June 14, 2019

My Recycled Compost Bin

old plastic tub ready for the trash
Our old compost bins were falling apart. They were at least 10 years old and the wooden frames were rotten. Nothing green goes into the trash at our house; we compost it all. I always have marvelous dark brown compost to use in my garden. Our backyard is totally hidden from the neighborhood so I can do pretty much whatever I want to back there. We had some big old plastic storage tubs that I was about to dump into the recycle service in our town. Then I thought of a way I could use them for making compost.

Here is what we did:

Bill drilled a lot of quarter-inch holes into the bottom:

Then he used his reciprocating saw to cut out one side: 

 Here it is, perfect for composting:
I had some pressure treated boards that had been on the old compost bins and they worked great to hold in the compost in the new bins while it cures
 Here is another one we made from an old plastic rain barrel.
 Next week I'll show you how we made terrific garden containers from recycled cattle mineral tubs.

June 7, 2019

Safe Bug Killer for Plants

Are Aphids and other critters eating your veggies and ornamental plants? Spray them with a dose of this safe spray and they will be gone!

This recipe makes 1 gallon of safe spray. I use a 2-gallon hand pump sprayer and keep it handy in my greenhouse. (double the recipe if you want to totally fill this size sprayer.)

1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Liquid Dish Soap
1 Gallon of Water

Mix all ingredients in the sprayer, stir and saturate infected plants. For aphids, you may need to spray a second time after a day or so. Aphids tend to lay eggs and you will need to get rid of the hatch of eggs.  The fruit or herbs are safe to eat even the first day you spray. Of course, rinse before using...soap is not so good to taste. 😏

May 31, 2019


Well, it's mosquito time again. Every year I mix up a batch of this natural insect repellant. It is safe, smells good and works! My little pond is one of my favorite features in the back yard but it's a mosquito magnet. Even with the mosquito dunks in there, it still seems to attract the little critters. I fill a small spray bottle and spray all exposed skin with this good smelling repellant and no more bites.

Insect Repellant
3 of 4 ounces  Witch Hazel
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Citronella Oil

Put all in a small spray bottle and spray as needed. Not only will the bugs leave you alone but you will smell good too. 

May 28, 2019

Natural Weed Killer

Many of my Mimi's Greenhouse customers have asked about a safe way to kill weeds. With that in mind, I went on a search for a natural way to rid the garden of weeds. Here is the best recipe I found. I actually used it yesterday and here is a picture of a Dandelion I sprayed. This is not even 24 hours later. Here is the recipe: note: Only add the salt if you DO NOT plan to replant in that area. 

1 Gallon White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon liquid detergent or vegetable oil, (I used detergent)
1 cup of salt
Put all ingredients into a sprayer - I like my 2-gallon pump sprayer.
Soak the weeds, preferably on a hot sunny day.
It could take a couple of days for them all to die.

BY THE WAY: Roundup weed killer is killing us! Read my Roundup Rant here:

May 17, 2019

More about Hellebore Plants

I have these beauties for sale this year at Mimi's Greenhouse. So many of my customers have not been familiar with these lovely plants. I thought I should talk about them a little on my blog so I would have a place to send my customers to see and learn.

Here are previous Hellabore posts: Flowers in Winter   Plant of the Month February   My Beautiful Hellebore

My Hellebore plants have cross-pollinated and now I have more than the three plants I started with years ago. It's fun to see what color the flowers will be on new ones as they mature. 

May 10, 2019

Plant Propagation Advice

One of my Mimi's Greenhouse customers asked me a question about propagating a flowering shrub that she had in her yard. I told her I had written a book about Plant Propagation. It had much more information than I was able to give her in a text message.

That reminded me that I probably haven't written about that little book here either. It is the time to reproduce many of the plants you may have growing in your yard too. 

Step By Step Guide To Plant Propagation Revised Edition is available on Amazon or from me at Mimi's Greenhouse when I am open for plant sales. I sell them here for a little less than Amazon (my price is $10.50)  if you live near White House and might be interested in a few flowers or shrubs too.

Here is what the Amazon description says about the book: "In this little book you will find tips and tricks for rooting cuttings and ways with seeds plus other methods to multiply your plant collection. You will read how to root almost any plant with mist. There is even a section on money saving ideas and repurposing things you may have otherwise tossed into the trash."

See my "Books" tab here too for more info.