, washing them and reusing.
Thrifty Vertical Planter WallI was inspired by the beautiful succulent decor walls at my local malls and stores. I wanted my own mini version in my backyard. However, upon research I found that vertical planters are so expensive!
Starting Tomatoes in Coffee CansWhen starting tomato plants, I cut the bottom off of an empty Folger's coffee can. Then I poke some drain holes in the lid, put the lid on, and turn the can upside down. I fill the new pot with soil and plant my tomatoes. When they are ready to go into the garden I just take the lid off the bottom and the plant slides right out.
Make a Little Hothouse for Early TomatoesI'm sharing this tip now so if you like, you will have time to make a little hot house for your tomato plant. It can help to produce tomatoes a month early.
Pot Drainage from Garlic MeshInstead of spending money on mesh netting for flower pot drainage, you can make your own for free with general items you probably already purchase.
Cereal Treats for Backyard BirdsI love helping the critters eat. Today, this is the best craft to do with the kids. You don't need but two or three items and you are set.
Recycled Lanterns As PlantersI found 2 lanterns in great shape at a thrift store for pennies! I wanted to transform these beauties into something other than lighting - planters! Although you find a lot of them are in black, I will transform them into a softer look.
Homemade Compost - The Natural Way To Green GardeningOur neighbors think we are very odd people when we save grass clippings, leaves, discarded fruit and veggie peels, and now shredded newspaper clippings.
Dividing Potted PlantsWhen your plant is getting tight in the pot (or when you purchase a plant like this one), you can easily get more plants by separating into more pots. This will allow room for your plants to grow, or is a great way to give some plants away as gifts.
Squirrel Scare ToolFrom my kitchen window, I enjoy watching the birds at our bird feeders. However I can't keep a lot of food in the feeders because of squirrels. In the cold months, early in the morning, I'll put out just enough seed to last through the day.
Patching Screw Holes in WallsThis project shows how to patch a hole in your wall, after removing a screw, properly before painting over it again. It is cheap and easy to do and it doesn't take very long to do.
Clearing a Clogged Sink DrainMy bathroom sink had been draining slowing for a while and it was finally time to figure it out. I found a recipe on ThriftyFun for homemade Drano, using salt, baking soda, vinegar and water. It didn't go quite as planned but we were successful in the end.
Foam To Fix a Store Room LeakThe store rooms in my complex were add-ons. They are about 10 years old and were not made very well. Because of this, and our gutters not being cleaned out as often as needed, they bring down rain that often leaks under a wall and half the door.
Plastic Bottle Fruit Fly TrapWe have tried many things to get rid of fruit flies in our home, and this is hands down the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way. One of the most important things in order to catch them is the bait you put out. Fruit flies can be more attracted to some things more than others.
Free Flower Pots at Lowe's Garden CenterSome garden centers like Home Depot or Lowe's have a rack for free pots. If they don't, you can ask if they have any free pots you can have. What's awesome is once in a while you may stumble across a nice ceramic, clay pot too!
Make a Bicycle PlanterSome months of the year, the garden looks extra dull and brown, especially with our California droughts. My next door neighbour left a bicycle outside with a "Free to take" sign on it. It was absolutely trashed. I removed as much rust as I could, and with a little spray paint...
Rubbing Alcohol for Mealy Bugs in a Succulent GardenKeeping a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol is convenient and can be used to get rid of mealy bugs on succulent plants! Rubbing alcohol is inexpensive and succulent safe while also getting the job done by getting rid of mealy bugs!
Using Bird Feeders for HouseplantsI picked up two inexpensive wooden bird feeders that were actually a little broken in a local department store for $1 each. I decided to use them inside my house to hold some hanging plants. I bring in a number of herbs for the winter and so window and plant space becomes an issue for me in the winter.
Adjusting a Dust Pan ClampI purchased this little dust pan at the grocery store. I have seen them at Walmart as well. It is made to clamp onto the broom handle, I would guess tight enough to stay in place which makes the dust pan very convenient. When you use a broom, you usually need a dust pan.
Saving Tomato SeedsHere is another way to save tomato seeds for next season.
Succulent WreathThis is a beautiful outdoor succulent wreath that can be hung on your front door or in your backyard. Just a few supplies and you can have yourself a lovely succulent wreath!
Add Vinegar to Dish SoapA doctor on a Japanese TV show mentioned adding a tiny splash of white vinegar to dish soap when washing up. It gives glass items an extra spotless sheen, and apparently it will help completely remove any soap residue on the dishes when you think you've got it all rinsed off, aiding in what you digest in the future.
Refinishing a DeckOur deck was built 11 years ago and was in desperate need of refinishing. It was covered in mold and mildew, which made it unsightly and very slippery in our rainy weather. We enlisted the help of our kids and were able to get it done fairly quickly. Now have a beautiful deck again!
Using Natures Own For Decorations, While Going GreenI love creating decorations from items that are free! Not only is it free, it smells nice, adds earthy freshness, and can be changed out and composted, eaten, or dried for arrangements. With apples from the tree, pine cones, and my favorite magnolia leaves, all of earth's freshness, can go back to the earth.
Use a Baby Pool to Cleanup Yard DebrisI trimmed some low lying limbs on our pecan tree and thought about Hurricane Florence that is predicted to bring devastation to North Carolina and South Carolina. There is going to be a mess of debris left to clean up.
Replacing Your Watch BatteryI always took my watches to the jeweler to have them replace the battery, at a cost of $8-$15. I saw watch batteries for the first time at Dollar Tree, and decided that I would try to replace them myself. Dollar Tree sold them 4 to a pack, which ends up being 25 cents to fix a watch.
Paint a Flower Pot Saucer that Doesn't Match PotFlower pots and saucers are sold separately. I knew I had a saucer at home so I didn't buy a new one. When I went home, the saucer didn't match the pot. You can revamp the saucer with a little bit of paint and it pairs nicely with the accents of the pot. I was able to save the $1-2 on a saucer, and use an existing one.
Protect Ripening Fruit with NewspaperIn our yard, we have been experiencing more wild animals lately (i.e.: birds, rats, rabbits, etc.) especially since our yard is near a canyon. These animals are eating our fruit! It is quite frustrating watering these fruit trees, watching the fruit grow, and then finding them eaten/ruined.
Make Your Own Gutter Guard SweeperI have been looking for a curved brush attachment to go on my 12 ft. extension pole to use to sweep the leaves off our gutter guards. I can't find one so I made one myself.
DIY Moat to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird FeederMake a plastic cap moat to keep the ants from getting into your hummingbird feeders.
Using Bread to Pick Up Broken GlassI recently dropped a dainty black light bulb on the kitchen floor. There were tiny bits everywhere! I swept up what I could see, but I was scared there were minuscule shards everywhere. I carefully pressed a slice of bread over the glass. The sponginess and little nooks sucked up all of the debris.
Using A Coffee Container As An Indoor or Outdoor PlanterBecause we drink a lot of coffee, we often have so many left over containers. I have given these sturdy and decorative containers a new life while helping with the land fill. I use them as planters for myself, friends, and family.
DIY Green Onion GardenI love having a never-ending green onion garden, especially on the cheap. I recently got a huge bag of green onions at the shop for 50 cents. Some of them were starting to wilt at the tips. I used the dark green parts in some recipes, and soaked the roots in some water overnight. I then planted them.
Growing Celery From Kitchen ScrapsWhen you are finished with the bunch of celery, put it in a glass of water to root. Then put it in a pot with potting soil. When it gets bigger plant in the ground. Water it regularly and you will have celery.
Cleaning Your Hair DryerDust can clog the motor, and shorten its life. I used a combination of a vacuum cleaner and an old toothbrush to clean mine.
Mr. Red (Hummingbird)This is one of our favorite hummingbirds, Mr Red, because he's the friendliest little guy of all the hummingbirds, I've ever seen.
A Big Bug? No a Hummingbird!I was sitting outside hand feeding my favorite squirrel. This usually keeps her out of my bird-feeder when I heard this thump and felt something hit the side of my leg. Looking down I thought, WOW, what a huge bug. I reached down to pick it up and throw it into the grass when I realized it was a hummingbird.
Clean Lines For Small LawnI have a good sized piece of property. As I get older, it seems to get even larger when it comes time to mow it with a push mower. Doc says the exercise is good for me. But then, he ain't the one doing the pushing.
Shop Specifically For Plant BargainsA Tightwad Grows Flowers: Someone said I was so tight, I squeaked when I walked. So tight, I squeezed a nickel til the buffalo bellowed. Say what they will, when it comes to buying flowers, being miserly certainly has it's advantages.
Grow a Rose Cutting in a PotatoIf you have a rosebush that's doing well and want to grow more from it, or give some as a gift, it's a good idea to propagate a cutting from that bush inside of a potato. Potatoes have a good amount of moisture and nutrients for a new cutting to develop from.
Clean Fridge And Freezer Interior With PeroxideFor years I've used baking soda to clean inside my refrigerator and freezer. I've found something I think I like better. Peroxide.
Euonymus As Foundation PlantingI did a previous post on using Euonymus fortunei Emerald Gaiety as a foundation planting. My last picture in the post left you looking at some tiny Euonymus plants I had rooted. It also showed a dead Bermuda lawn. (I killed it).
Planting Seed in the GardenThis is a new version of a pipe for planting seed in the garden. The old version of my idea was posted last year on May 3rd.
Save Soil if Planting SucculentsSucculents have shallow roots and do not require much soil. You can fill a giant pot with other items like cartons, planters, containers, etc. to save soil.
File Flower Seeds to Help SproutingYou can file the flower seed a little bit to help germinate the seed if there is a thick coating like this, nasturtium. By filing down, it'll help the water absorb. I soaked the seeds 24 hours prior then planted in soil.
Potting ShedThis is a potting shed I made. It had a re-purposed wood ceiling. Re-purposed granite top tables made out of 2x4 and 4x4 outdoor wood and re-purposed shelving with a lattice back.
Toilet Paper Tubes for SeedlingsToilet paper tubes make excellent biodegradable plant pots for seedlings. All you need are the tubes and a pair of scissors. Make four cuts about an inch long at one end and fold them in. There should be a small hole for drainage. Fill with compost and sow seeds or plant a seedling.
Kitchen Scrap Trash CanCut the base out of a gallon water bottle and you can line it with small baggies you get from the grocery store (the ones for putting your produce or vegetables in). This light weight trash can that can easy move around your counter top.
Tips for Waxing CarsMy friend and I came up with this list after waxing his car and learning through trial and error (and success).
Testing Bargain Camellias (And Other Plants)The above picture is of a new variety of camellia. If I am correct, it is one of a series called 'October Magic', this particular variety being named 'Orchid'.
Most camellias bloom late winter to early spring.This plant is said to bloom in fall, at a time when there is little else in bloom. I like that.
Growing HyssopHyssop is a low growing evergreen shrub with a strong slightly musky odor and stalks of white, pink, or lavender flowers. It is grown as a low hedge, but also has medicinal and culinary uses. This is a page about growing hyssop.
Growing HawthornThis tree is native to Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Western Asia. It produces fragrant flowers in May. The hawthorn is considered sacred in parts of the middle east because legend has it that the crown of thorns mentioned in the New Testament was fashioned from this tree. The hawthorn has known medicinal and culinary uses. This is a page about growing hawthorn.
How to Make a Plastic Bottle PropagatorThis is a page about making a plastic bottle propagator. A plastic drink bottle can easily be converted into a mini greenhouse for small plants and cuttings. Save your next empty drink bottle and give it a try.