[Daily Dozen]Potatoes in buckets, gardening as therapy, and good gardening tips

I guess “Daily” is a relative term here. Oh,well.I’m just trying to get back into a blogging groove. I’ll get there soon.
Here’s 12 gardening things for today. I’m starting to see signs of Spring here and getting antsy to get seeds started and things planted. You?

  1. The BEST Garden Ideas and DIY Yard Projects! – Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons – a lot of these are decorative ideas but some great ideas that would help be space savers in a small garden. I’ve done the wagon wheel idea before when I owned a pre-school but we made it a “Pizza Garden” with roma tomato,basil,oregano,etc. BTW, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons has a great Facebook pg,too…here. I’m rarely annoyed by it! (Trust me…that’s a huge endorsement from me. I’m so grumpy lately)

  2. Growing Potatoes in a Bag or a Bucket – Countryside Network – since there are so many pictures on social media of potato growing but with few details on how and what to do, this is a good one to read. It covers all the basics. This year I’m growing taters in burlap coffee sacks that I got for free from a coffee shop.

  3. The Curious Case of the Antidepressant, Anti-Anxiety Backyard Garden -I love this article so much. I have often said that gardening is the only therapy I can afford and it turns out there may be some sciencey data to support that.

  4. Kiss my Aster!: Take My Tomato, Please! – my favorite gardener-writer doesn’t like tomatoes the same way I do but I still love her and appreciate this list of the top 4 she grew in 2015.

  5. A Pyramid Planter for 15 sq. ft of Garden in Just 4 sq. ft. – Gardens All – I’m really just sharing this to show the general concept of a pyramid planter for anyone needing to grow upwards to save space. The one they show is pricey and the DIY one on pg 4 of the post requires more than a hammer and nails. If any of you come up with a super cheap and easy to construct pyramid planter, I’d love to see it 🙂

  6. Gardening Against the Odds: the restorative power of the garden – for the past 5 years the Conservation Foundation and The Sunday Telegraph have given out Gardening Against the Odds awards . This is a nice piece on the previous winners and emphasizes the power of gardening.

  7. A Kentucy Domestic Violence Shelter Helps Women Grow Food—and Confidence – a 40 acre farm that gives women escaping dv a safe refuge and employment with the added bonus of gaining skills,confidence, and therapy. Much love for this.

  8. Wise Pairings: Best Flowers to Plant with Vegetables – I am a devout practitioner of companion gardening. You absolutely should include flowers in your garden to create diversity and beneficial elements that aid veggie growth.

  9. DIY Pallet Top Garden: Using the most of your space to create a garden friendly for chickens and people! – Naturally Loriel – I love this idea and if I didn’t already have a fenced in garden, I’d be out gathering pallets right now.

  10. 28 Vegetables That Grow in Partial Shade | Small Footprint Family – I may have shared something like this before. Our last rental had mostly shade. I had good luck with all the brassicas and greens as long as I could keep the slugs at bay.

  11. 4 Problems with Starting Seedlings – Gardening Jones – All good advice.

  12. This is definitely not a complete list but it’s a good start for inspiration. I grew corn in a container last year. My advice with container gardening is to give it a shot, even if it isn’t typically something you see in a container. Even though I have gone through Master Gardener training, the bulk of my gardening experience is from trial and error, learning through doing.


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Garden Update: New bean trellis made from 6-pack rings & a pair of crutches

So, I made this yesterday.

picture credit: my daughter Lilly
picture credit: my daughter Lilly

My husband works at a large grocery store and he’s been saving 6-pack rings from the soda vendor when he comes to fill the machines. I attached them with just little bits of yarn from a leftover ball I had in my stash. I had started with twisty ties but ran out. If I’d been feeling super motivated, I could have made a rainbow or some design with different colors but nah. Anyway, will any luck, it’ll be covered with glorious bean vines!

And if that fails, we have a badminton net?

I plan on making more. I might use it to make a sort of a fence. I just looked up the price of a roll of plastic netting and it’s like $26 for a 80 ft roll that’s only 3 ft high. So, this was free to make for us. Took some time but I did it while watching The Voice (yeah,yeah…it’s my one and only guilty pleasure show… ). My little guy helped cut the pieces of yarn for me. It was tedious but went quick.

We still have signs that our woodchuck enemy is in the vicinity. I ammonia bombed the one hole. I saw him scurry into another hole farther away from the house one day while I was taking the compost out, so I know he’s still around, just relocated slightly. We’re borrowing a hav-a-hart trap from a friend and then, his wagon will be fixed. (I’m thinking Woodchuck Egg Rolls? )

One of the little made these little flag markers, too. They’re sweet. He used scraps of fabric and pieces of old dowels that I think came from an old drying rack we had that broke.

I like this idea and I think I’ll make some of my own.













So, my running total for garden cost is still : $21



Re-grow your salad


instead of throwing them away you can plant them into soil and they’re sprouting again

that's the thing we need

first cut it out from the leaves

then cut a little from the edge but not too much

then cut it into a cube-similar - cut as less leaves and material away as possible but leaves do get moldy and then the whole heart will get moldy too and die

put it in wet soil so that just the tip looks out

put on a plastic cup or something similar to get a high humidity around the sprouting meristem

put the pot to a warm location and wait after a few days - 2 weeks the new plant will sprout



This is via passion4plants  , who also adds to the lovely photo tutorial:

  1. first cut it out from the leaves
  2. then cut a little from the edge but not too much
  3. then cut it into a cube-similar – cut as less leaves and material away as possible but leaves do get moldy and then the whole heart will get moldy too and die
  4. put it in wet soil so that just the tip looks out
  5. put on a plastic cup or something similar to get a high humidity around the sprouting meristem – don’t forget to give it fresh air here and there like every 2-3 days
  6. put the pot to a warm location and wait
  7. after a few days – 2 weeks the new plant will sprout


enjoy your new growing salad plants 🙂
I’ve tried it and it works with iceberg salad, romaine lettuce, butterhead, lollo rosso salad actually with every lettuce/salad with a heart

The nice thing about this is you only need a windowsill (or something near a window ). Even though you’re obviously not going to get high yield and put a major dent in your grocery bill just with this, I feel like it helps my mood to have something edible growing. If you have kids, it’s also a great science activity and if you can’t have any other type of garden space, it’s nice to give kids an opportunity to see how food grows.

Is it eco-friendly to be poor?

Interesting search term someone used to get to the blog one day recently:
Is being poor eco-friendly?
Huh. Well, in many ways,I suppose it is.

Taking the bus, walking, or biking because you don’t have a car or can’t afford gas and insurance for the car you have.

Making your own chemical free cleaners because you can buy the ingredients using food stamps.

Using cloth diapers,cloth wipes…and sometimes even cloth to wipe with instead of toilet paper because the disposable products are something you can’t buy with food stamps and don’t have money for.

Buying everything second hand…not because you are trying to recycle and make a statement about consumerism with your dollars but because t’s just the most practical and frugal.

For myself, I have always had a strong DIY ethic and have practiced the same frugal and environmentally friendly habits in my own house for probably the past 20 years. This hasn’t changed with my economic status. The difference is , when one has financial stability and wants to make these changes in the own lifestyle, it’s a choice. 

There’s a big difference between voluntary simplicity and forced austerity.
Every month in the blogosphere there’s a new challenge issued to the Internet. From the clean eating or low grocery budget challenges to  “Buy NOTHING New for 30 Days!” Oh,please. That’s my life, 365 days a year. I can’t dismiss the intention behind this but I also can’t help be a little pissed off at the lack of props given to people who rise to the challenge daily because there isn’t another option. The lessons from these blogging challenges are self-serving . Even if trying to raise attention to worthy issues such as globalization and our changing planet, the discussion about human beings who are affected by these things on a daily basis is missing.

The “Green Living” movement has created a strange paradox. People spend a fortune on products sold to them with the promise that they can attain good environmentalist karma  when most (if not all) of those products are totally unnecessary or easily made with low cost ingredients. Poor people can live an unintentionally green life through necessity.  Yet the pretentiousness and alienation poor people feel from those with money and a will to do good for the planet is ugly.  “You don’t buy toilet paper  made with 100% post consumer recycled paper and no chlorine? Oh, you horrible, beastly person. You are the reason the planet is dying!”

I would argue that corporations and entities  bigger than the impoverished masses have a bit more to do with the planet’s demise.

On a bigger scale, poor people are the least likely to be able to make large changes in their life that would have a more profound effect on the environment and also provide immense benefits to low income and impoverished people. Solar and wind power, energy efficient appliances or even vehicles, land or greenhouse space to grow their own food…these things take some beau coup bucks …and a good credit rating.