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Friday, June 5, 2015

Cart project

I was at the ReStore depot to find a coffee table for mom and spotted a twin bed frame.


*think think think*


Since it was 25% off day, I bought it.  

Swung by HomeDepot and picked up some big casters and hardware (which I didn't need so returned).

I assembled the frame and casters.  It was adjustable so could be made quite wide.

Instead I made it to its most narrow/sturdier version - 32".

Down in the basement I still have a large stash of red cedar (from the 'pub' I dismantled down there when I moved in).  

I love cedar for garden projects - light weight, cuts easily, doesn't rot.  Perfect for outdoor stuff.  

And it's strong.

A dozen planks, cut to size, fitted in and VOILA!

A large handy dandy driveway cart.

Kinda unwieldy over the uneven surface, but the fact that it CAN be moved around is going to be the beauty of this baby.

What is it for?  

First off - what would YOU do with it?  

As for what I'm going to do with it, you'll have to wait to see (hint - read previous post).

Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Homemade potting mix

I was in need of more potting mix for one of my brainstorm projects.

I only had about 1.5 cu/ft of Miracle Gro and when I priced more of the product it has gone up 20% since early April.  What's THAT all about.

So I Youtube'd making potting mix and figured out all you need is sphagnum peat moss, something for body (rotted manure; compost, etc), maybe some perlite to lighten and (since I had some) vermiculite to absorb moisture.  (Honestly, there is a recipe on each bag of Miracle Gro - different formulas for different states!)

So 2 parts peat moss, 1 part compost, a quart of vermiculte and one of perlite, and a handful of epsom salts (if I'd had lime I'd'a added that too), mix (trust me - WEAR A MASK - the dust is THICK).

All blended.  

But then something I hadn't counted on.  Miracle Gro adds a surfacant, something that allows the water to actually WET the mix.

I kept adding water to the pots and agitated it.  Over and over.  Left them out in the rain.  Mixed again.  More rain.  More mix.  

It took about a week before stirring didn't show any dry material.

Next time I'm going to add some of my natural dish SOAP liquid to the water, it's bio-degradable and should not give me any residual side effects on the plants.  (I read the ingrediants, it is SOAP, not detergent.)

Mixing my own saved me some $$, for sure.  I'd forgotten that I'd squirreled away 1 1/2 bags of peat moss in the shed years ago and never used it.  By making my own mix I'll not have to pay bigtime for mix AND, as part of my year-long purge, I'm getting some stuff out of the shed.

Win win.

Now, WHY do I need so much mix?  So I could fill all these very large pots (4-5 gallons each).  Here's a pic mid-way of trying to get the mix moist.  

Can't wait to see if the growth on the plants will be same as store-bought stuff. 

Stay tuned.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mailbox makeover

When I moved here in 2002, I already had an established p. o. box so didn't need a residential mailbox. 

I took it down and stuck it away.  

It's been gathering dust since then and was on the purge list when I remembered a clever idea I'd seen.

Now that I'm spending lots of time in the swing bed, there are many occasions when I'd think: Darn.  If I'd brought the (fill in the blank) with me, I could (also fill in the blank) while I'm here.

So I've turned the mailbox into a holder for a cache of garden tools: hand rake, trowel, gloves, clippers, assorted stuff like string, clamp, clips, towel.... you get the idea.  Handy stuff for quick little projects.

But where to put it?  How to install it?  

Well, I didn't want something permanent at this point so cast about for some kind of stand.

I found another unused item - a broken bench.  I always hoped the rotted away piece of wood would heal (LOL), but meanwhile it languished.  Time to repurpose it.

I moved on of the remaining seat sections over to the edge, then tightened up all the other joints.  I added a spring clip to the hatch so squirrels can't get it open and I made sure there are no holes in the mailbox - wasps would love the place as a condo. I also put a bungee to keep the box on the bench.  Squirrels get into everything.

Tada!  Now I've got some garden stuff on hand when I want to do a little something back in the swing bed. 

How about you?  How do you keep from having to run back and forth for tools and equipment all the time?

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