Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No Monkeys Around Here...


Just barrels of fun.

That’s what we have around here. Grab a cuppa as my friends 'down under' would say... This is a longer than usual post but I hope you enjoy it. I had fun getting this one together.

Let’s talk recycling and re-purposing. You’ve seen the tree branches we used in the garden for our pole beans. We also use them for gourds and I’ll be putting some more up for the cucumbers. Carol came up with the idea to keep and use them instead of burning them. I just executed the idea.







Here’s another idea or two…



Old dryer tubs. This one Carol took the spray paint can to it so it would add some color. This one has a tomato plant in it.



Old washer tubs... which I don't have any of yet. I'm looking though. I think you could make them look really neat with the all the drain holes that are in them.










Old or new wash tubs. This one Carol planted petunias in and it's looking good.











An old plastic barrel that was cut down for use as a water barrel for horses. It was here when we moved on to the place and we don’t have horses, so…

This horse watering barrel is now producing tomatoes. The first ripe tomatoes came out of this barrel. Notice the marigolds in with the tomato plant. Adds a touch of color and the marigolds are good to run the bad bugs away from the tomatoes.

You can see some more of the tree limbs laying in the background waiting for me to think of some fun way to use them.




Large plastic tubs. My cousin and her son gathered up a bunch of these for me. They have a cattle operation and these tubs are what they get their minerals in that they feed the cattle in the fall and winter. These are a great size, as you can see, and they are easy for Carol to tend from her wheelchair.

I still would like to build some raised beds, but as you know, money has been tight all over and there were other needs that needed to be met first. That is the beauty of these tubs. You can use them as your primary garden or when I get one of those “round-to-its” we can use them to expand and/or compliment our yet to be built raised beds.







When I brought these tubs home I flipped them over and drilled drain holes in the bottom so when we water or it rains the water doesn’t just stand in the tubs. We had some old chunks of styrofoam that we had saved from different things we had purchased and that I had gotten out of dumpsters.

Yep, folks, I have been known to dumpster dive… anyway we have used it before as filler in some of our larger flower pots and I had a bunch stashed in our goat shed. Most of it went into the dryers, but I had just a bit left over that I used to start our tubs. Then I ran out of it. Head scratchin’ time…


As you can tell, we do like to recycle and repurpose. From where we live to recycle pop cans is about 12 miles. In order to recycle plastic we have to drive almost 20 miles. So why not use them here on the plantation for now? Seemed reasonable to me. So I filled up tubs with our soda cans and plastic bottles to about the halfway mark and then we filled the rest with our planting dirt and the results have been great.

The plants are easy for Carol to tend from her wheelchair and easy for me to water and weed, too. I don’t have to bend over so far and if the next injury is a knee or an ankle I have a scooter I can get around on and they are the right height for me as well. It affords us ways to use cans and plastic bottles that we either had to drive to dispose of or put them in the trash where they’d end up in landfills so I consider it a win-win solution. And while you may not know any cattle ranchers it might be a good excuse to hang out at a feed store and meet some and beg for tubs… or watch for yard sales that might have something useful for cheap.

Those of you that don’t have room for a garden “in the ground” could always use planters for a patio garden. Or a balcony garden in apartments. Anywhere you might have a small amount of space.


So this is my tip for today. But I do think it’s fun and we all have those things we love to eat fresh so I thought I’d share what we are doing around here… in the red dirt land.

18 comments:

Katidids said...

Fantasticf use of the tubs!!!!!! Wow, I just saw a few on the side of the road some where, have to figure where and go back for them. Lord knows the county has not yet picked them up ! Thanks for the great tip!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

love those tubs... and what a great idea for the cans... i have bags of them here and the recycle center is way down in the bad area in augusta...
i want me some tubs gonna have to talk to the neighbor with the horses and burros and see if he has some!!!!!!!!

farmlady said...

This is what I call a colorful "bucketload" of ideas. I will never look at a plastic bucket the same way again.Thanks for showing us all of this. Lots of great ideas.

Terry said...

Howdy Helen
WOW you are so smart ,I always love coming by because I know your going to have something really neat .

No wonder I was so drawn to your blog ,
I love dumpster diving !
You never know how much wonderful stuff you will find.
Of course where we live now they don't allow that and have securtiy cameras everywhere but I would rather be safe.
Killeen,Texas is one strange place to live.
Anyhoo have a great rest of the week.
Happy Trails

jojo said...

Great post today Helen and some great ideas. I've done the styrofoam one before but the cans...ingenious. How did you like my little surprise email?? duh!..;p

hetty said...

Great post! It's always good to know that people are trying to cut down on the garbage we create. And planting flowers and tomato plants in the tubs - well what could be better?

Debbie said...

Wow. I've used wash tubs before but this is a terrific way to recycle. Better than just throwing it in a bin. Very creative! Plus it adds so much color with very little effort. I'm not wasting my gas either to drive to take the cans.

Me? Dumpster diving and picking up stuff anywhere I see it that it's not nailed down and free :)

Must be that Aquarian thing!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Great ideas!
Not I need to find someone with some left over barrels sitting in their way.

Mary Ellen said...

I love the tub idea. My grandparents could figure out how to reuse or re-purpose just about anything. It sounds like you have their spirit!

darsden said...

Awesome ideas and great use too. You have been extremely buzy in the yard. And the heat factor .. like here is HOT!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Great ideas. Too bad I kill everything green. Think I'd have better luck growing a monkey!

Hallie

Sara said...

My parents had a huge garden and Dad always wanted marigolds planted along the edges - to keep the bugs away. I just think the marigolds looked so cheerful as a border. Good ideas for using the cans as drainage. Much lighter than other things you might have used.

Ronda said...

I love it, you garden alot like my mom and dad. My dad puts out 50+ tomatoe plants a year and he uses a bucket to sit on while he is working them. Next few years he is going have to back off and the amount he plants. Nothing better than fresh tomatoes though. The tubs are a great idea!

Debbie Jean said...

Wow, I love all the ideas!! Thanks, Helen, how creative!! I use a power chair a good bit, and those are great ideas for me, as I can't weed. Thanks!!!!!

God Bless~
Debbie Jean

Cindy said...

We've been known to use cans in our pots to ensure good drainage. It works great. Love all your plantings in different containers. Loving the diversity! Take care.

Roslyn said...

I am so happy to know that you have people to be kind to you & help you.
We have a small urban garden & I have plants in tubs, never thought of recycling washer tubs though.Way to go, can you paint some flowers on them?

Robynn's Ravings said...

Helen what a great idea! And you incorporate more color into your garden, too. But I love the height and the good points you made about that. Perfect. :)

Emily said...

What a great green thumb you have. I kill every plant that comes within 3 feet of me....