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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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Plantain

Plantain is a very useful plant that grows wild along many driveways and in lawns. While it is regarded as a weed, it has many medicinal purposes which you can read more about at eHow.

Over at Mind Mart Holistic Health, they refer to Plantain as first aid growing on your lawn. They recommend Plantain is a first-choice remedy for many skin ailments with all parts of the plant, including the seeds, being edible.

The herb Plantain should not confused with the big green looking bananas called Plantains.

With all being said, the herb Plantain can be used effectively for bee stings, skin irritations, bleeding, laxative, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. For example, you can use the leaves as a wet compress on insect stings to draw out the toxins and reduce swelling. Also you can place the moistened leaves on a wound to control bleeding and as a wound dressing. The leaves can help close a wound and slow bleeding. Because the plant also provides antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties, it really is a wonderful wild herb with many uses.

I just have to share how I recently used Plantain on a wound. My husband had a cut on his finger right on a bend that just wouldn’t heal. I used a fresh Plantain leaf on the sore overnight and covered it with a band-aid. The next day the wound had closed and looked so much better. It wasn’t bleeding and the cut was nearly healed. Continue Reading →

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Recycled Glass Jar Planter

I found using a recycled glass jar works great for my Aloe Vera starts. Here is one that I planted in a large jam jar. This has been growing in the jar for several months now and it’s just thriving. The glass jar acts as a terrarium and the Aloe plant seems to really like the glass jar planter.

Here is another one I started in a recycled pickle jar. This one has not taken off yet but I’m hopeful with time, it will thrive just like the other one.
Aloe Vera Start in Jar

A few important tips. Don’t overwater plants you place in glass jars. Because it has no drainage in the glass jar, you must be careful not to overwater the plant. Continue Reading →

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Decluttering your Closet

I have been working on downsizing and decluttering my home. I started in the closets and found several helpful tips on doing this tough task. Experts say to get rid of stuff you don’t need, use or want. Donate the usable items to charity or give them to friends and family who can use them.

My hall closet was just jammed with years of stored stuff on the floor and on the overhead shelf. I first took out all the stuff on the floor which included a box full of hats and gloves. Some of the gloves and hats were from my children who are all adults now and haven’t worn the items for years. I got three big bags out. One for the garbage, one for charity, and one for my family. After going through all the items and placing them in the appropriate bags, I had just a few remaining things that I needed and wanted to keep.

Next I moved to the shelf and took all those things out of the closet. I went through all the rest of the items including the coats hung up on the rod. After I had everything sorted through, I cleaned the inside of the empty closet. It was dusty and the vinyl floor needed mopped.

I placed the boots and shoes on the cleaned floor in a nice row. I put all the gloves and hats that I was keeping inside a plastic container on the floor in the corner of the closet. The coats that were kept were re-hung. A remaining few things were placed on the overhead shelf and my closet decluttering was complete.

I stood back and just had to admire my work. The closet looks so good and organized now. Continue Reading →

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My Elderberry Bush

I recently purchased a little Elderberry bush from an on-line plant store. It was shipped to me in a small pot and is about 4 inches tall. It is listed as a York Elderberry shrub which features white blooms and in summer is to produce a bounty of soft dark purple berries that are good for cooking or making jams, syrups and wines.

I replanted it in a larger pot and have it in my greenhouse at the moment. It’s just a bit too cold to plant it outside just yet. Here is a photo of the plant after 2 weeks in a bigger pot.

It seems to be doing well. I’m keeping the soil moist and am following the Elderberry caring instructions Continue Reading →

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