If you already know that I have two gardens in two different community gardens spots and each in a different neighborhood, it probably doesn’t surprise you that I’ve been looking for easier, more efficient ways to water.

Several different, yet similar methods for making self-watering drip systems using recycled plastic bottles were found by searching the Internet, so I tested three different ways. First, I punched several tiny holes in the bottom of a bottle, filled it with water and set it in the garden. Second, I punched a hole in the cap of a bottle, filled the bottle with water and placed it cap side down in the garden. And third, I punched one hole on each side near the top of a bottle, filled it with water and placed it top down in the garden. Unfortunately, the water in all the bottles drained out within ten minutes of my placing them on the soil. Recycled plastic bottles would NOT make watering my garden any easier.

Then I remembered how one of the other gardeners at the Happy Valley Community Gardens had told me how she used old wine bottles to help water her garden. Not only did the bottles look pretty scattered throughout her garden, she said they actually worked.
There were no wine bottles in my recycle bin, so thank goodness I have friends with empty wine bottles. One gave me a bottle to try. I filled it with water and turned it upside down in my garden one evening. Then I went back 24 hours later and discovered that only half of the water had drained out. Sure enough, this method would work! So, it was back to my friends for more old wine bottles – thanks Ken and Gwen and David. Now I have two dozen recycled wine bottles in my garden slowly releasing moisture near the roots of some of the most tender plants.
Bron: http://really-rose.blogspot.be

Perfecte omgeving voor de zaadjes en makkelijk op te bergen in de winter. De bekertjes kunnen we vervangen met gevouwen gazettenpapier of toiletrolletjes, die kunnen we dan mee verplanten in de groentenbedden.





Start your seeds in biodegradable pots that can go directly into the ground — no transplant shock. You can grow dozens or even hundreds of new plants to fill your yard and garden with great flavors and bright color for the cost of just a few packets of seed. And you don’t even need to pay for seed trays or planting pots. Grab a few sections of newspaper out of the recycling bin, and in just a few minutes, you can turn them into perfect containers for starting seeds.

Materials Needed:

  • one sheet of newspaper (each roughly 22″ x 12″) for each pot you want to make
  • one 10- to 15-oz. can
  • moistened seed-starting medium
  • waterproof tray

Sow Seeds

Plant a seed or two in each pot, then gather all the pots onto a tray and water.

When you’re ready to plant the seedlings, dig a hole deep enough to bury the pot so the rim is below the soil surface; exposed newspaper could help wick water away from the plant. (If needed, tear off a bit of the rim so it doesn’t stick up into the air.) In moist soil, the roots will quickly grow through the paper sides of the pot.

Spared the shock of being shaken out of a plastic pot at planting time, your seedlings will get off to a strong start, and you’ll soon be enjoying an abundant harvest.

Pruning a mature apple or pear tree

Pruning our mature and neglected pear tree has been on the to do list for ages. Having done a bit of research, we decided now is the time.

I stumbled upon a super fact sheet created by the Ohio State University Extension programme – they allow their material to be copied given appropriate credit. And credit is indeed due! I paraphrase their suggestions here.

—    A good fruit tree should not make a good shade tree!
—    Prune late in the dormant season to minimize cold injury.
—    Prune heavily on neglected/vigorous trees, less so on less vigorous cultivars.
—    Make all heading back cuts just beyond a bud or branch.
—    Make all thinning cuts just beyond the base of the branch being removed.
—    Avoid pruning too close (See Figure 1.)
—    Don’t prune a “shade tree” back to a fruit tree in one year. Do it over a few.
—    Wound dressings are unnecessary for trees pruned in dormant season.
—    Match pruning tools to the size wood being removed. Shears for twigs, loppers for branches, and a saw for larger limbs.

How to prune a mature apple or pear tree

Figure 1. Flesh cuts heal slowly; so leave the collar.

How to prune a mature apple or pear tree

Figure 2. Pictured from above, space scaffold branches to allow access.

How to prune a mature apple or pear tree

Figure 3. The suggested pruning cuts.

And finally they add: backyard trees are rarely over-pruned, but inexperienced growers often procrastinate on pruning for fear of damaging trees. ‘Topping’ or shearing a fruit tree is about the worst thing that can be done, but even that may result in better fruit for a year or two. Ultimately shearing will produce a dense crown that inhibits access for sunlight, sprays, and harvest, and invites weak structure and breakage. As long as pruning cuts are made to remove, head back, or thin as the examples illustrated and discussed, no nightmares are necessary. Don’t use hedge shears. ‘Just do it.’

And with those final words of encouragement, we went for it. Here is the tree first thing in the morning:

Pruning mature pear tree - before and after

And here is the result, a bit obscured by the trees in background.

Pruning mature pear tree - before and after

And now to tidy up the mess we’ve made.


Bron: http://themoderngardener.wordpress.com/

It’s time to water your plants frugally. I fill my bottle drippers with the garden hose. This is quick and saves time.

The used bottles are buried between plants. They take seconds to fill.

All water gets to the roots of each plant unlike sprinklers which allow much of the water to be trapped in the foliage.

“One of the best ways to provide a steady water supply to your plants without your constant attention is the gradual watering system or drip irrigation.

“Through this method a device is employed that slowly delivers water into the soil directly around the roots.

“Commercial watering spikes can be purchased from you local garden centre however, using recycled materials you can make your own drip irrigation system for free.” 1