Gardening with Salvaged Materials

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J has been working hard in the yard, tidying up scraps of wood left by the previous owners and getting the garden ready to grow some plants as the weather gets warmer around here. He put together this raised planter from boards he salvaged from the pile on the side of the house, and is currently painting it black with leftover exterior paint. Pilot is helping too, of course.

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And hey, remember that disgusting brown toilet we took out? The recycling centre didn’t want it (who would, really) so J smashed it up and used the pieces for drainage in some of our larger pots. Smarty-pants!

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We also used some of the oyster shells left by the previous owner to deter Pilot from digging in our new blueberry bush (she loves to use our planters as a toilet). There is a drip from the corner of the roof that has rotted the boards of the balcony below in this location, and a new deck is not in the budget at the moment so we instead placed the blueberry plant below the drip to take some pressure off the wood until we can repair it. We had initially planted the blueberry bush in the garden, but were advised to move it to where the deer can’t reach it until we can fence our yard. We have learned (thankfully not the hard way, yet) that deer will eat everything, even plants that are generally regarded as deer proof. What pests! Beautiful, beautiful pests. The leaves are starting to bud and I can’t wait to see what kind of progress we can make with this plant over the summer.

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We also discovered a compost bin down on the far corner of the property and transferred it in the yard so we can easily drop food scraps in there. In my apartment I kept a worm bin on the balcony, but with the amount of vegetables and fruit I eat it was in a constant state of overflow. It’s nice to finally have a huge bin to toss food scraps, I always feel so guilty putting compostables in the trash. The island also has a food scraps collection program that takes food items you wouldn’t want in your compost (like cooked leftovers, etc) to lessen garbage production.

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The sun room adjacent our bedroom is functioning well as a greenhouse. There are windows that open when it gets hot in the summer, but all windows and the sliding door have screens to keep bugs out. There is also a ceiling fan to circulate air, and a well tiled floor that we can spill water and dirt all over. Pretty great. We have set up all our seedlings in there and they are starting to grow like crazy. Can’t wait for the spring!!

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I’ve also been peeking into the neighbour’s yard and they have set up some bee keeping equipment! Giving me ideas…

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