Posts Tagged ‘recycling’


Potting up the upcycling way

April 22, 2010

It’s busy, busy in the garden and today I’m quite excited because it was finally time to pot up some of my tomato seedlings!

I was determined not to buy any more flower pots this year and remembered this great idea from an episode of Gardeners’ World a year or so ago. The trick is to save up your old tin cans and pot into those. You need to use the ring-pull type, and ones with a nice smooth painted inside — I found that chopped tomato cans seem to be the right kind.

Discard the ring-pull lid part (put it in the recycling), carefully wash the can and dry it, then turn it upside down and remove the base with a tin-opener. You’re left with a tin tube and a flat circle. Drop the circle back inside and it sits nicely on the rim of what was previously the top of the can. The result is a bit like a loose-bottomed sponge-cake tin. It’s great for drainage, and when you’re ready to plant your little plant out into a grow-bag or into the garden, you can push it up out of the can from the bottom without damaging the roots. And once you’re done you can put the cans out to be recycled. How nifty is that?

As well as the tomatoes, everything’s growing and growing. The plants seem to be really enjoying the lovely spell of warm, sunny weather we’re having at the moment. We’ve already had one mini-harvest from the mixed salad and there will be loads for this weekend.

The little nasturtiums I grew from seed collected from my balcony last year are shooting up particularly fast. I’ve been interested to read about Life on the Balcony’s Nasturtium Seed Scarification Experiment as I had no idea that soaking or scarification of the seeds was recommended. I didn’t do either of these things and five out of my ten seeds germinated which I don’t think is too bad a result really. As you can see they’re turning into thriving little plants!

But maybe the most exciting of all is my little courgette plant! Well, I say little — here it is with just two days’ growth! If it carries on growing at this speed I will need a bigger greenhouse! Can’t wait to get some home-grown courgettes to eat. Delish.


Refashioned kitchen stool

July 12, 2009

Refashioned kitchen stool

This old stool used to belong to my parents but it was old, dated and worn out. The varnish was chipped and the nasty, brown, wood-effect vinyl top had cracked at the edges from use. I should have taken a “before” photo but I’m sure you get the picture anyway.

It was destined for the scrap heap when my folks moved house (some years ago now) but I rescued it — I have back problems and need to sit down for all those household chores like the ironing or spud-peeling and it looked like just the thing. “I’ll make a new cover for it!”, I said, and never did.

Until, that is, I was inspired once again by Lucy from Attic24 and her lovely crocheted stool cover.


I had some lovely cotton DK yarn stashed and waiting for a project to come along (“Essentials” by Rico Design), and my plan came together from there.

I took the seat off the stool, pulled off the cracked vinyl covering, sanded it down and gave it a lick of paint, and made a big granny square for the top. It’s about an inch and a half larger than the seat all round, and I threaded a cord around the edge and pulled it tight to secure it. I also tied across-wise in a kind of flattened-out figure of 8 shape in both directions to pull the middles of the sides further under and keep the cover on tightly.


And I’m pleased as punch with the outcome — it’s good as new. Better than new, in fact!