Posts tagged "gardening"

What can I reuse or recycle to make a vertical garden/living wall?

Readers of my simple/DIY living blog The Really Good Life will already know that I’m trying to make more efficient use of the space in my garden this year – I’ve been making lots of planters and raised beds from scrap wood (including this weekend, a 3ftx3ft bed for square foot gardening from our old bathroom cupboard doors) and I’m also interested in vertical gardening – creating a living wall of salad, herbs and companion plants.

I’ve explored the various different types of wall planters/hangers that you can buy – from essentially shelves, to window boxes, fabric bags and complicated systems – but me being me, I would prefer to make them myself, ideally reusing and recycling stuff I already have stashed around the place.

Some lovely people have already made some suggestions – I’m going to try making upside down planters from squash bottles and a fancy living wall type system from an old pallet when I find a suitable one – but I thought I’d ask on here as well in case anyone else has any suggestions.

I realise we’ve already covered similar areas like this before but I think the wall-mounted aspect opens up some other options – and I’d love to hear them.

What have you used to make wall planters? Have you made a vertical garden or a living wall? Or have you made any hanging baskets from anything interesting?

What can I reuse or recycle to make an irrigation system?

I’m lucky because, working from home, I can take a plant-watering break pretty much whenever I or they need it – but I thought it was worth asking for people who have to leave their veggies baking in their greenhouse all day without a comfort break.

Above ground sprinkler type things (like the one in the picture) are apparently very inefficient at watering veggies – too much of the water evaporates on the surface before it has a chance to get down to the roots.

I’ve heard of people using holey old garden hose as a makeshift drip irrigation system but that seems like it might be a little hard to manage the flow – in my mind, the question has a second part that didn’t fit in the headline up there: “how can I make a reused or recycled irrigation system that doesn’t waste too much water?”

Any ideas?

(It’s also important to consider preventative water-loss measures – mulching and the like – which cut down on the amount of water lost to evaporation — what’s your favourite reuse/recycle for that sort of thing?)

How can I get rid of slugs reusing/recycling stuff (or other green ideas)?

I asked a similar question on Twitter the other day but since I’ve lost more leaves to the blighters over the weekend, I thought I’d asked for more suggestions – I want to belt & braces it!

In response to my Twitter question, @KakeLover replied: “beer traps! gets the slugs everytime!” and @maryhoresh said “this year trying egg shells they aren’t supposed to like waking over them.also heard to paint glitter around edge of pots”.

So I’ve got beer traps down (made from old drinks cans, filled with out-of-date beer), John on order to eat eggs for breakfast and if I can find some glitter, I’ll make my pots into disco pots. I’ve also heard they don’t like copper (they’re supposed to get a little electric shock from it) but I don’t have enough old copper pipes to go around – will see what I can dig up though.

Any other suggestions? What have you tried? I’ve heard introducing certain parasitic nematodes can kill off slugs for a short time – anyone had any experience with that?

Awesome reusing & recycling links from around the web

How can I reuse or recycle pineapple leaves and skin?

pineappleWe’ve had an email from Mina:

I love pineapples but I feel so guilty eating them! Not only about all the food miles involved but there is so much waste with all the leaves and the skin! Help me feel less guilty by letting me know what I can do with them!

Apparently you can re-plant the crown and make it grow new pineapples but it’s a difficult and slow process (two to three years or so) – it’s easier to keep it just as a fun house plant.

But if you’re eating a lot of pineapples, that’s not a scalable solution – so any other ideas?