Thursday, July 30, 2009

Get dirrty.

Sorry, I couldn't resist channeling Christina for a second. I have so many little projects I have wanted to share with you, but when I asked on Twitter -- the vote was for the outdoor project, so here. we. go.

This one isn't nearly isn't as fabulous as the deck, and again, I feel like I'm probably preachin' to the choir. I'm sure most of you already know these tricks, but I like to share with the group. I'm nice like that.

When you buy your hanging baskets or plants, you can make them look like a million bucks by just replanting them out of the cheap plastic containers and into your own.

OK, they won't like a million bucks, but maybe $20.

I showed you these planters for the deck from Goodwill last week -- a steal at $2.99 each:
I had a vision for them, so I spray painted them and then wasn't sure if I was going to plant anything for the rest of the summer/fall. Who was I kidding. Unfinished projects make me twitch. Shake. Shudder. Itch.

I found some beautiful plants for cheap and got moving. Most of the time, your decorative pots will have holes on the bottom, but if they don't, or if you'd like to put more in them, all you need is a drill and a large drill bit:

Just put a few holes in the bottom -- for plastic containers, any drill bit should work. These planters are a weird fiberglass kind of material, so I used one made for cement. I put five holes in the bottom of each. As is mentioned, even if your planters have holes, you'll probably want to put a few more in. It never hurts to have a little more drainage. (I feel like I just said "holes" 15 times.)

Anyhoo, after that, instead of buying a ton of of expensive potting soil -- try this little trick. Keep the plastic planters from the plants you plant, (wait, huh?), and before you put the soil in, put the old plastic planters in first:

This is great for two reasons -- you'll use half the soil, at least. And they are soooo much lighter to work with when you're done. My grandma used to use charcoal on the bottom of her planters. I've also heard of using the foam packing peanuts. Those peanuts are expensive though -- so just use what you have!

AND, please don't buy the expensive potting soil they put out right up front at the nursery -- go to the back and use the cheaper bags -- they are harder to find but are about two bucks and change for a bag. You can sprinkle some Miracle Grow on the plants after if you want that in the soil. I've even used the cheaper top soil and mixed that in as well, and those are only a little more than a dollar a bag.

If your plant is a hanging basket, take the little clips off the planter first:
Then, to loosen the plant up to get it out, roll it around on it's side a few times, then shake it a bit and it should come out easily:

The great thing about this time of year is finding plants for el cheapo -- they are clearancing them out for the fall plants and you can find major deals. I found some Coleus plants at Menard's last for only $3.99 each -- SCORE!!

I have never planted Coleus before -- I wasn't sure about them at first. I walked right by and left them there, but they were are oddly beautiful to me. Kind of wild looking but I was a bit mesmerized -- I had to go back for them:
Gorg!! Hopefully they'll hang in there for a few more months!

Remember, fall is a great time to plant bushes and trees! I have no idea why it's a great time to plant bushes and trees! But it is!! Really, I think it's something about roots, before the cold hits, yadda yadda yadda. So keep in mind even as fall nears (YAY!!!!!!!), you can still work on the landscaping for a couple more months!

So glad you all loved my hole patchin' post. Please check out the comments for some really great tips -- you are all so brilliant! Sorry I have no clue what to do with plaster though -- anyone know how to patch that up?

My consult rates will be $20 starting Monday, so if you are interested, let me know before then! I'm thrilled to be working with so many of you -- thanks for your patience. Any new consults may be about two weeks out before I can get to you, but I will as soon as possible!


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