Garden frames

Frames can be made from all sorts of things. I don’t like wasting materials as you know, so I am always looking out for timber and steel I can repurpose. No matter how thrifty though, if it doesn’t do the job or look neat, then I’m out.

>> works and looks good <<

These frames are made from reclaimed steel and hardwood stakes. I had about two dozen stakes that were at the end of their working life, so lashed out for new ones – woohoo – should last about 5 years and so handy for all sorts of jobs. Today, they are holding up that frame.

>> think upside-down <<

See how well the metal frame carries the net without puncturing, and fits the bed width perfectly?.. They are actually old trampoline frame legs 😎 from the local recovery station (socially acceptable term for dump yard hehe)
The round frame sections left over will be welded together for an arbor… a project for another day.

>> peg and stake <<

I have used more of the stakes to hold the net down, but still easy to lift for access. I have a heap of metal hook pins (second hand turf pins) that I use to pin them into the bed. These nets would normally not be ideal, since the gauge is wide enough to hook birds, but since brassicas aren’t attractive to the birds, they don’t bother going near these. I also use reclaimed micro-net curtains for this job, but they are being used somewhere else.

So, there you have it – sturdy handy frames, no waste and look neat as a pin. There are many other frame materials and ideas I am sure. Please do comment with your solutions – we would love to hear them. BTW, do you like how dark and fluffy the soil looks in this bed?.. that is all down to trenching. Looks almost good enough to eat πŸ˜œπŸ€“

Look wide; grow well, folks 🌿

Quick Mitts

We use linen tea towels. I get them from the op-shop.. those souvenir ones that are super handy but not quite cute enough for decoration. We have a dozen or so in the kitchen and they last and last.

>> DON’T WASTE YOUR OLD TEATOWELS <<

Eventually though, they do become stained and worn. I don’t care for bleach, or waste, so it’s time for a new life as oven mitts. I find linen works much better for this repurposing than cotton.

>> FOLD THE TEATOWEL <<

Wash the tea towel, dry, then fold into a pad shape suitable for a mitt. The multiple folded layers provide the thickness that protects your hands.
I got tricky this time and folded so as to leave a pocket to put my hand, so the mitt doesn’t fall off.

>> BLANKET STITCH <<

Time to stitch around the edge to keep the layers together. Look closely and you may see linen thread around the edge.. It had a rip or two so I repaired that first in about a minute.
I held the layers together with some quilt clamps but pins are just as good. The thread is cotton I got from the thrift store in a bag of a few colours, and the needle is a sharp paper and linen needle I use for mending. If you are not sure how to do Blanket stitch, a quick google peek will sort you out πŸ˜‰πŸ‘.

>> EVEN STEVENS <<

I am using a trick my Gran taught me to keep my stitches even – draw some spaced lines onto your thumb, so when you hold the fabric to stitch, it is clear where the next one should go. 😎

>> CHECK THE FIT <<

The average linen tea towel folded up fits both my and hubby’s hand. The little pocket works a treat, the mitt washes up easily to use again and again, and when it is really at the end of this second life, it will likely end up at the bottom of a trenching hole to feed the earth, like my other cotton and linen fabrics.

This took me about 20 minutes, and I am not a sewing person by any stretch. I will make a few more, as they are super handy and easy to throw into the wash.

~ Look wide and mend, folks 🧡~


plants can volunteer too

Volunteers welcome

Who wouldn’t want more volunteers in the garden? If you do trenching and rotate your crops, then you’ll have more show up than you could have hoped for, and every single one happy and tasty. Haha.

>> In the garden, a volunteer is any welcome or useful plant that shows up that you didn’t sow. 🌿

It might be a lone tomato from last years plantings, cucumber sprouts from the trenching, alyssum popping up from plants last year… you will be out in the garden doing some weeding or harvesting and – ‘heeeey, hello, how did you get here’ ☺️

a volunteer silverbeet in our garden
Turning over this bed, discovered a volunteer silverbeet. No idea where he came from…

If you choose trenching to bring vital organics into your soil, then kitchen vegie scraps will be the first thing to go in. As your skills increase, you’ll add more and more – digging in leftovers from the finished crop in that bed and other organic additives from your yard, like ash, dry leaves, and lots more. One of the marvellous consequences of all that good stuff are the communities of vegie volunteers that will sprout from nowhere. Last year, our pumpkins, golden cherry toms, sunflowers, rocket, parsley, coriander, all manner of flowers, gerkins, purslane, warrigal greens and rockmelon all came as volunteers to help out. No offers were refused πŸ˜‰

This week’s trenching with last month’s cucumber leftovers sprouting already. It’s too cold for cucumbers now but we will grow these to about 5cm high, then chop and add to a salad. YUM.

Some volunteers can stay in-situ, some may need moving to another spot, and some may bring so many friends, you just have to dig most in. That’s okay – more organics in the soil is a good thing. If you want to get really tricky, you can even trench some likely candidates into garden beds knowing they will likely come up. It is only one small step away from saving and growing your own seed, except with none of the effort and all of the surprise.

Look out for Volunteers at your place. If you have started Trenching, then they are not far away πŸ’š

Look wide; grow well, folks 🌿
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