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Milk jug gardening


Gardeners who practice pennywise gardening are usually vigorous and creative recyclers - or reusers or repurposers - and the spring seed planting season is a good time to investigate the many opportunities to put some common plastic products to good use.

Let's take a quick inventory of the plastic we might throw away...but could use.

The plastic milk bottle (clear soda bottles also work)can be used as a plant
cloche (see below) to create an artificial environment for a young plant. Rember to cap the 'cloche' at night and open it in the morning. Thought must also be given to securing the jugs against wind. Some push a stick through the top; others push dowels or thin rods into the ground on each side of the jug. 

Because seedlings need tender care and some water sprayers can be quite harsh, a milk jug can be turned into an effective fine-spray waterer for tender sprouts. Using an electric drill (or heat a finishing nail over a flame) make a series of fine holes either in the lid of the jug (see at left) or near the neck of the jug (see below right).

The bottom third of a milk jug (with holes added for drainage) is a good seed-starting container.

The plastic 'clam shells' (see below) that contain bean sprouts and various greens are also good seed starting containers.

When it comes time for the first transplanting of the seedlings, many people find that yogurt cups, paper and styrofoam drink cups as well as home made pots from newspaper are all inexpensive and effective. (A note: home-made newspaper pots do NOT require drainage holes. Paper, plastic and foam cups do.)

Some final thoughts: seed starting trays and transplanting pots all need drainage holes. The exception is the newspaper pots. Always use a light, sterile potting soil or a commercial seed starting mix.

 

News

Summer Food in Wintry February

 

16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.


more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News