Any project is as easy as you make it…and we like to make it easy around here. With four kids budget-friendly is a must and “green” is always best. With that in mind, here are a few how-to’s for the newbies and some easy-to-do’s for the creative!
Supplies: Newspaper (black and white pages only), drinking glass
Directions: Lay a single sheet of newspaper on a flat surface (Cut double sections in half). Fold the paper in half lengthwise to form a long strip. Place the glass on its side at a short end of the strip with the paper extending 2″ above the glass rim. Roll the glass along the entire strip until the paper is wrapped around it. Secure by wadding the excess paper that extends above the glass into the top of the glass. Remove glass and fold top 1/4″ of the newspaper plug towards the inside.
That’s all there is to it! You can make a whole lot of these in no time at all and, if the kids help, even faster than that! Line them up in a water-proof tray, fill with starter mix and plant your seeds.
These are great for planting tiny seeds like carrots and lettuce to ensure even spacing in the garden. They are also fun to make so get the kids involved!
Supplies: Newspaper (black and white pages only) OR a double thickness of white paper towels, organic flour, water, seeds, plastic storage bag, squeeze bottle OR paint brush OR icing decorator bag
Cut the newspaper lengthwise into strips about 1 1/2″-2″ wide. Mix enough water into the organic flour to make a paste. Measure the spacing needed for the seeds you are planting (check the pkg.) and dab some flour paste using your applicator of choice at each interval. Place a seed on each dab and press gently so it sticks. Let dry. When dry, roll gently and store in a plastic bag until ready to plant. Plant at the recommended depth.
Hypertufa is fun for creating one-of-a-kind planters that last a long time in the garden and actually look better as they age.
3 qts. each Portland cement, peat moss, perlite
1 qt. water
2 qts. coir
1 1/2 qts. perlite
2 qts. portland cement
Water to right consistency.
dust mask, rubber gloves, wheelbarrow or very large tub for mixing, large plastic bags
WITH YOUR MASK AND GLOVES ON combine the dry ingredients thoroughly. Begin to add water and combine well until the mix resembles mortar. It should be completely damp but not soaking. Cover your mold (a large bowl, a small cardboard box nested inside a larger one etc.)with a heavy plastic bag (like a garbage bag) and form the hypertufa until shaped how you want and 2″-3″inches thick. (Note: for a square or rectangular trough, fill the larger box bottom 1/3 of the way with mix. Center the smaller box on top of the mix and fill in the space between the small and large box with mix to the desired height.)
Cover the completed form with plastic and let dry without moving for 36 hours. After 36 hours, test for dryness. If you can scratch the surface, let dry longer. You shouldn’t be able to scratch the surface when adequately dry. When dry, gently remove the mold. Rub the entire surface all over with a stiff wire brush (not too hard!) Move the planter outside to a shaded area and let it cure for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks it’s ready to use!
- Roll of wax paper
- Bowl or round object
Easy to make and useful during late-spring frosts. Tear off two pieces of wax paper about 18″ long. Tape together down long edge forming one wide sheet. Drape over a bowl and pleat the paper to lay flat against the bowl sides, taping as you go, until a wide dome is formed. To use, cover the plant and bury the edges of the cap under 1″ of soil or use pins to hold in place.