Showing posts with label the dirt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the dirt. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Dirt: Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix

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This post brought to you by Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.

The weather is turning nicer and nicer and I can't wait to get out into my garden and get planting. I have to admit, my garden has really been neglected this winter so I'm eager to get started.

One of my goals this year is to plant a vegetable garden. The caprese sticks that I made above were from tomatoes from my neighbor's garden. Nothing tastes better than homegrown vegetables so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have a good harvest.

That's why I was especially excited to receive a bag of Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix to try out. Now I won't have to rely on just keeping my fingers crossed when I plant my garden. Here are some of the benefits:

• Up to 3X the Flowers and Vegetables!* *versus native soil
• Significantly improves soil for multiple years
• Concentrated planting mix expands up to 3X when water is added
• Feeds for up to 6 months
• All natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil

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The mix is specially formulated to help you get beautiful results - in the ground or in pots. I was surprised at how light the bag was when I received it. Here's why:

Besides the Miracle-Gro plant food it contains coconut coir fiber derived from the coconut husk. It's lightweight and retains 50% more moisture than regular potting soil. Harvesting coconuts begins with de‐husking. The copra (flesh) and milk of the coconuts are used as food, but the husk itself is also useful. The long fibers are used in the manufacture of ropes, doormats, mattresses, automobile car seats, and garden pots. The remaining short fibers and the pith, which makes up about 70% of the weight of the husk, are by‐products of the fiber industry. Previously, these materials were disposed of, but now they are compressed and sold around the world as soil amendments.

Check out Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix for yourself. Or, leave me a comment for a chance to win a free sample of Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix. I'll draw a winner from the comments using a random number generator and send you your sample. You'll have beautiful plants in no time!

Expand ‘n Gro™

Besides tomatoes, I'm planning on planting a mixture of herbs. I can't wait to have fresh tomato sauce, salsa and plenty of herbs for the barbeque season.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Dirt: flower bulb gifts

Don’t you just love it when you see an idea and have all the supplies needed to complete the project? On one of my recent Inspiration Board link parties, The Feral Turtle linked up “The Gift of Green”. Such a sweet simple idea – flower bulbs in upcycled containers.

I had grape hyacinth bulbs leftover from last year and plenty of jars to choose from.

 To make these pretty gifts, wash your jar and add some clean gravel.

Insert your bulb into the gravel and add water up to the gravel line. This little bulb was neglected {left out on the patio table for months} and damaged but it’s sprouting two new bulbs. I’m amazed at how hardy these guys are. 

Wrap your jars in pretty paper, ribbon or fabric. I used a crochet doily for this jar and added a simple matching grosgrain ribbon.

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Parchment paper and baker’s twine add a simple touch to this plain jar.

A strip of an old tea towel wrapped with a piece of ribbon trim gives this old jar a clean homespun look.

Now the bulbs aren’t neglected anymore and will hopefully sprout beautiful grape hyacinths.

Add a pretty tag and these are all ready for gift giving.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Dirt: painted clay pots

I’m sure you’ve seen similar projects to these painted clay pots. They’re referred to as; painted pots, chippy paint, distressed planters, weathered terra cotta etc.

Photo courtesy of The Handmade Home

This was the inspiration photo. When I Googled “painted pots” this was one of the images that came up in the search and I knew this was how I wanted my pots to look.

I researched several ways to achieve the distressed look and decided to use the following method:

1. Start with clean, dry terra cotta pots.
2. Rub a candle all over the pots (the wax helps chip the paint)
3. Paint your pots in a desired color. I used various combinations of Martha Stewart paints in Scallion (green), Surf (blue) and Wedding Cake (white).
4. Once the paint is dry rub off some of the paint. This is where I had trouble. My paint didn’t want to come off so I used a little sand paper to scratch up the paint.

The two larger pots are now home to some new succulent chicks.

The two smaller pots are too tiny for plants so I made them into candle holders.

I melted a few citronella candles and poured the wax into the pots reusing the wicks. You can melt old candles on top of the stove in a throw away pot. However, I found the easiest way is to use an old tin can. Place your candles in the clean can and put in the oven at around 250 degrees. Pour your wax and throw away the can.

Note: I’m not a candle maker and have no idea what I’m doing… Use caution when melting candles on your stove or in your oven.

Love my new turquoise, aqua, chippy, painted, distressed, weathered terra cotta clay pots.


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This project is linked at the parties listed here and

  Tickled Pink at 504 Main UndertheTableandDreamingTip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Dirt: little shells and succulents

I'm having so much fun bringing touches of summer inside my home.

I saw this great idea to Summer-ize your home in Better Homes and Gardens. A nice big over sized shell filled with succulents.

I was fresh out of giant oversized shells but I did have some small scallop shells. And since succulents are pretty hardy, I thought they might not mind a small little shell home.

I clipped some new growth off some of my established succulents and nestled them into the pebbles.

You can use them in a variety of ways.

A centerpiece


Or even place cards

If they take root,  I’ll have to move them from their little starter homes. But for now, I’m enjoying them as they are.

This project is linked at the following:

       A Crafty Soiree Party Button Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom Somewhat Simple IhookedupwithHoHlamespice   

And other link parties here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dirt: skeleton leaves

Have you ever made skeleton leaves? You can buy skeleton leaves in craft stores but I wanted to try making some.

I found several “how to” tutorials online. The first one is from Heather at The Other White House. Heather used laundry powder and states in her post that she tried various recipes and this one is the only one that worked.

The second tutorial I found on ehow. This tutorial uses baking soda and baking powder. It’s an alternative to using laundry powder which is caustic to skin and produces fumes.

I thought I’d try the baking soda and baking powder recipe first since I had those items on hand and it seemed safer.

Here are the directions via ehow:

1. Place a large pot filled with water on the stove and begin to heat it. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of baking powder to each quart of water in the pan.
2.  Add all of your leaves and allow the water to boil. Then reduce the heat to have the water mixture simmer.
3. After about an hour, check your leaves. Some should be soft and mushy looking. Remove a few of these to begin to turn them into skeleton leaves.

I gathered camellia, ivy and geranium leaves and simmered them according to the directions. After an hour and a half the geranium leaves were a complete mush and not usable. The camellia leaves hadn’t softened a bit. The ivy leaves seemed ready and so I used a soft brush as directed and gently tried to sweep away the green flesh.

I ripped several leaves but managed to salvage these three. I didn’t get all the green flesh off these leaves. Even though they’re not perfect I still think they’re fascinating to look at.

I think I will try the laundry powder method next time.  I should have listened to Heather at The Other White House since she had tried several recipes. Live and learn…

This project is linked at the following: All Things Heart and Home Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden NightOwlCrafting Anything Related  lil luna link party button    A Crafty Soiree Party Button Photobucket   Lovely Crafty Home    

And other link parties that I participate can be found here.