Thursday, March 22, 2012

2 Liter Upside-Down Tomato Planters

I love spring!  I love planting seeds or seedlings, and watching the little shoots come up with my kids in the sun.  And of course, eating the fresh veggies and fruit. 

I had always wondered about those inverted tomato planters that are sold on t.v., if they really worked well or had any benefit of growing healthier plants, but I didn't want to shell out the money to try one, not being sure of the result.  So I did a little research online and found that you can easily make your own planters by recycling 2-liter bottles, chopticks, and a chain or twine.  How cool is that?  Here's the link I found to make the planters: Upside-down Planters (Thanks,!).

Once you make the planter, it's simple to get the seedlings into it.  Small, 4-inch pot or smaller seedlings work best for this project.  Gently wrap a paper towel snugly around the leaves, and use tape to secure.  

Thread it through starting from the bottom of the planter, through the nozzle, and carefully pull the paper-towel wrapped plant through.  

Unwrap the paper towel, and hang the planter up using a chopstick and twine or chain.  

Water generously, and wait for your yummy tomato harvest! (I'm using grape and cherry tomato seedlings from my local nursery. Each 4-inch plant was only $.98.)    

Now, the verdict is still out as to whether these are better at producing fruit than right-side-up plants, but it's fun to hang them around our small yard.  They're at about eye-level so it reminds me to water them, and as an added bonus, our veggie-loving dog cannot reach them!  Let me know if you try it and how your harvest goes...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wall Trim with Pegs

 This was my first woodworking project, inspired by a book from the library on children's rooms. I painted the bottom 2/3 of the girls' room celery green, and then built an around-the-room wall trim with pegs and a shelf.  I borrowed a compound miter saw from a friend to trim the moulding to size, using 45 degree angles at the wall corners.  I attached it to the walls by drilling pilot holes and countersink holes into the moulding, then screwing it into the wall studs.  For the pegs, I decided where I wanted to place them and marked the spots with a tape measure and carpenter's level.  Then I drilled holes just the size for the pegs to fit into, and glued them in place with Liquid Nails.  Then I added the shelf, basically a lightweight 1x3" or 1x4" strip of lumber that I attached to the top edge of the moulding with a layer of Liquid Nails and screws.  Finally, I filled in the screw holes with wood putty, sanded everything down, and painted it white.

 The ledge goes all the way around the room, but I only have the pegs on this long wall (top photo) above a desk and dresser, and on one short wall just as you enter the room (shown at right).  The girls love having a place to hang their photos, purses, scarves, or sports ribbons.  And I love the way it helps keep down the clutter while giving them space to store and display their treasures.

Ok, it's time to start a blog of my home projects. Mostly it's so I have a record of home repairs and building projects I've tackled. I know others' blogs have helped me so much in finding inspiration and how-to advice, so maybe my posts will inspire or help someone else! I'll try to include photos, my experience, and any tips along with each project post. Have fun and thanks for visiting!