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Protecting Plants from Grasshoppers

I replanted my Elderberry bush in the back yard recently. I first wrote about growing this Elderberry bush from a small plant start back in April. Well the replanted Elderberry bush had been doing very well in its new location until the grasshoppers discovered it. Grasshoppers started eating the leaves and the bush was suffering terribly. So I set out to find a non-toxic, home recipe for protecting my plants and getting rid of the grasshoppers.

After doing some research I mixed up this grasshopper brew to repel and hopefully kill the grasshoppers around my back yard. So here is my pet friendly, homemade mix for getting rid of grasshoppers using supplies I had in my cupboard.

Materials Needed:

1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon of grated Fels-Naptha laundry soap
1 gallon container (old juice jugs work well)
1 spray bottle
Water

Dissolve the grated soap flakes in one cup of warm water. Continue Reading →

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Reusable Glass Jars and Bottles

Recycling and reusing glass jars and bottles has always been a useful and frugal idea. Over at My Recycled Bags.com, they recently shared a wonderful recycled craft idea for making a water bottle holder out of recycled plastic bags. But rather than using store bought plastic bottles, they shared how you can use Mason jars and other recycled glass bottles to hold water and carry them in the water bottle holder. Here is the link to the reusable water bottle and holder article which also includes a free pattern for this recycled water carrier.

You can reuse any glass jar or bottle to provide yourself a safe and frugal water container. You don’t have to worry about the plastic breaking down and drinking plastic if you use glass jars. Plus I can just refill the jar or bottle from my delicious home well water supply. Continue Reading →

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Homemade Windshield Washer Fluid

I needed to refill my windshield washer fluid recently and decided to make my own. After doing some research on-line, I came up with my own version of homemade windshield washer fluid. I just wanted to try out a small amount of my washer fluid so I made mine in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. I used this glass measuring cup as it was easy to mix the ingredients and provided an easy pour method into my washer reservoir in my vehicle.

I wanted to make sure I made my washer fluid freeze-resist and I used ingredients I had on hand. Here is my recipe for my homemade washer fluid.

Supplies:
1/3 Cup of Isopropyl rubbing alcohol 70% or higher
1/2 Tsp. liquid dish washing soap
1/2 Tsp. Epsom Salt
Tap water

Put all your ingredients into the glass measuring cup except the water. Continue Reading →

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Flip Flop Quick Repair

Here is a quick repair for your blown out flip flop. My niece recently shared this useful idea with me. I just had to post her photos and pass along her quick fix for a broken flip flop.

All you need is a plastic bread bag closure. Just recycle a plastic bread bag tab to repair your broken flip flop.

Place the plastic bread bag tab over the blown out hole and here is your repaired flip flop. Continue Reading →

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Storing Potatoes

Storing potatoes for long term use is very important. When potatoes go on sale, I like to buy a big bag and use it as needed but many times the potatoes spoil. So I set out to try a new method to successfully store potatoes in my basement.

The method for storing potatoes that I tried was very similar to the one I use for storing my tomatoes over the winter. It involves using newspaper to wrap and cover the produce for long term storage. For the potatoes, I used a plastic laundry basket that I had on hand and newspaper. The step I used are as follows:

First, cover the bottom of the laundry basket with a double sheet of newspaper as shown.

Next, put the potatoes on the newspaper and leave room between them for air flow and so they are not touching each other.

Next cover them with another double layer of newspaper. Continue Reading →

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Self-Watering Tomato Plant Containers

Here are my tomato plants that I am growing in my self-watering containers. I made these containers a few years ago and just reuse them each year. I did have to replace the tin water cans in the bottom of the buckets this year but other than that these can be used year after year.

Self-watering plant containers work well as the water is sucked up through the wicking can directly to the roots of your plants. Additionally you don’t have to water your plants every day as you have a reservoir of water inside the outside bucket for your plants to draw from.

All you need to make a self-watering plant container such as mine are two recycled plastic buckets, a tin can, and a piece of plastic tube or pipe. I used Urban Organic Gardener’s post and video to help me assemble my self-watering containers.

Here is a photo of a new can with the holes drilled in it to absorb the water from the bucket. Continue Reading →

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