Friday, March 22, 2013

Playin' with dirt

We've been doing a lot of playing in the dirt lately!  The front porch/yard is almost finished (seriously can't wait to share - give me one more weekend) and it sure looks like spring around here!  I love, love, love this time of year.  Carson and I go to our little neighborhood nursery so often that they know us both by name.  It's just a short walk from our house, Carson loves the place and they have so many new unique and heirloom plant varieties arriving every day.  They work with a great California grower called Annie's Annuals.  They specialize in rare and unusual annuals and perrenials and the nursery will order any of them for me!  I really have to remind myself that we have a small yard and we don't have room for everything...

During one of my visits to the nursery this week I picked up an interesting tip from one of my favorite plant experts.

Yes, that is a diaper.

She recommended I put a diaper in the bottom of my potted plants.  It's especially helpful in small/hanging pots.  It retains moisture and keeps my hanging pots from dripping.  Genius!  I'm not sure if I'll really see a difference, but I'll keep you posted.  My little hangers did get really dry every day so maybe the diaper trick will work a little magic.  If anything, the hanging pots aren't dripping like they used to, and that's certainly worth a diaper or two.

a little lavendar bacopa and dark blue lobelia (soon they'll be trailing down the sides)

Speaking of diapers...
I feel pretty lucky that Carson seems to like gardening as much as do.  Give my guy a shovel, some dirt and a bucket of water and he's a happy camper.  I had quite the proud mom moment this week when he walked into the backyard, picked up his mini rake, started raking the lawn and said "MAMA".  Yep, buddy, you're a gardener just like mama, and nothing could make me happier.

If you're interested in gardening, here are a couple of books that I've been really loving.
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
(I'm getting ready to plant my raised bed again and I love his method)
52 Weeks in the California Garden by Robert Smaus
(Obviously only good for Californians, but if you live here, read it)

If anyone has any other great gardening reads, I would love to hear about them!


  1. Whitney,
    I love the tip for hanging baskets...I have a few of Olivia's diapers that are a size she's grown out of. It's great that Carson loves to garden, the two of you will share many hours of fun in the yard.
    I receive Annie's annuals catalog and love the unique plants she offers and I have the Robert Smaus book. He used to write weekly for the L.A Times before his retirement...he really did give great tips for soca gardeners.

    1. Can't wait to hear what you think about the diaper trick! I swear it's helping! Robert Smaus is great, wish he was still with The Times. Do you have any other great books you recommend? I'm devouring garden books lately! I would love your two cents, since you're quite the accomplished gardener! In fact, Jeff and I were just looking at before and after shots of our yard and it's crazy how far we've come - in part due to your help and suggestions!

  2. What's the brown lining you use called? I have a 3 tier plant holder but can never seem to find those liners in the store when I there - or I'm looking in the wrong place. :)

    My 3 year old has fallen in love with gardening and I'm hoping that I can nurture it through the California drought. :)

    1. Oh goodness, never mind - I just did a quick search for "hanging basket liner" on amazon and found it. Doh! :)

  3. I think I will try the diaper in my pots and will let you know if it solves my problems of dripping pots on the deck. Great idea as they do soak up a lot and would help with the wind too.

  4. I read recently read where you can take the insides from the diaper and put it in a bucket with the soil, pour some water in and let the mix get damp. Use this to pot your plants in. It is supposed to help retain the moisture. Going to try this today. It is hard for me to remember to water my plants indoors. Like the idea of the diaper in the bottom also. The article I read said you could use a diaper that had been wet on lightly [not soaking, just no pooh.] Sanitary pads do the same thing.

  5. i would worry about mold.

  6. I will definitely try the diaper trick for my hanging baskets and especially my tomato plants next summer.

  7. To keep your pots from dripping on the porch and to help with moisture use a walmart bag in the bottom before you add dirt. It holds the extra water and doesn't drip. I don't have diapers any more and never thought of pads so been doing the bags for the past 4 years and it really works. Just another idea for you to think about.
    Blessings to you and your little one.

  8. Very cool, I liked it a lot. Congratulations for the text