Skip to main content

Helping hanging pots retain water in hot weather...

I love my hanging baskets. In the Brisbane winters (which are beautiful by the way - best time to visit) My baskets bask in the warm sunny weather and produce lots of wonderful flowers.



In the summer they curl up their toes and simply die. I put some water crystal things into the soil and had a reasonable rate of success with them but the Queensland Summer sun is simply too much most of the time for the plant and its game over too quickly.

I'm still game for one more round with Mother Nature this summer - Here's what I did...



 I pulled all the baskets down and pulled out any dead or almost dead plants.


Then I put them up on the edge of the veranda on top of some empty pots to stablise them- dug out the plants and soil...


And lined all the baskets with all those pesky plastic bags you get from the shops at this time of the year.


Then I put the soil back in with a dollop of compost and some worm wee - gave 'em a decent water...


And hung them back up.



It's not the most attractive hanging basket I've ever seen but I'm hoping that the ability to retain water in the basket will lead to lots of bushy leaves and then you wont be able to see the plastic. I like the coconut coir that the baskets are lined with but they simply don't retain any water and in the baking 35 degree heat - the dirt becomes as hard as rock and the plant just gives up the ghost.

I'm hoping that the water will pool at the bottom of the basket and be accessible to the plant. Before I did this, watering the basket made the dirt damp, then it drained out the bottom and simply evaporated into thin air. The plants were out of water by lunch time and I was at work unable to help them. Watering them twice a day was starting to get a bit silly - Of course its rained practically every day since I did this so I'm not sure if its the plastic or the fact that they are getting water and the sun is behind the clouds that is leading to the plants looking so much healthier today!

I'm not sure what I will do if this doesn't work. Both sets of hanging pots only get 1/2 a day of sun - but that's probably enough to bake them to a crisp most days. Maybe I'll have to move 'em to a spot that gets even less direct sun in the summer...

Score card:
Green-ness: 4/5 for finding a use for a plastic bag - 2/5 for having it in the house in the first place!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for not spending a cent!
Time cost: Probably about 1/2 an hour to repot 6 baskets
Skill level: Digging and balancing!!
Fun-ness: If they manage to live - it will be great fun!

Comments

africanaussie said…
I have a love/hate relationship with hanging baskets. I love the coir but they do dry out so quickly. I will be interested to see how this works - I tried a thick plastic liner once with no drianage and the pot got so heavy it broke the branch and fell down!
Practical Frog said…
Oh - I didn't think of that at all!?!
They have been hung up by the husband so I suspect there is a 45 inch screw going through the front of the roof! But I will keep it in mind when I'm watering them. Thank for the warning. - K xx
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Killing cockroaches with boric acid v borax!

We live in Queensland. We have cockroaches. Lots of cockroaches! Why the NSW rugby team is called the Cockroaches is a mystery to me - surely ours are not only bigger but more plentiful??? At any rate, I don't like living with them (and I'm quite sure they  are not so fond of me at the moment!!) and I have been going through the usual gauntlet of sprays, solutions and bombs to get rid of them...

But I'm not so keen on the chemical aspect of all this spraying and bombing. I hate the smell and can almost feel disease and cancer growing in me every time I spray. I'm OK with the resident cockies getting a lungful of chemicals and then keeling over but I feel its impolite (and probably illegal) if my guests and family members do the same thing!!!

We went through a faze of killing them by hand (and flyswatter and rolled up newspaper and underfoot) but its hard and frustrating work and it probably was only culling the dumb and slow ones - leaving the smart fast ones to breed!!!

What to do when your cat attacks a bird... and doesn't kill it.

We have an eight year old cat who we got as a stray about six years ago. The vet reckoned she was about two when we got her and we did all the right things and got her spayed and vaccinated and all that stuff. She loves people and no matter where you are in the house or garden, she will not be far away. She really good with kids and will put up with the squishiest cuddles and a far bit of toddler tail fascination before bolting out the door to escape. She is well fed (despite the look she is giving me and the empty bowl below...) but not fat - but still the  urge to hunt and subsequently kill still seems to be quite strong.


Last weekend, she pounced out of nowhere on a rainbow lorrikeet - thankfully my husband and a band of teenage boys were also there and managed to grab the bird before the cat had done more than pounce. Now we have a slightly mangled still alive but obviously unwell bird on our hands - what do you do?

Here's what we did...

We found a box - popped an old towel in t…

Making homemade soap from lamb fat!

At work recently, we cooked up 3,000 lamb shanks (yes that was three thousand- and it took us a week!) for a feast which gave a us a huge amount of unwanted fat.

Normally that would have been thrown into the skip but I had remembered reading somewhere that animal fat - or tallow - can be used for making soap. If you have a look on a commercial packet of soap you will see something called sodium tallowate - that's scientific speak for rendered beef fat.
I have been making my own olive oil soap for a few years now with reasonable success, so I collected up all the fat I could, rendered it and gave making soap from fat a go!

Here's what I did...

I rendered the fat, which basically involves heating it to melting point and then filtering it through sieves that get finer and finer and then adding water (don't boil the fat or adding water will make it explode) and leaving the fat to set - on top of the water. The impurities should fall to the bottom and be caught in the water -…