Ghetto Grow Bag

Remember the Ghetto Greenhouse?  Introducing…

…the Ghetto Grow Bag.

Remember that one hosta (insert plant of your choice) that your aunt (insert person of your choice) gave you a few years ago?  Well, now it’s grown into a hosta space hog encroaching on the living quarters of its neighbors.

Want to tame that big fella?  Make him stay where you want him to stay? Well, it’s time to divide and conquer. 

But what to do with the offspring…perfectly good little fellas that could find happiness in another home just like Big Pappa.

Here’s the solution:

Weed cloth and your choice of apparatus to tie the “bag” with.  And potting soil, of course, but much less than you’d need if you were transplanting into a bunch of pots.

Simply lay down a square of weed cloth, plop down a few handfuls of soil, pop in your perennial, pull the weed cloth up around the stem of the plant distributing the soil around the roots and tie that baby off.  Now you have portable perennials that can pass their time pleasantly while you ponder what person to pass the plants to.

Here we have happy hostas hanging with their homies.Who’s to know the solid green hosta are simply sitting on top of the soil waiting for a permanent home.

Don’t like the way the plant looks in one location?  Easy peasy.  No digging, no transplant shock, no time spent.  Simply pick it up and put it somewhere else. 

And if you want to step up from the ghetto and move it up to suburbia, you can copy adapt the commercial version of the grow bag

Very reasonably priced, but you do have to order it…and pay shipping…and wait for it to be delivered.

Or…you could pull out the old sewing machine and stitch up a few squares and make you own (which was my original plan).

Remember…you heard it first here.  Ghetto Grow Bags.  Try it, you might like it.

Happy Gardening

Strawberry orphans in need of a new home.

I got the strawberries today. They didn’t short-change me. In fact, I got a few extras. Now I have to figure out where to put them. I’ve got the strawberry pot I found last year, but that only takes care of six plants. I’m leaning toward homemade grow bags made out of black garbage bags. That’s quick and easy. Or I have a tiered raised bed that I haven’t used yet. Or both because there’s so many. Gotta put my thinking cap on because I need to get it done within the next couple days.

The grow bag appeals to me because I like to plant in unusual ways. When I thinned the lettuce I started from seed …

03-23-09_Lettuce started on 3-17-09

I put the thinnings in here…

03-23-09_Lettuce transplanted on 3-17-09

I got about 32 transplants in typing paper paper pots. I tore the paper in half the short way, rolled the paper, left the bottom open, put dirt in the cylinder and stuck the cylinders in the inverted top portion of a two-piece cake cover (another Free Cycle find). Last year I did the same thing and had some nice sized transplants.

Happy Gardening!!!

Soil Solutions (and) Snatching up Sensational Seeds

Here’s what I learned in the class I sat in on a couple of days ago.

The class was on soil. The presenter mentioned the soil-in-a-jar test to get a rough idea of your soil composition, just like the presenter at the Building Urban Gardens class, but she also said you can get a rough idea of your soil acidity using a purple cabbage. She mentioned the purple cabbage and some baking soda, but I was distracted and didn’t quite get it. But here’s what I found on how to do it.

Chop up some purple cabbage leaves, add an equal amount of distilled water (which is ph neutral at 7.0), and let sit for a few hours. You want the water to turn purple.

To test the solution, mix a few drops of the solution with a few drops of regular cooking vinegar, the five percent kind. The solution should turn red, which indicates a 3.5 ph.

To test your soil, in a container mix one part dry soil to two parts of the cabbage solution. Stir and let soil settle. The color of the solution gives you an idea of your soil acidity.

  • Pink or red = Indicates acidic soil
  • Purple (no change) = neutral ph
  • Blue = indicates alkaline soil
  • Green = Indicates highly alkaline soil

Soils with lots of organic material tend to be more acidic.

They gave out seeds again at the end of the class. This time it was herbs. I got…


The salsify was a trade. I had the regular basil, which I didn’t need, so I wanted to try the salsify and the woman I traded with wanted the basil. So, it was a win-win situation.

I needed some spinach seeds and stopped at the Big Lots and found these …


I was going to order the lemon cucumbers, but the shipping and handling was stopping me, so I was really happy to find these. And I don’t really eat beets, but who could resist a bulls eye beet. And how often do you see white radishes? Do I hear seed-aholic in the making?

Happy Gardening!!!!

Pssst…a bunch of bloggers are bound for the beauitful city of Chicago

On May 29th and continuing through May 31st thesecond annual garden blogger meetup will be held here in Chicago. The event provides an opportunity for bloggers big and small to get together and socialize. Full details about the eventcan be found here:

Chicago Spring Fling.


All of the activities haven’t been set in stone yet, but so far a tour of Rick Bayless’s urban/edible garden has been planned, along with hitting some of the Chicago Park District’s facilities of note. The Rick Bayless tour is only open to bloggers who have been blogging since February 1 of this year. In order to plan the activites they request that you register through the registration form they’ve developed on their site.

Now for something a little closer to home: Happy 1-month birthday to The Marigolds!Marigolds planted 02-15-09


They’re doing pretty good. They’re even showing bud formation on a few of them.If you look right near my finger tips you should be able to see them.


These are Marigold Petite Orange andshould only grow six to eight inches. A couple of years ago I hadmarigolds that were taller tan mysix-foot-plus son. They were georgeous. Silly me(that was before my seed saving savviness was developed) I threw out all the seeds when I cleaned the garage. They grew so well that they grew three feet tall in one of those oblong planters that are about 5″x12″. When I took them out of the container there was nothing but root mass.

I chose marigolds because they are reputed to deter pests, soil nematodes in particular. I intend to interplant them through the veggie garden. I’ve also started some petunias, which are a little more finicky than the marigolds.

  • Easy to grow
  • Excellent garden plant for kids
  • Edible petals
  • Deter pests

These marigolds were seeds from last year that I paid ten cents for. I’ve got 34 seedlings that I expect to progress to full grownplantdom. Almost six six-packs for a dime…plus the cost of electricity, but that’s offset by the gee-it-feels-good-to-see-that-little-bitty-seed-grow-into-a-nice-looking-plant.

Happy Gardening!!!!

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