10 Creative Space and Resource Saving Ideas
I’m always looking for inspiring, low-cost and resourceful ideas for the garden – here are some of my favourite projects for you to try.
1. Peg Plant Marker – This is an easy improvised solution using everyday materials. Kids can paint the pegs and make them colourful and if you save seeds from your edible gardens like I do, this makes plant identification a snack!
Always scratching around to find a plant marker? MYO in seconds with a bamboo skewer, wooden peg and a permanent marker! How easy is this?
2. Tiered Terracotta Planter – I love this project from Amy at Positively Splendid because it’s a simple design idea to dress up your garden entrance. Continue Reading »
Easy Herb Teas to Grow & Brew
If you’re not already growing your own herb garden, hopefully you’ll be inspired to start! There are a wide range of delicious and aromatic herbs that can be grown for hot or iced herb teas and medicinal use.
To make a herb tea, allow 2-3 teaspoons of chopped fresh leaves/cup. If using dried herbs allow 1 teaspoon/cup and 1 for the pot. Warm the pot, add the herbs and boiling water and allow to steep (stand) for 2-3 minutes.
Getting Started with Herb Teas
- Chamomile (German) – a mild flavoured relaxing tea that I’ve used hundreds of times over the years to calm and soothe the spirit, settle stomach aches and indigestion and a great tea for helping you get to sleep. It goes well with a little honey and a slice of lemon. You can also use the tea as a hot footbath for tired or sore feet! Continue Reading »
If you want to encourage children to start growing ‘incredible edibles,’ then this might be just the project to get them excited! With a little creative thinking, themed gardens help children learn while they are having fun. Here’s a cool garden project for the ‘kid’ in all of us – complete with Beans, Beanstalk and even a Giant!
Encourage children to grow a micro garden in a pot or container to get started. They don't need much space - beans are so easy to grow. When young, tender and homegrown organically, try stopping children from snacking on beans straight from the garden!
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” – Albert Einstein
How to Create Your ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk & Giant’ Garden
- There are 3 elements to this garden theme – the bean seeds; the beanstalk structure they need to climb up on like Jack did, and the ‘Giant.’ Continue Reading »
DIY Vertical Tepee Garden!
One of the most useful structures in my garden are bamboo tepees as they are the perfect vertical solution for growing more in less space. Here’s my simple system for making a 3 or 4 legged tepee from bamboo stakes in around a minute for under a $1!
I have countless tepees in my garden growing seasonal edible climbing crops. These snow peas are flowering and fruiting and their tendrils love the vertical stakes to grab hold of.
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Planting in Season for your Unique Garden Space
To save time and money and get the best results, it’s wise to plant in season. That simply means that you work WITH nature to sow or transplant when the weather and season is most favourable to growing what you want to plant.
Ever had a seedling or plant die shortly after planting? Your climate zone and time of year can play a big role in gardening successfully.
How to Determine What & When to Plant
- Know your zone – Climate zones are generalised because seasons can change quickly, arrive early or late – or not at all! If you are not sure already, find out which climate zone you live in. This will help you choose the best plants for your area and learn the correct sowing time. Continue Reading »
Thrifty Ways to Buy, Sow & Plant
These are a few tips from my personal experiences to help you get the most out of plants you grow and cost you less.
- Be Prepared: Prepare your garden bed or pot before choosing the seeds, seedlings or plants that suit your climate zone. Check the amount of space you have available before planting. Some plants need more ‘personal space’ than others so avoid buying more than you need or have the space to grow. There’s nothing worse than coming home with an armful of seedling punnets and watching them become ‘dried arrangements’ by the front door because you weren’t ready to plant them! I’ve learned my lesson by composting too many ‘mistakes’!
Consider the space you have to work with: I chose shallow rooted edibles like tatsoi, parsley, baby spinach, marigolds and skinny chives and spring onions which could all share this pot comfortably!
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DIY – Make Your Own Creative Repurposed Shoe Gardens
If you need a little inspiration for your next plant container, the solution might be right at your feet … so to speak! If you’ve only got space for a micro garden, shoes make easy planters for herbs, shallow rooted leafy vegies and succulents that all do well in small spaces.
One night someone came into this school and broke every single pot in the garden. Instead of tossing it all, the kids picked up the bits, decorated them, and piled them along with some unique shoe planters and succulents, by a tree to make a cozy home for the wild lizards that hang around the school.
When your shoes have served their purpose, why not give them a new green life as a planter? Add a few drainage holes with a screwdriver for soft soled shoes and use a drill for leather ones. If your sole already has a hole worn through, the job may be done for you! Just fill with potting mix and plant away. See below for DIY shoe planter projects. Continue Reading »
Want to save money in your garden and have healthier plants? One of the easiest ways to do this is make your own free fertilisers with organic materials and household food waste.
Feed your plants for free by reusing food waste!
Tips for How You Can Reuse Bananas
Bananas are rich in minerals including:
- Potassium – helps promote general plant vigour; helps build up resistance to pest and disease; necessary in fruit development; is involved in regulating around 50 enzymes in a plant and relates to the turgor (or uprightness of stems and the thickness of cell walls) i.e. plant strength! This is extremely important for plants like staghorns which literally hang onto tree trunks in nature and vertical vegies like shallots, leeks and fruiting crops.
Bananas are mineral rich and recycling the peels back into your garden saves money and returns these nutrients to the soil where they can benefit other plants. This is NO WASTE gardening!
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Important Factors to Consider with Vertical Gardens
To help you decide what kind of structure to use for your vertical garden, consider these practical design tips:
This garden gate has been used not only for functional vertical growing space with a mounted planter box filled with flower pots but also a handy place to hang some garden art.
1. Don’t overlook your garden entrance: A gateway is usually the point of entry and the place where you make first impressions! With a little imagination this space can be another creative vertical garden. Continue Reading »
Benefits of Vertical Gardening
A repurposed window shutter forms the structure for a simple but stylish vertical garden.
Regardless of where you live, I’m a firm believer you can take advantage of some of the many benefits vertical gardening offers.
The advantages of vertical gardens really come into their own in micro garden spaces where options are very limited but as most people live in urban areas, clever design ideas are a key to make the most of the space you have.
So if you’re not yet growing up, here are 12 reasons why you should!
“Vertical gardening is an innovative, effortless, and highly productive growing system that uses bottom-up and top-down supports for a wide variety of plants in both small and large garden spaces.” – Derek Fell, author Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out for More Vegetables & Flowers in Much Less Space
Vertical gardens help you:
- Maximise Limited Space: Increase growing space especially when it is at a premium in a very tiny area.
This kitchen garden has effectively used techniques like stacking raised garden beds and growing climbing veggies up trellises. These increase productivity and make maximum use of space.
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