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Joined: Feb 2011
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Hello Angie and all,

How do you get/buy/transport eggs ... in polystyrene boxes? Seems there could be a business opportunity there for someone who is entrepreneurial and cares about the environment. Recycling is all the rage for obvious reasons. Polystyrene is a form of plastic and we have read, plastic products have caused untold damage to the environment because of our poor management of waste.

Anyway, thanks for the information, keep going in your container garden!


Lestie Mulholland
Container Gardening Editor

Contain your Delight - it's easy!
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CONTAINER GARDENING TIP OF THE DAY

Here is another Saturday-that-turned-into-Sunday-before-everything-Saturday-had-been-done tip!

Add coffee grounds to enhance your soil. I have written about the use of coffee grounds in containers in an article previously published on this website under soil management, so this tip is just a reminder, and a very short one at that. Please, wander around the site and do some extra reading on the subject. Anyway.

If you drink filtre-coffee and land up with coffee grounds that you would more usually throw away, don’t, add them to your soil. How much? Well just use your common sense … I have never tried to grow anything in only coffee grounds but just put enough in your pots that makes sense to you. The addition can attract earthworms (good), deter some pests (good) and can give your soil an acidic boost for plants like maidenhair ferns, azaleas or blueberries (also good). The earthworms will come of course if your pots happen to be bottomless and ‘contained’ in the ground. We can talk about bottomless containers another time if you like.

If you have too much coffee for the number of pots you have, share with the neighbour and all, not everyone has access to this valuable resource … instant coffee drinkers for example.

By the way, you can do this only with used coffee … ground coffee from a packet or unground or whole beans will not work. I had a conversation with my ferns the other days and they told me they liked an Arabica blend best. Go figure!


Lestie Mulholland
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Contain your Delight - it's easy!
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one or two stores have the cardboard egg cartons. Most have the Styrofoam. I don't want to run to so many stores to be ecological. It uses too much gas.

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About the coffee grounds, I decided to have coffee today and I tossed the grounds into the garden.

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CONTAINER GARDENING TIP OF THE DAY

Are you going away this year? Need to keep your plants hydrated?

Many of the usual travel plans seemed to have been disrupted in this Covid-19 year, and many may prefer to stay at home for safety reasons anyway … but if you are going away, and do not have or want a friendly neighbour in to water your plants, there are all sorts of tips around. Here are two reminders and a choice.

You can use absorbent diapers/nappies in a bath/tub/basin/sink of water and place your plant/s on top of this moist layer or you can use some cotton wick wrapped around or tucked 2”+ into the soil in your container. The other end will be in an-as-large-as-you-need container of water. The cotton string (make sure it's thick enough, skinny string will not do) draws up the water and transfers it to your plant. School science was useful not so? Smile now.

Some people use ice cubes, not particularly because they go away, but because it helps make watering their plants easier. They place ice cubes on the soil at intervals (not touching the stems or leaves) and the water melts slowly during the week. Perhaps you could try this?


Lestie Mulholland
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Contain your Delight - it's easy!
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CONTAINER GARDENING TIP OF THE DAY

When you start planning your new containers and want to grow plants and herbs from seeds, there are many items around the kitchen that can be used. Who knows, you may already have used them before some are now your favourites having been tried and tested. Besides the seedling trays that you can purchase (why buy when you don’t have to?) you can use cut up cardboard egg boxes.

These are cute enough containers which you prepare, fill with soil, plant seeds, water then wait for your seeds to germinate. Remember to punch a hole in the bottom of the cardboard for drainage. I am not sure that everyone does this but I don’t think you can go wrong. You can even use half-egg shells for the same effect (just crack the eggs as carefully in half as you can). Use a pin to make a hole in the bottom, fill them with soil plant your seed/s, water and then prop these up in the egg box.

As starter pots for seeds, you can also use half-peels from any citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruits or limes. Tangerines would not work here. All you do is hollow out the peel until just a thin layer of pith and the rind remains, punch a hole in the bottom, fill each with soil then plant your seeds or rooted/propagated ‘something’, water then wait. Of course you must check on your seeds, they should always be moist not wet or drowning. Once your seedlings are on their way, then transplant/add them to the container you have chosen.

You will be on your way with a smile this way ... but, if you do this and do not land up smiling, please send us an email!


Lestie Mulholland
Container Gardening Editor

Contain your Delight - it's easy!
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CONTAINER GARDENING TIP OF THE DAY

I saw an idea that I can’t do in my space, but this lady had an archway at the entrance to her patio area which was actually a doorway at the top of 5 steps onto an odd shaped balcony. Picture it? Please try, because what she had done was charming. There was some extra space at the top of the steps next to the door and she had made good use of it. I asked if she had built it like this and she said no but that she had paved the steps and the landing with crazy paving. Note to self. Make use of the materials you have got, you can be different.

She had two 20-gallon containers (with drainage holes) and drip trays/saucers placed on the top step on each side of the door (which she had painted an electric blue (!) In the pots she had buried two (each) rebars about waist high. Attached to this, with cable ties, was a custom-cut strip of bent livestock panel which was strong enough to support the canary creeper she had trained from one pot to the other.

It was in bloom when I saw it and oh so pretty. She kept the creeper tidy and the pot spilled over with purple lobelia and white alyssum … with some orange miniature marigolds as the fillers.

The impact was stunning, the choice of colours, the odd mix of plants she’d used and the painted door was amazing. If you can do something like this, please do.


Lestie Mulholland
Container Gardening Editor

Contain your Delight - it's easy!
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CONTAINER GARDENING TIP OF THE DAY

I have not tried this yet, but I read that you can clean your plant leaves (glossy leaves not the hairy or furry ones) with banana peels. Seems a different idea and I will try it soon, just need to get a philodendron or something similar in place first. Again, you don’t clean the undersides of the leaves and I would assume don’t leave any ‘banana’ on the leaves … the skin is supposed just to remove the dust and not make the leaves sticky and gunky. Using banana skins this way also repels aphids, and that has to be a good thing too.

Two tips today to make up for missing yesterday!


Lestie Mulholland
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Contain your Delight - it's easy!
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Interesting. you use the outside of the banana peel because the inside would be a bit gooey wouldn't it?

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Hello Angie and everyone,

No, you do use the gooey inside ... I am off out today and armed with banana skin, I am going to the nursery to ask if I can try it on a suitable plant that I should have one of (!) then I will report back to you all.

I think that the best skins to use will be 'fresh' new bananas and not when the banana is soft like you might use to make banana bread. When they are soft they are extra gooey. Anyway, let's see, I will let you know as soon as I can. Yay! A trip to the nursery - I hope I don't buy anything.

Cheers


Lestie Mulholland
Container Gardening Editor

Contain your Delight - it's easy!
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