Never Lose Another Garden Tool With This Super-Simple Hack

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How many times have I been out in the garden, needed my widger, and had to spend precious minutes hunting for it … and then even more minutes trying to remember why I needed it in the first place?!

The same thing used to happen to me when I needed to make a note of something—and then realized that the notebook I use to jot down my gardening records was half an acre away in my house! Between the urge to “just finish one more thing first” and the fact that one of my kids inevitably needed me for something the second I stepped foot in the door, I didn’t always remember to update my records after all.

But this simple gardening trick changed all that. I first learned it from one of my organic gardening heroes, John Dromgoole. (In fact, if you saw my TGN On The Road interview with John in the Honors Lab this month, you already heard this tip!)

It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of this?” hacks that will keep your garden tools and records high, dry, and—most importantly—right at your fingertips when you need them most!

Check it out here:

 

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Drying Herbs the Easy Way

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My favorite way of drying herbs is to use nylon mesh hampers that have cloth handles. These were designed for college students, and they come in various colors. They are also collapsible for easy storage, so we have several of them and we usually dry four to five different herbs at a time.

We have installed hooks used to hang plants in the ceiling of our carport, and we loop the hamper handles over the hooks. Since we have a lot of wind in our area, looping the handles over a second time secures them from being blown off the hooks, and the herbs can dry in the shade of the carport.

The herbs need to be stirred up occasionally to separate them and make sure they are getting enough air, and it is easy to just hit the bottom of the hamper a couple of times as you go by. Some dry within just a couple of days.

If it is going to rain, it is best to take the hampers down and hang them indoors. Even though they are protected when they’re under the carport, it is still better to put them in a place away from the moisture while they are drying.

Drying Different Herbs

When I am drying herbs on stalks, I cut the whole stalk and put it in the hamper.

When I dry leafy herbs like comfrey, which are more compact, I leave the stems on the leaves and put just a small amount of leaves in each hamper. I stir these more often.

As you put the herbs in the hamper, you will get more of a feel for how many to put in as you see how much they compact. I usually don’t fill the hampers more than one-third full.

Storage Tips

When the herbs are dry, just strip the leaves down off the stalks.

For comfrey or mullein leaves, wear gloves and crumble the leaf off the stems. You can use a coffee grinder if you want to powder some of the dried herbs.

Store the dried herbs in separate bags. When the herbs are in the bags, you can crumble them up some more. I prefer using the gallon-size plastic storage bags, but not the kind with sliders.

You can also store the dried herbs in jars.

Keep the stored herbs out of the light, in a pantry or other cool area.


This article by Sharon Devin was submitted for The Grow Network’s 2015 Writing Contest and was originally published on June 15, 2015. Thank you, Sharon!

 

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Prepping for an Online Attack – The Need for a VPN

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Prepping for an Online Attack – The Need for a VPN Just as the physical landscape of our nation is becoming much more dangerous so to is the digital world. Though people may not be able to kill you from your device or computer, yet, they can do serious damage. When we talk about the …

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Being Resourceful When Necessary – A Self-Reliant Value To Live By! Re-purposing Old Hangers!

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In choosing to live a life that is more self-reliant, one should value being a good steward of their resources and learn how to reuse or recycle items to serve other purposes.  If we are in a downward economic spiral, like many believe, we will need to learn how to do more with less, to be frugal, value DIY and become resourceful.

I tried to put some “walk to my talk” a few weekends back when I reused old hangers as landscaping staples.

After the demise of my two backyard chickens, my coop started to fall into disrepair.  Since I didn’t want to raise chickens anymore (although we all loved the eggs), I put the coop up on Craigslist and eventually gave it to a family that was homesteading.  As you would expect, the chickens tore up the ground, including ripping up the weed blocker that was WAY below their coop.  As the coop laid empty, weeds started popping up everywhere.  Since we have a pool and people come over often, I wanted to get it ready for Summertime pool parties and such.

I knew when the local Boy Scout troop came around selling bags of mulch for a fundraiser, that I was in luck.  I would have normally purchased bulk mulch, had it dropped into the bed of my truck and then spend the time carrying it from the truck bed to the backyard.  But, by supporting the local Boy Scout troop, I was able to get the mulch delivered and dropped off right in my backyard!

I had weed blocker left over from previous years, so that wasn’t an expense.  I didn’t have the landscaping staples to hold the weed blocker down in the ground, and in all honesty, my experience with them is that they are not very useful anyway.  They are usually too short and start to pop-up.

I have a ton of wire hangers from getting my clothes laundered at the cleaners.  I know it is an expense, but it is worth it to me.  I used to spend a lot of time ironing my clothes in the morning, this way, I get to spend more time in prayer and reading my Bible.  So, it’s worth it to me!

In the past, I have come across various articles that give tips on how to reuse wire hangers for various purposes.  I usually take loads of wire hangers up to the country to have them up there for whenever we might need some wire.  But, I decided to use about nine to make some super long landscape staples to hold the weed blocker down while I spread the mulch.

The only tools I used were some pliers and snips.  I really didn’t even need the pliers!

See the pics below.

I started by cutting off the hanger’s hook.

I then cut the long piece even with one of the shorter ends, and did the same to the other side. This left me a small 2″ piece to throw away.  I straightened out the “hanger” staples a little before inserting them into the weed blocker.

Weed blocker before the DIY Landscaping Staples.

Because the DIY Landscaping Staples are so much longer than regular landscaping staples, they really stuck into the ground, even when I was walking all over the weed blocker.

The Boy Scouts made this easy…

Finished area.

Conclusion

This isn’t groundbreaking, earthshattering preparedness here.  But, it does speak to reusing items to benefit your quality of life. I see many people give their hangers back to the cleaners when they pick up their clothes.  I’m ok with that.  That is their version of recycling.  However, I figure that the hangers are part of my payment for the cleaning, so I want to use them for something that I can benefit from.

This little project didn’t take me anytime.  But I know that the hanger staples will stay much better than landscaping staples I could have purchased from Home Depot or Amazon.

 

What other ways have you used hangers?

Peace,
Todd

Laundry To Landscape Grey-water Hack

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Laundry To Landscape Grey-water Hack   I think this is a perfect project for many of us that want to save money and recycle laundry water 🙂 We all waste water. Well, with this hack you can use the water from your laundry to water your garden 🙂 Save gallons upon gallons of water. The hose …

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How to Get Emergency Power from a Phone Line

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How to Get Emergency Power from a Phone Line Warning.. this can damage your phone and line if you do it wrong ** What do you do if the power is out and you need to charge your cell phone to make an emergency phone call? Don’t worry. There are a number of potential power sources …

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