DIY self-watering flower pot free instructions

Through complete incompetence and neglect, some of my petunias went to seed this summer past. I thought that was the dandiest thing and I collected the seeds (which as it turns out are TINY). I figured I’d try planting them since all those flowers at the greenhouse have to start somehow.

I saw a self-watering windowsill herb set up on Pinterest http://www.designsponge.com/2010/05/we-like-it-wild-bottle-gardens.html and decided to try the same thing myself and grow petunias indoors in the winter.

I drew some flowers at the top since they're only seeds at this point

I drew some flowers at the top since they’re only seeds at this point

I used a plastic drink bottle that Hubby had bought for work one day and cut the top off near the stem. The top has to fit inside the bottom without touching the bottom. I also punched a large nail through the cap for the self watering cotton string later.

plastic drink bottle cut, lid punctured, ready for paint

plastic drink bottle cut, lid punctured, ready for paint

Then I painted the bottle with some of the pink paint I’d bought to redo my laundry room. I used the very easy method of dipping each piece into the paint can then setting it in the plastic top of a store-bought muffin container to drip dry. The muffin top had two support pillars that I set the bottle halves on so they wouldn’t topple over.

after paint dip, drip and dry

after paint dip, drip and dry

the finished parts ready for assembly

the finished parts ready for assembly

Once dry I folded a piece of cotton string in half and tied a knot at the top so it wouldn’t slip through the hole in the bottle cap. I threaded it through the hole so the two “legs” would dangle into the water of the larger cup piece. I then put the cap back on the bottle neck and turned the thing upside down into the larger bottom cup.

how to tie the cotton string inside the bottle cap

how to tie the cotton string inside the bottle cap

I filled the top stem part with dirt and planted my seeds. I filled the bottom part almost 1/2 full with water and set the top part inside. I put the whole thing on our bedroom windowsill and we’ll see what happens.

water in the bottom, string will suck up the water into the top part with the dirt and seeds

water in the bottom, string will suck up the water into the top part with the dirt and seeds

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A quick little Santi Claus hat free pattern

and the coat comes later.

knit hat for the Grinch, free pattern

knit hat for the Grinch, free pattern

I found this Grinch doll while I was on vacation in a wonderful but expensive little toy shop. My kids both love the Grinch (and so do I) and I knew I could knit him a “quick little Santi Claus hat and a coat”. So far I’ve got the hat.

Grinch Hat Pattern

4 mm knitting needles, white and red yarn

Cast on 40 sts with white
K 2 rows
Switch to red yarn
K 1 row
P 1 row
(K 8, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 7, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 6, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 5, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 4, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 3, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 2, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 1, K2 tog) to end of row
St st 4 rows
Cast off
Sew edges of hat together and voilà!

Eventually I’ll add a wee little white pom pom to the top of the hat but right now I’m trying to figure out a coat pattern. So far, not so good. But I will prevail!

See copyright in sidebar.

Repurpose CD rack into bird watering station

The water part of http://survivalfarm.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/in-winter-birds-flock-together/ will be harder in Canada because it’ll freeze quickly. I’ll just change it every morning (hmm, reminds me of when that was my job with the chickens when I was a kid). I dug a hole in the garden and sunk the rack in as far as I could so it won’t blow over. I was saving this CD rack for my peas for next year but oh well.

CD rack bird water station

CD rack bird water station


The red thing that I’m going to use for the water used to be a sandwich container but the hinge broke so it doesn’t shut anymore. It’s useless for sandwiches but slides right into the CD rack for watering the birds.

I put it in the yard to hopefully save the birds from the stupid cat. Although he does jump the fence.

materials.  the red thing is for the next blog

materials. the red thing is for the next blog

DIY birdfeeder from empty Lysol wipes container

Taking the advice of my favourite gardening blogger http://survivalfarm.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/in-winter-birds-flock-together/ and the fact that it’s Saturday and the kids are home from school, I decided that we would make a bird feeder and watering station.

reuse lysol wipes container birdfeeder

reuse lysol wipes container birdfeeder


This is the fence post where I decided to put the feeder. It’s far away enough from the house not to scare the birds and far away enough from the road where that stupid cat wanders.
where the birdfeeder will go

where the birdfeeder will go


Start with an empty and washed wipes container. Peel off the label. You’ll have to soak it in water for that.
materials.  the red thing is for the next blog

materials. the red thing is for the next blog


I cut a circle out of the bottom a bit smaller than the fence post diameter so the birdfeeder would pop snugly over the post and the seeds wouldn’t fall through any cracks. I used a hole punch to put a hole under each cut opening and hot glued a piece of a wooden skewer in the hole for the birds to perch on.
cut out circles marked in blue

cut out circles marked in blue


I cut a hole in the lid of the container so when I need to refill it I just pop the lid cover open and pour in the seeds.

Reuse broken coffee mug and save the tomatoes!

It’s getting colder, nights may bring frost so if you were a late planter like me and your tomatoes are just now starting to turn red, maybe you could dig them out of the ground, put them in planters and keep them indoors. Put them out in the midday sun then bring them in to sleep.

Hubby broke this mug at work a few days ago but I said “no problem, I’ve got a use for that since I don’t have enough planters.”

Reuse broken coffee mug, save the cherry tomatoes.

Reuse broken coffee mug, save the cherry tomatoes.

Reuse milk cartons

I was posting these images at the bottom in my picture widget, but they’re all so cool, so free and so handy that I thought they deserved their own post.

This one’s the best, from http://www.afarmofyourhome.com/milk-bottle-garden-tools/

reuse milk jugs for everything gardening

reuse milk jugs for everything gardening

They’re small but there are also pointed labels for what’s been planted that you stake at the end of your row, or in this following raised bed.
reuse milk or juice cartons for a raised bed urban garden

reuse milk or juice cartons for a raised bed urban garden


Then for the birds:
reuse milk carton bird feeder

reuse milk carton bird feeder

reuse milk carton bird feeder

reuse milk carton bird feeder


And finally to help in the garden.
reuse milk jug dirt scoop

reuse milk jug dirt scoop

turn a milk jug into a free watering can

turn a milk jug into a free watering can

This watering can is my favourite because those things are EXPENSIVE and hard to find even in a garden center.

Upcycle an old cooking pot

reuse old cooking pot

reuse old cooking pot

It’s pretty simple really.

Unscrew the handle

Take pot outside and spray paint on a sunny day

Let dry

Bring into kitchen to store cooking utensils on almost wasted space countertop between stove and fridge.

It’s either that or use it for plants.

I could have decorated it with my acrylic paint, or stenciled “utensils” on it, but in the future it may find another use somewhere else so I left it blank.

Make your own mint tea

I’m assuming you have a mint plant, otherwise, skip this post.

hardy.  Grows indoors or out.

hardy. Grows indoors or out.

I had the absolutely brilliant idea to check the gardening book on how to harvest mint leaves for tea. Turns out you cut the stem wherever you feel like it and let it dry. When it’s dry, crumble the leaves off the stem, throw out the stem and let the leaves dry some more.

Store in airtight container or freeze.

In my case, I’ll be putting the little crumbles in my tea infuser and making mint tea.

Knit doll dress free pattern – for a small doll


Doll Dress Pattern

This dress doesn’t use up much yarn and you are knitting it from the top down.

Using 3.25mm needles, cast on 27 sts, K1 P1 to end of row for 2 rows. This creates seed stitch border at top of dress. Beginning with a K row, st st 4 rows for small doll.

To make the waist:
(K5 K2tog) to last 6 sts, K4 K2tog. P 1 row.

(K4 K2tog) to last 5 sts, K3 K2tog. P 1 row.

(K3, inc in next st) to last 3 sts, K3. P 1 row.

(K4, inc in next st) to last 3 sts, K3. This makes the waist.

St st until piece measures 2.5 inches from cast on edge.

To make ruffle at bottom of dress:
K1 (yo, K1) to end of row. K 2 rows.

K1 (yo, K1) to end of row. K 1 row. Cast off.

Because the small doll doesn’t have the plastic bosom weight of a Barbie to hold up the dress, I added two crochet chain straps of 14 ch each.

Reusing to help in the garden

my watering can

my watering can

I position this jug under the drip in the bathtub to keep the water. I have a bucket by the door to collect the water to water the veggies at the end of the day or I just take the watering can to the flowers when it’s full. Oh the cardiovascular workouts.

labeling plants and plots

labeling plants and plots

This is a concentrated can of orange juice lid. I’ve got two labeled “bulbs” in other plots in the garden to I know that there’s something there.

to protect the brussel sprouts

to protect the brussel sprouts

We’re coming into the weather for the brussel sprouts, as it gets cooler they’ll get taller. They need to be protected from the wind but not the sun. I cut the bottom off an empty yogurt container, not even washing it since the milk product contains nutrients which are good for the soil.

an old knife to stake a peony?  pansy?

an old knife to stake a peony? pansy?

Hubby brought a cheap, thrift store, mismatched set of cutlery with him when he drove across the country to use until the moving truck arrived. I thought I’d given the set to our babysitter but I apparently missed one knife. I was going to throw it out but then this little flower, whatever it’s called, needed to be propped up.

Reuse around the garden (2)This is a shelter for ladybugs to hibernate and multiply during the winter. We aren’t in the woods or near any so getting sticks to tie in a bundle for the ladybugs is hard. But the day lilies are done and the lignin in the stalks is getting rather hard. I pulled up all the used stalks and tied those to whatever dowel or stake like thing I had to make my ladybug hotel.