Monday, June 3, 2013

Unconventional Gardening

I've been thinking about this post for a while.  Some of the ingenious ways people use things in their garden continuously amazes me.  I'm all for reduce, reuse and recycle and this just takes it to the garden.  Finding creative ways to improve your garden can not only use something that would otherwise end up in the landfill but also saves you money in that you don't have to go out and buy something to fill that purpose.

I've talked about the old garden arch that I use for my blackberries.  Someone gave it to me because the actual gates on it had rusted off.  I've recently moved it and the berries, but here is how it looked with the berries on it last year.
That is a piece of an old cut up telephone pole in front of it in an attempt to stop the Blackberries from didn't work, they spread from underground.  We try something and if it doesn't work, you readjust and try something else.  My garden is always evolving...

One thing that made me really start thinking about this post more in depth is a friend, Erica had shared a picture of her peas.
She was needing something to let her peas trail up on and found the items sold at the local big box store were somewhat expensive.  She found this old scrap of construction fence and tacked it with nails and duct tape to her fence and her peas are loving climbing it!  Ingenious!

Another friend, Lisa,  was having trouble with rabbits coming through a fence and getting into her garden.  She found a solution for that too in old baby gates.
It's hard to see in this picture, but she has fencing around the garden but the rabbits were coming through the fence.  Again, another ingenious way to make do with what you have and it kept these old gates out of the landfill.

Something I thought was very cool, Erica also found a neat way to grow potatoes.
A tall laundry basket!  Ingenious!  This would be perfect for those who don't really have an area where they can plant and grow potatoes.  She is adding dirt inside as the plant grows, this would take the place of hilling it in the ground.

I asked around about unconventional things that people do in their garden.  I was told of one family who built an trellis over their new deck and planted grapes on either side.  Eventually, they'll be able to just walk under it to pick grapes.  Not only is this pretty but it will sure save on your back when picking!

Another friend was talking about running out of room in their little back yard, so they built a vertical herb garden.  She's going to send me a picture, once I receive that I'll share it.  On the same lines, my friend Tracy shared that some people lean pallets up against something (fence, garage, etc.) and pack it full of dirt and plant things in the spaces between the boards facing you.  Either of these would be great for a small space.  

Jennifer shared that they use lemon and lime bags over their strawberry plants to protect them from birds.  Alisha shared that she uses IKEA bags for potatoes.  I'm going to have to see what an IKEA bag is...LOL.

I know some gardeners who've used their existing fences to allow viney plants to grow on.  If you're doing this with peas or even green beans, you're fine.  But if you are doing bigger produce like cucumbers, squash or zucchini, the legs of old pantyhose can be used to put the veggie in and then tie it to the fence so that it has some support.

Finally, Erica shared this website with me that shows you how to make your own seed starting pots out of nothing more than newspapers.  Another thing with newspapers is for weed control.  I put them down in my walkways and then put straw on top.  The newspapers stop the sun from allowing weed seeds to start and the straw keeps me from breaking through the paper when I walk in the aisles.

So, are there any unconventional things you use in your garden?  Feel free to share ideas as we can all always learn something new!  Happy Gardening!

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