When you hear the words ‘home garden’, you usually think of herbs in a window box or a plot of strawberries. But did you know there’s a wide range of fruits and vegetables you can buy once and regrow forever?
It’s easy, good for your health, and can save you heaps on your grocery bill. Take a look at the simple tutorials below…
Don’t toss the top from this summer favourite! First, remove the bottom leaves from the crown (the spikey part). Fill a glass of water and place the crown inside, just so the base is covered.
After about nine days, you’ll see the beginning of long white sprouts. By the third week, the crown will be sporting some impressive roots. That’s when you know it’s time to plant it in some soil.
You don’t need a lot of space; a simple planter box will do. In 18 months, they’ll be ready to harvest, just in time for next summer.
Cut about three inches off the bottom of a bunch of celery. Next, place it roots-side down in a small bowl of water. In just three days, you’ll begin to see fresh celery stalks sprouting from the top.
Once you see new foliage, remove the outer stalks so the roots are exposed. Once you see long strands appear, transfer to soil.
It’ll take about five months for them to become fully grown.
This aromatic vegetable is great to have on hand. When you buy it at the supermarket, select a root with lots of ‘nubs’. All you need to do is plant it with the nubs facing up.
You can grow ginger in a dirt plot or pot. It’ll be ready to harvest within four to six months.
Select the largest cloves in the bunch and separate them. Peel back the paper from the sprout end. Then place the cloves in some soil about six inches apart, with the peeled end up.
In about two weeks, you’ll see garlic sprouts start to emerge. They’ll be fully grown within eight months.
5. Spring onions
Cut the end off, about four inches from the roots. Place the freshly cut ends in a glass of water near a sunlit window.
By day five, fresh onions shoots will begin to grow. You can leave them in the glass to keep growing or plant them outside.
They’ll be ready to harvest in about eight to 12 weeks.
Do you regrow any fruits and vegetables yourself?
If you’re anything like me, everywhere you look there is another bottle of nail polish. They seem to breed and most never even get used. Did you know that there are actually plenty of ways to put your (old or unwanted) nail polish to use besides painting your nails?
- Match cord connections: Use a small dab of nail polish on any electrical connections to highlight a match ~ for example, the top side of a computer hole and the top side of a plug (using the same colored polish). This way you will know what belongs where and where’s up and down when you go to plug in.
- Seal an envelope: If the glue has gone from your envelope or you don’t like the idea of licking it, brush a little nail polish along the underside of the flap and it will seal perfectly.
- Smudge proof: Add a coat of clear polish to important labels so they do not smudge or disappear with water ~ such as medication instructions.
- Thread a needle easier: Put a dab of nail polish on the end of the thread and rub it between your thumb and forefinger. It will dry in a second and when it does it will be stiff. Threading your needle will be so much easier.
- Stop a run in stockings: Nothing worse than having a hole in stockings when you are out. Simply dab of some clear polish to each end of a hole (or ladder) (and let it dry. It is invisible and will prevent it from getting any worse until you get home.
- Keep car chips from rusting: If your car has a few little chips you’ll want to protect them before having the time to get it to a repairer. A little bit of clear polish will seal the chip and prevent further damage or rust.
- Keep shoelaces from unraveling: Place clear nail polish on the ends of shoe laces and twist the ravelled ends together. When they dry they cotton will be sealed tight.
- Tighten glasses screws: If the tiny screws in your glasses are loose or falling out, screw them back in then seal them up with a little bit of clear polish. When dry it will act like glue and hold everything in place until you can visit an optometrist (use this concept too for pot handles, bolts or any screws around the home)
I am sure there are plenty more ways to use nail polish other than to adorn yourself…if you have some share them with us please.
Do you happen to have any old tennis balls laying around in the backyard, or garage? They can be very handy. Here are a couple of ways you can put old tennis balls to good use:
- Remove Scuff Marks: Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in one side of it, big enough to fit the end of an old broom handle. Simply rub the ball over any scuff marks on your floorboards; they’ll come right off.
- Parking guide: Hang a tennis ball from a string in your garage so that the ball will touch a corner of your car when it is properly parked. No need to second guess every time.
- Door Stop: Who needs to buy a doorstop when you can simply wedge a tennis ball between the door and the floor instead.
- Chair or table leg protector: Cut an X in the top of each ball and put them on the bottoms of chair legs to cut down on noise and floor scuffs. If you don’t have scuffable floors (or all of your chair legs are already covered) check with your local school. Many schools take donations for just this purpose.
- Learn to juggle: Tennis balls make a great get of juggling balls.
- Secret hideaway: Make a slit in a tennis ball, then squeeze either side of the slit to open it up. Place money or other objects inside, and release to close the opening.
- A natural weight: Use tennis balls to anchor clusters of helium balloons at parties. Knot together a group of ribbons attached to balloons. Cut a small X in the top of a ball and insert the knot. Fill the ball with sand if you want extra security.
- Cleaning tool: Put a tennis ball on the end of a broomstick and use it to clean cobwebs from the ceiling.
- Exercise: Squeeze a tennis ball in your hand whenever you have an extra few minutes to increase your hand strength.
Other than the obvious, have you ever put your old tennis balls to good use? Share your tips!
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Is getting more for your food budget an appealing idea to you? Then get a-peeling! But don’t toss those peels. The peels of many fruits and vegetables are edible, with the bonus of being rich in fiber and nutrients. And some peels that aren’t good to eat have healing or cleaning powers.
Apple peelings: If you are peeling apples for pie or small children who reject the chewy peels, don’t throw those red or green skins away. Process the peels in a blender and store them in the freezer. They can be added when cooking oatmeal along with some cinnamon. You can also toss them into a smoothie to add apple flavor and fiber.
If you don’t want to eat your apple peelings, use them to clean your aluminum pots and pans. Simmer apple peels in a few inches of water for half an hour. The acid in the peels will break down the built-up grease stains and help restore the pan’s shine. Afterwards, discard the peels and wash the pot as usual.
Potato peelings: Don’t throw the skins away when you peel potatoes. Instead, rinse the peels and pat them dry with paper towels. Then place them on a greased cookie sheet and drizzle generously with cooking oil. Sprinkle with seasonings and bake at 350 degrees F until they are crispy, homemade “chips.”
Banana peels: Banana peels may encourage healing. Rub the inside of banana peels onto psoriasis-affected areas of skin or acne. There may be some redness at first, but in a few days you may see healing. Banana peels can also be used in this way to stop the itching and reduce inflammation caused by poison ivy. Some people claim banana peels shrink warts too.
Lemon peel: Rub lemon rind over faucets to eliminate mineral deposits and polish the chrome. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
Pineapple peels: These make a great, cheap car air freshener. Put some rind scraps from a pineapple in a plastic bag. Leave the bag on the dashboard or in the back window of your car. Solar energy will cause the pineapple peelings to shrink and dry out and your car will smell like a pina colada.
Cucumber peels: These are natural pest control agents. The bitterness of cucumber peels will ward off ants, moths, mites, wasps and silverfish. Lay cucumber peels in corners of the kitchen, on windowsills or in cabinets … wherever you are having a bug problem. Refresh them frequently, though — decomposing cucumbers will actually attract pests.
Cucumbers are beneficial for the skin. Place some fresh peels over your eyes to reduce puffiness and redness or rub the wet underside of the peel all over your face for a quick facemask to tighten the skin.
Orange peels: Put an orange peel in your brown sugar container. The oils in the peel will soften hard lumpy sugar up in just a few hours.
The white side of an orange peel can polish dull-looking wood furniture and not-yet-dried orange peels make a natural sponge you can use to clean your sink or stovetop. It cuts grease and leaves a lovely citrus smell.
Finally, put some orange peels in jar, cover with white vinegar and close the lid. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few weeks shaking it occasionally. Then, pour into a spray bottle and use it as an earth-friendly cleaner for floors, windows and household surfaces.
Second hand furniture has character, is built to last and is far more inexpensive compared to its modern cousin. The benefits to its interior design uses don’t end there. If you are seeking a unique look with classical pieces and don’t necessarily have the budget that stretches too far, don’t look further than pre-loved furniture to grace your home.
1. The best used furniture to use
When hunting for that perfect piece, bookshelves, benches, cabinets and even dressers are some of the best to opt for. You’ll also find that occasional chairs make great inclusions to a home. For sanitary reasons avoid mattresses and any other bedding item, and from a safety perspective, don’t look twice at baby cots or items that may have been recalled overtime. It’s just not worth the risk unless you know for sure.
2. One focal piece per room
Your whole house does not need to be furnished with second hand furniture from garage sales, opportunity shops or free online classifieds sites such as Gumtree. The key to design success is to be diligent and take your time to select a focal piece for each room.
When you stumble across that one piece you love, work your existing accessories around it. By choosing large items in neutral tones, you can more easily re-decorate overtime with pops of turquoise or tangerine as your tastes change. Introduce colour easily with cushions, throws and artwork.
3. Be prepared to touch up
Some of the most incredibly carved timber tables or love seats can be found if you know where to look. Your bargain price may mean your furniture requires a touch up but hey, it’s all about designing your home with character. Arm yourself with sandpaper and a few pots of sample paint or stain and set out to give your hand-me-down furniture a new lease on life. Don’t forget too that a cabinet may only need its dated hardware replaced to help make a world of difference.
You may need to draw upon a bit of imagination to look past a lounge chair with worn paisley fabric or a table’s bright purple paint, so if you need some help to visualize your bargain in a new light, the good news is that there are plenty of options available.
To get you started, here are 3 very different second hand pieces sourced from Gumtree.
This amazing find is a vintage 60’s sideboard listed for only $145.
Looking for a leather sofa? This set will only cost you $70. That’s a fantastic bargain.
Need storage for your kitchen, garage or bedroom? These amazing units are completely FREE. Yes, $0.
Aged pieces give our homes personality. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit too. Modern, antique, second hand or new. There are no rules. Design your home your way and you’ll love it more every single day.