Extraordinary Uses for 16 Ordinary Household Items
Original post By Woman’s Day Staff Posted January 16, 2009
I am always looking for creative ways to water my garden with out wasting valuable drinking water, this article has some great tips!
fireballsedai/Flickr Creative Commons
Conserving water is an important aspect of growing a "green" garden. The fewer resources we have to use, the better. And since water is an important part of most gardens (and also the most egregiously wasted — it drives me crazy to watch people put their sprinklers on and let the water all run down their driveway!) it’s a good idea to try to find alternative ways of watering than solely depending on tap water. Here are five that I’ve used for my own garden.
1. Rain Barrel
This is kind of a no-brainer, but I know that many people don’t have them because ready-made rain barrels can be pretty pricey. Luckily, there are very good instructions online for making your own, inexpensively:
- MAKE: Magazine has instructions for not only making a single barrel, but also for linking two or more together.
- Instructables shows how to make your own rain barrel with standard hardware store parts.
- Here are instructions from the city of Raleigh, NC for how to make a rain barrel from a plastic trash can.
2. Buckets Under Downspouts and Eaves
This is a good option for those who don’t want to go all out with a rain barrel, or who, for one reason or another, can’t have one where they live. If you’re an apartment dweller with a balcony or patio — you can use this tip, too. Simply set five gallon buckets or whichever watering cans you have under your downspouts, at the edges of roof eaves or overhangs, or just out in the open to collect the rain water. You won’t get as much as you would with a rain barrel, but some is better than none, right?
3. Kid-Size Swimming Pool
If you have kids and find yourself filling up a little pool for them to splash around in during hot weather, don’t just let that water flow out onto the lawn when you empty the pool! Use buckets or watering cans to get the water out, and use the water for your garden instead. Even if you don’t have kids, a small kid’s pool is another excellent way to capture rainwater as described in #2, above.
4. Buckets in the Shower
One of the easiest ways to capture water that would otherwise be wasted is to take a shower with a bucket or two. You’ll be surprised by how quickly the buckets fill (even if you do take short showers) and you can use the water for your houseplants or garden.
5. Cooking Water
If you’ve boiled a bunch of vegetables or pasta, don’t just pour that water down the drain when you’re done with it! Let it cool completely, then use it to water plants in your garden. It’s perfectly safe for them, and actually contains a bit of nutrition for your plants, especially if you’ve boiled vegetables.
These are just a few ways to gather otherwise "wasted" water and put it to use in your garden instead.
There are many food items that people regularly buy that they could make at home; healthier, cheaper, and tastier.
In days past people did not run to the store every time they needed catsup or baking powder, they made what they needed themselves from basic materials. You can do the same. How many of the following items have you made from scratch?
Items You Didn’t Know You Could Make Homemade
Condiments and Ingredients
1. Baking Powder
2. Vanilla Extract
3. Homemade Vinegar and Flavored Vinegars
5. Catsup or Ketchup
7. Grape Jelly
8. Dill Pickles
9. French Dressing
10. Peanut Butter
12. Sweetened Condensed Milk
Meat and Proteins
Spices and Herb Blends
Breads and Cereals
33. Homemade Thin Mints
34. Sea Salt Caramels
35. Chocolate Covered Cherries
36. Tie Dyed Tortilla Chips
39. Peanut Butter Cups
40. Homemade Candy Corn
41. Fruit Roll Ups
With the easy access to information on the Internet a couple of words typed in to Google can result in hundreds of recipes for everything from corned beef to homemade wine. Next time you run out of an ingredient check the web for information about making it yourself.
There is something very satisfying about being able to make your own ingredients.
How adorable are these?!! I have to order these for my little monkey, either that or I have to spend a little less time on www.etsy.com, shopping for all the great handmade children’s items. I tell myself its research, but really it is an addition; speaking of addictions….I hear that kettle boiling!!!!
Space Monkey booties for your little girl or boy:) Avail in new sizes:) Fun space monkey with aliens in space ship bananas everywhere, too cute! Inside lined with red soft cotton. A great pair of shoes for your fun day at home, playtime or taken a nap. All items come from a smoke-free home. $ 13.00 usd
0-6 month: 2 1/2-4"
6-12 month: 4 1/2-6"
12-18 month: 6 1/2-8"
18-24 month: 8 1/2-10"
My new kitchen aid mixer arrived today!!! The tangerine orange 5 qt mixer with a stainless steel bowl, to replace my old one that sadly has gone over to mixer heaven (it was 25 years old after all). It was like Christmas around here today, my books finally came from amazon, the groceries were delivered and then surprise the mixer arrived!!!!! This weekend is going to be spent trying out my new cookbooks with my new favorite appliance!!!
Have a great weekend everyone!!
I thought this was an adorable idea, but until the the lump stops pulling anything and everything off the shelves not such a great idea for our household! Guess I will just stick with my giant Bucket o’ Yarn for the time being.
photos taken from http://www.prudentbaby.com
Article by Debra Frick @ http://www.thriftyfun.com
I am going to start with some easy fertilizers that you might not have thought of.
Put into an old plastic bottle what is left of your morning coffee. Add to 2 gallons of water and spray it in your garden once a week.Your plants will get magnesium, potassium and nitrogen from the coffee waste. Rose Food can be made from coffee grounds also, you will need to dry the coffee grounds on a cookie sheet on paper towelling or newspaper. Sprinkle the grounds around the base of your acid-loving plants. Azaleas, roses, rhododendrons and blueberries are just some of the plants that will benefit from this treatment. Be careful not to overdo it with the grounds. Even acid-loving plants can get too much acid.
Fish Tank Water
When doing a tank cleaning, save all the water to go into your garden. Used fish tank water is full of nitrogen and other nutrients that plants need to thrive.
Manure Tea or Top Dressing
Do your kids have a bunny or guinea pig? Have them clean the cage into a big bucket and add water. Use this to spray directly on your garden or use with your houseplants. Yes, it is going to stink but as the bedding breaks down, it will become rich with nitrogen and other needed elements for your plants. Rabbit manure is considered a cold manure so it can also be use directly on your garden. The old soiled bedding will act as a mulch. Your plants will benefit from the extra water retention and all the nitrogen in the manure.
Eggshell Top dressing
Save all those egg shells from your big Sunday breakfasts. Wash thoroughly and let dry for a day or two. Grind in your food processor or in your blender to a fine powder. Apply to your plants. Eggs shells are made up almost entirely of calcium carbonate, the main ingredient in agricultural lime.
Fireplace ashes can be used to replace garden fertilizer and lime. They are also high in potassium. Sprinkle your fireplace ash over your garden beds, and work into the soil.
Note: Fireplace ash should not be used if your soil is alkaline, or be used around acid-loving plants.
Do not throw away your banana peels. Use these peels for your rose plants and see them flourish. These are also full of potassium and help roses to grow.
Tea waste is especially useful for orchids. You can use your tea bags and tea waste, in summer and spring, to nourish all the plants in your garden.
Milk, mixed with water in the ratio 1 to 4, will give your plants nitrogen building protein. You can feed your plants with milk once every week. Great way to use that old milk that is starting to spoil.
Epsom salts contains sulphate and magnesium, which are good for plants like potatoes, tomatoes, roses, etc. One tablespoon of Epsom salt should be mixed with a gallon of water. Use Epsom salt once a month for your plants.
Garden Pest Sprays
These are recipes for getting rid of the pests in your garden:
They can be killed safely by pouring boiling hot water down into the nest in the ground. Fire Ants can be nasty and a real hazard to small children and pets. The only way to get rid of an infestation is to kill the queen. Wait until right before the next rainstorm. Sprinkle instant grits on the fire ant hill. The workers will carry the grits to the queen for her to eat. She’ll eat the grits and when it rains, she’ll drink. The grits will expand in her stomach and she’ll "bloat" to death. Once she’s out of the way, the leaderless ants will die off.
Diatomaceous earth kills earwigs, ants and box elder bugs. It can kill beneficial bugs too so be sure to only apply it just to the ground surface where you think insects at their worst.
Fruit flies can be killed with cheap wine left out in a small container.
Easy Insect Spray
Combine 1 Tbsp. of dishwashing detergent and 1 cup cooking oil into a gallon jug or plastic bottle. This is your master mix as this will make more than one batch of insect killer. Add 5 Tbsp. of the detergent and oil mixture into a gallon jug of warm water. Shake the jug to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Transfer the mixture to a garden sprayer and apply to your plants.
Mix 3 Tbsp. of natural apple cider vinegar in one gallon of water. Spray during the cool part of the day for black spot on roses and other fungal diseases. Adding molasses at 1 Tbsp. per gallon will again help.
Bugs Off All Purpose Spray
Take 1 garlic bulb and 1 small onion and chop in a blender. Add one 1 tsp. of powdered cayenne pepper and 1 quart water. Let steep for one hour. Strain through some cheesecloth. Add 1 tsp. of liquid dish soap to help your mixture to stick to the leaves of your plants. Store in a cool place or in the refrigerator. Always be careful when using on plants this mixture can cause leaf burn. Do a check beforehand.
Back off Jack Insect Spray
Puree 1/2 cup of hot peppers (the hotter the better) with 2 cups of water. Strain the liquid through some cheese cloth. Apply for 5 to 7 days or until the pests are gone.