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  • shalnachywyt commented on KronBjorn's instructable Garden Deck With Greenhouse2 days ago
    Garden Deck With Greenhouse

    Well, I have to keep track of costs to make sure I have enough money to do it, and I have to keep track of hours so I can find out how many calories I'm burning so I can show my doctor I'm "getting exercise"! :)

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  • Build an Irrigation System Powered by the Curvature of Space-time

    In my garden, the PVC pipes have holes spaced regularly to water the plants since my system doesn't have enough water pressure to use soaker hoses.

    Well, I tried that and it didn't work either because from the top of the spring box to the bottom of the creek bed was only about 2 feet. I spent five years trying to figure out why the ram pump didn't work (yes it took me that long! ::grin::) until I stumbled upon one of Gene Logden's books on self-sufficiency (published in the 1960s or early 70s I believe) wherein he talks about ram pumps and defined "head" as the vertical distance from the where the water comes out to where it goes into the pump. That was my "ah!" moment and when I realized that, due to the short horizontal distance of the creek which is only about 75-100 feet before it hits my neighbor's property, that the ram pump simply wouldn't work for me. :( The solar panel and bilge pump, however, is per...

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    Well, I tried that and it didn't work either because from the top of the spring box to the bottom of the creek bed was only about 2 feet. I spent five years trying to figure out why the ram pump didn't work (yes it took me that long! ::grin::) until I stumbled upon one of Gene Logden's books on self-sufficiency (published in the 1960s or early 70s I believe) wherein he talks about ram pumps and defined "head" as the vertical distance from the where the water comes out to where it goes into the pump. That was my "ah!" moment and when I realized that, due to the short horizontal distance of the creek which is only about 75-100 feet before it hits my neighbor's property, that the ram pump simply wouldn't work for me. :( The solar panel and bilge pump, however, is perfect for my situation and not only lifts water about 7 feet into the air where it gravity feeds into the garden, apparently it also pumps horizontally as well. Of course lately, with all the rain we've been getting, I don't need to irrigate. I expect that to change in a month since we're entering our "dry season" soon. Still, for someone who has the right conditions, a ram pump is definitely the way to go.

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  • shalnachywyt commented on KronBjorn's instructable Garden Deck With Greenhouse3 days ago
    Garden Deck With Greenhouse

    Awesome build but waaaayyyy beyond my capabilities and age. I just finished building a staircase up to a non-usable front door (don't ask!) which will eventually be expanded to a deck on the south side of my house that will eventually tie into the already-built deck on the west side of my house. The staircase alone took me 78 hours to build and luckily, I had a bit of help from a neighbor.

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  • Build an Irrigation System Powered by the Curvature of Space-time

    I made a ram pump 20 years ago and discovered that despite my having a spring and a creek where the water flows out about 15 gallons per minute, it didn't work. Why? I discovered that you need a MINIMUM of three (3) feet of head for the pump to work. If you don't have that, and I only had a head of about 2 feet, there isn't enough pressure in the water flow to run the pump. Instead, I got a solar panel, a small pump used by boats to get water out of the boat, and hooked them up and that irrigates my garden just wonderfully!

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  • shalnachywyt commented on jessyratfink's instructable DIY Cat Tent13 days ago
    DIY Cat Tent

    My cat just looks at a box and then walks away. She's not box-friendly. ::shrugs::

    Isn't that always the way? I'm surprised they don't find the box even more interesting!

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  • Self-watering Mini-greenhouse With Europallets

    Thank you for the clarification. I haven't seen anything like that being sold at our local garden center here in Tennessee. Maybe this is just a European thing? I might be able to concoct a substitute however. Thanks for the instructable. Lots to think about! Happy gardening!

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  • Self-watering Mini-greenhouse With Europallets

    Be careful that those pallets or any other type of wood you use is not treated. Regardless of the so-called "safe" treated wood, it is not safe. Otherwise, great idea. Question: could you put a link to where you got the "greenhouse" frame and glass?

    Thank you for your reply. Pallets that are used in the US are not usually sold in Garden Centers. Most of the time they're made of untreated wood and you can get them for free from various companies that don't recycle them but have them on the side of the road for trash pickup. I've used pallets as fences but found they rot very easily. Instead I've used composite lumber (made of sawdust and plastic) which doesn't rot, doesn't leach into the soil etc. I really like the aluminum and glass (? acrylic plastic?) coldframes. Wish they weren't so expensive here in the us.

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  • Inexpensive Eco-Friendly Way to Make a Garden Bed Weed Proof

    Oh I tried that about 20 years ago because I saw a local group that teaches farmers how to grow sustainable do it. What a disaster! The blasted weeds and (expletive deleted) Johnson grass just came up in between the weave of the carpet and it took me forever to finally get rid of it all. Then I found some bathroom backboard that was basically concrete slabs about 1/2 inch thick. That has worked very well in between the vegetable beds but is just now starting to deteriorate. Never, ever, NEVER! use carpet. You'll be very sorry that you did that. I have noticed that using the plastic bags from mulch and/or soil that is sold seem to last longer than anything. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the area right now, but I do have pictures of the area where the blue rug juniper...

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    Oh I tried that about 20 years ago because I saw a local group that teaches farmers how to grow sustainable do it. What a disaster! The blasted weeds and (expletive deleted) Johnson grass just came up in between the weave of the carpet and it took me forever to finally get rid of it all. Then I found some bathroom backboard that was basically concrete slabs about 1/2 inch thick. That has worked very well in between the vegetable beds but is just now starting to deteriorate. Never, ever, NEVER! use carpet. You'll be very sorry that you did that. I have noticed that using the plastic bags from mulch and/or soil that is sold seem to last longer than anything. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the area right now, but I do have pictures of the area where the blue rug junipers were eventually planted. See attached. Since I live in NE TN about 4 miles as the crow files from the Appalachian mountains, the intent was to try to "mimic" the mountains which is why some of the stone (yes I hauled that stuff myself in the back of my car) is upright and some of it is horizontal. I figured that when the blue rug juniper covers the flat rocks the vertical rocks would show through. Didn't happen. The juniper covered everything, but it still looks great and, best of all, I don't have to mow that 14 x 10 foot area that was such a problem to mow!

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  • Inexpensive Eco-Friendly Way to Make a Garden Bed Weed Proof

    The "Zen" garden I'm working on won't have plants like hostas in it. The Hostas are in the north side of the house where they're lots of shade since hostas are shade-loving plants. Most of the plants will be evergreen bushes that will eventually cover the "fake rocks". The problem is that the area I'm working in is approximately 1,000 square feet and was originally cow pasture with (expletive deleted) Johnson grass, crab grass, and other weeds which are almost impossible to get rid of by pulling and I *will not* use herbicides there because there is a small 3ft x 5ft fish pond in the area. Eventually there will be a bigger 8ft x 11ft fish pond next to the smaller pond, taking up a good deal of space. The only way I found to "remove" the blasted weeds an...

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    The "Zen" garden I'm working on won't have plants like hostas in it. The Hostas are in the north side of the house where they're lots of shade since hostas are shade-loving plants. Most of the plants will be evergreen bushes that will eventually cover the "fake rocks". The problem is that the area I'm working in is approximately 1,000 square feet and was originally cow pasture with (expletive deleted) Johnson grass, crab grass, and other weeds which are almost impossible to get rid of by pulling and I *will not* use herbicides there because there is a small 3ft x 5ft fish pond in the area. Eventually there will be a bigger 8ft x 11ft fish pond next to the smaller pond, taking up a good deal of space. The only way I found to "remove" the blasted weeds and Johnson grass permanently is to cover it with rocks, otherwise the Johnson grass, especially, will find a way to come up through the dirt. Johnson grass is extremely invasive and is a running grass. Even as little as a quarter inch of root will sprout into a holy mess, thus my extreme measures. I did this on a section near the front of my property that was 14ft by 10ft and covered the area first with cardboard, then with plastic, cut holes in the plastic to plant Blue Rug Junipers (I think I planted five in the area about 10 years ago) and it covered the rocks beautifully. Unfortunately, I still get a small amount of growth from the nearby Crape Myrtle coming up which I have to cut back periodically. I have used cardboard to temporarily cover some of that 1,000 foot area, but it decays fairly quickly in this NE TN environment, especially when there's been a ton of rain recently. Your method might work better in cooler environments. It's not a bad idea. It's a great method for someone starting a garden, especially if they're putting in new raised beds; but, like I said, where you have extremely invasive weeds, like Johnson grass, Honeysuckle (which is killing all my trees!), wild grape, etc. the cardboard (unforunately) won't last forever.

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  • shalnachywyt commented on CalebL40's instructable Rain Barrel for Garden Watering2 months ago
    Rain Barrel for Garden Watering

    Oh now this is clever! Why didn't you post this 10 years ago when I needed to figure out how to do this? Would've saved me a lot of dentist bills from my gnashing my teeth over how to get a spigot close to the bottom of the barrel.

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  • Raised Bed Garden [for Those With Only Hand Tools!]

    I'd also dig down about 4 to 6 inches into the soil to place the hardware cloth. This will enable fingerling carrots to grow and even some potatoes if you hill up the potatoes as they're growing. I'm actually growing potatoes in about 8 inches of soil. Don't get a ton of potatoes but then I plant about 16 plants of 3 different varieties so I do get a decent crop and I'm not planting to feed an army, just myself and a couple of friends. :)

    I have been gardening in raised beds lined with concrete block for nearly 20 years. My beds (of which there are 7 of them) are approximately 35 feet long by about 3 feet wide which enables me to easily get to the middle of the bed without getting my back thrown out. After a while the soil does get compacted from the rain. The way to fix this is before you put the bed to "sleep" in the fall, go through the bed with a fork and simply lift the soil up a bit, then cover with mulch. Grass cuttings only work as mulch if there are no seeds in them! If there are grass seeds, then mulch with wheat straw or very composted hay and/or manure. Be careful of wheat straw however. My last batch I got from Lowes had so many wheat berries in them that I'm now getting wheat growing in my bed...

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    I have been gardening in raised beds lined with concrete block for nearly 20 years. My beds (of which there are 7 of them) are approximately 35 feet long by about 3 feet wide which enables me to easily get to the middle of the bed without getting my back thrown out. After a while the soil does get compacted from the rain. The way to fix this is before you put the bed to "sleep" in the fall, go through the bed with a fork and simply lift the soil up a bit, then cover with mulch. Grass cuttings only work as mulch if there are no seeds in them! If there are grass seeds, then mulch with wheat straw or very composted hay and/or manure. Be careful of wheat straw however. My last batch I got from Lowes had so many wheat berries in them that I'm now getting wheat growing in my beds. Grrrrr. Obviously the farmer providing the wheat straw doesn't have a clue as to how to go about it correctly.

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  • Inexpensive Eco-Friendly Way to Make a Garden Bed Weed Proof

    This is great for starting a new garden . I can guarantee you that after about 3-5 years, there will be weeds coming up between those plants because the cardboard and mulch would've rotted. What I did instead, was to cover over the cardboard with "fake rock" (which I make myself recycled from old foam trays you get with meat and fish covered with a layer of concrete) around the plants. Then I cover the "fake rock" with a layer of gravel. The plants usually cover the "fake rock", especially when I use evergreen ground covers. Now, however, despite having done this 10+ years ago, there are still some small weeds that take root in between the "fake rock" (I love birds, but... ) so I still have some small weeding to do, but it's not extensive. Wi...

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    This is great for starting a new garden . I can guarantee you that after about 3-5 years, there will be weeds coming up between those plants because the cardboard and mulch would've rotted. What I did instead, was to cover over the cardboard with "fake rock" (which I make myself recycled from old foam trays you get with meat and fish covered with a layer of concrete) around the plants. Then I cover the "fake rock" with a layer of gravel. The plants usually cover the "fake rock", especially when I use evergreen ground covers. Now, however, despite having done this 10+ years ago, there are still some small weeds that take root in between the "fake rock" (I love birds, but... ) so I still have some small weeding to do, but it's not extensive. Wish I had a pic to show.

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  • shalnachywyt commented on Thinkenstein's instructable Styrofoam Concrete3 months ago
    Styrofoam Concrete

    I've never had any luck with Hypertufa, no matter what recipe I use. It always falls apart when I pick it up.

    I've been making "fake rocks" with concrete and those styrofoam containers that you get with meat and fish from the grocery store. I simply cover foam piece with concrete using a trowel then, when it's dry about 12 hours later, I flip it over and continue to add concrete to the rest of the foam. I've made at least a dozen of these to use in what will eventually be my Zen garden to cover the clay and (expletive deleted) Johnson grass which is almost impossible to get rid of any other way. I first place recycled plastic bags that topsoil came in on top of the ground, then put the "fake rocks" on top. Eventually gravel will go on top of that. They're lighter than real rocks and do the job. "Styrofoam at the core of sculptures helps cut down on the weight a lot....

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    I've been making "fake rocks" with concrete and those styrofoam containers that you get with meat and fish from the grocery store. I simply cover foam piece with concrete using a trowel then, when it's dry about 12 hours later, I flip it over and continue to add concrete to the rest of the foam. I've made at least a dozen of these to use in what will eventually be my Zen garden to cover the clay and (expletive deleted) Johnson grass which is almost impossible to get rid of any other way. I first place recycled plastic bags that topsoil came in on top of the ground, then put the "fake rocks" on top. Eventually gravel will go on top of that. They're lighter than real rocks and do the job. "Styrofoam at the core of sculptures helps cut down on the weight a lot." This is what I was taught in a college sculpture class. Of course it's more complicated in that you have to place concrete lattice (the kind used to anchor concrete to the side of buildings) in order for the concrete to stick to the foam, and then you have to make sure that the thickness of the concrete is at least 1/2 inch or the stuff flakes off as has happened with one of my attempts at making a sculpture. (Now I have to go and "repair" the sculpture by adding more concrete.) (see pic attached of the "concrete Tori")Thanks for the idea about using styrofoam packing peanuts. I hate those things, but now I have a way to dispose of them and make something useful as well!

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  • shalnachywyt commented on bekathwia's instructable Plywood Storage Wall With Cat Tower5 months ago
    Plywood Storage Wall With Cat Tower

    Could this have been made in modular sections so it wouldn't be so hard to move? Love the fact that the cat was included! Don't know how you got an apartment that big. When I lived in Brooklyn (born and raised there!) my first apartment was almost a hole in a wall!

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  • Honey Garlic Spareribs - Chinese Restaurant Style

    An instapot is merely a 21st century crockpot. The difference is that in a crockpot you don't have the electronic timer, and it doesn't incorporate a pressure cooker as well. You can do this using a crockpot. You just need to leave the ingredients in there for 2-3 hours (like he suggests if you're cooking this on top of the stove) so the meat becomes very well cooked (it's pork after all. You want to make sure it's cooked thoroughly to avoid any possible problems with undercooked pork) and tender. I've done something similar without the brown sugar in my crockpot and it comes out just as delicious.Hope this helps.

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  • Black Magic Leather Grimoire - Bookbinding Tutorial

    Absolutely one of the most beautiful pieces of artwork I've seen in a long while. Must've taken you days to do this. One of my art professors was into bookmaking, but you've blown them away with this incredible piece. N-joy! Bright blessings!

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