Free houseplants: Sweet potato vine

sweet potato vine

I like to keep sweet potatoes around. They’re an easy snack for both me and the cat. Throw one in the microwave for 4-6 minutes and voila! I eat the orange part, and Lilo snacks on the skins. But sometimes I misplace a sweet potato until it’s so old, it’s started to sprout a vine. Pretty, isn’t it? Instead of … Read more

Water-saving tip for gardens: Re-use water!

Gray water is water that’s not clean enough for drinking, but is fine for using in vegetable and flower gardens. It can include gently used water from showers, baths, dishwashing and laundry. You can build a gray water system that collects water from sink or tub drains, then pipes it outdoors. Instructions on building a gray water system are at the website of California’s … Read more

Picking more cherries

I went to pick cherries at my old co-housing today with Dekalb. These are tiny cherries, about the size of dimes, and their pits take up about have their volume. But they are nice and sweet, which makes them great for juice and jellies. I don’t know the name of the variety. One tree has yellow ones that are sweeter, … Read more

Black raspberries are ripe! Time to make black raspberry juice!

If I had to pick a favorite wild berry, the black raspberry would probably be the winner. Also known as blackcaps or Rubis occidentalis, they grow wild throughout much of the eastern and midwestern United States, but can be cultivated anywhere in USDA zones 4 through 8. If you have a some near you, brave the brambles and try a few. … Read more

Thrifty fun at the Stuff Swap

I found some lovely bird prints at a stuff swap hosted today by the local timebank. At a stuff swap, you bring things you no longer want or that you have too many of, and take stuff that you like. There’s no money involved, and in the case of this swap, no one keeps track of how much you’ve brought … Read more

Getting into gear for gardening

I had an awesome surprise when I went shopping at Aldi today: packages of summer and perennial bulbs and rhizomes for just $1.69, $4.30 less than what had been advertised in the weekly circular. At that price, I couldn’t afford not to buy a few! (Now, I realize that’s often used as an excuse to spend money that one otherwise … Read more

Protecting tulip bulbs from squirrels

We had a break in the cold weather this weekend, so I took the opportunity to plant the last of my bulbs. I planted 21 bulbs of two different species tulips, two hyacinth bulbs, and six double narcissus (daffodil) bulbs. I’m not a big fan of daffodils, but the double ones have an intriguing look and they come up earlier than … Read more

The Destructive Alien Pests Are Here, Part MCMXLIV

Wisconsin has received it’s long-awaited bad news: the emerald ash borer is here. We knew it would happen. We knew it had probably already happened. It was just a matter of time, and a confirmed siting. But all will be well. Steven Spielberg has a new action movie coming out in which Tom Cruise rids North America of emerald ash … Read more