Thursday, April 26, 2012

My dirty {foliage} secret--revealed!

Friends, it is that time a year again, I am so excited to be getting my Pots ready... I thought I would repost this because it has been my MOST POPULAR post... EVER!  If you are potting plants do not pass these simple tips up, especially if you forget to water you plants... like me!
Everything I learned about gardening I learned from my mom! She always has amazing potted flowers! Last summer she taught me a wonderful 'dirty' secret to keep your potted plants looking fresh... Do you want to know what it is?
Well here it is....
Yup, you are not seeing things, I put a diaper in the bottom of all my pots! Why, because a diaper will help retain the moisture in your pot. Last summer, I was amazed at how diapers really helped my pots stay moist, especially since I am not always the most dedicated gardner!
Sure, you could go buy commercial water hydrating crystals at the nursery, for a pretty penny. However, if you are like me, you have an abundance of disposable diapers at your, well, disposal! Most, if not all, diapers contain water absorbing polymer crystals that absorb water, and expand (that is why the diapers get puffy) when wet. When put in a flower pot, the polymers in the diaper absorb water when the plant is watered, and becomes a reservoir for the plant when it is dry, keeping your plant moist.

I thought I would show you step by step how I planted my container plants. I am really spoiled because I can go to my mom's green house, and use her stuff!

Step 1: Bark
Put bark in the very bottom of your pot. We used a mixture of bark, and old soil from last years pot to place in the bottom.

Step 2: Diaper
Make holes on the outside of the (unused-of course) diaper, so the water can drain. Place the diaper with the inside up on top of the bark.

Step 3: Potting Soil
Put about half the amount of potting soil you think you will need over the diaper layer. You can buy potting soil at the store, or you can make your own. This is my mom's special brew:
25% old potting soil from last years pot
25% Peat moss - helps retain water
25% Vermiculite - de-clumping agent
25% New potting soil
I am so lucky to have a mom who knows this stuff! Her soil is always fabulous, and she shares with me!

Step 4: Arrange Flowers
Now that you have a little soil in your pot, arrange the flowers the way you want them. I like a tall spike in the middle, and then lots of different colors and textures around the pot. I always include one wave petunia or super petunia, that will hopefully droop over the pot.

Step 5: Finishing
Pack soil around the arranged flowers. Add some slow release plant food granules to the top! Your beautiful pot is complete!
Here is a peak at some of my moms darling pots in the greenhouse!
My daughter likes to ask, Grandma, why is it called a greenhouse, it is not green?
I am so excited to put my flowers on my front porch--if only it would stop raining!
Enjoy, Carlee
I like to link up to these fabulous parties, come join in the fun!

86 comments:

  1. Your kidding right? That is SO amazing. I'm definitely going to try this.

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  2. I have not heard this tip before! Very interesting! I'll have to give it a try! Thanks!
    Blessings,
    Amanda

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  3. That is SO amazing - I've been gardening for years and never heard of using a diaper. I appreciate you providing the planting soil mixture too. I found you on My Romantic Home's show & tell Friday & am your newest follower.

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  4. Oh, that's brilliant! I'm going to have to give it a try. I'm usually good about remember to water in the beginning, then I forget and everything dies.

    Laura @ Come Together Kids

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  5. BRILLIANT! Now I know just what to do with the random 10 or so diapers I have left. ;) Thanks for finding me at TT&J. I'm following your fabulous blog back!

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  6. That's a fantastic idea!! Thanks for sharing and visiting FFL! Have a great weekend :0
    Lina

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  7. thanks for sharing! this is a fantastic idea!
    Marcelle

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  8. I just LOVE this idea! Thank you for helping out a "not-so-green" thumbed gardener...

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  9. I am SO trying this idea this year!!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  10. Okay I JUST potted my plants!!! Will hve to try this though ~ they dry out very quickly! Thanks!!!

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  11. PURE GENIUS!!! I'm totally doing this once I get the plants for my pots. :)

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  12. WOW. I have never heard of this and think it is a BRILLIANT idea!! So very clever! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Jaimee @ craft-interrupted.blogspot.com

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  13. Unfortunately, gardening is not my forte. My Mom however, could grow anything! I remember my Grandfather coming to visit, and telling my mom he needed a machete to get through the living room! I think that with this idea, even I could grow something, because forgetting to water is my main offence in gardening. Thanks so much for sharing. Now I just need to get some diapers...

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  14. First off thats awesome! Second, I wanted to let you know that when I set up my linky I accidentally put the thumbnails way too small and when I fixed it to make them bigger it made your images really really blurry. I tried to change the pic myself but it wouldn't let me. So I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you wanted to relink up so your pics would be clearer

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  15. Pure genius!!! I have already planted my pots this year but I will be filing this away for next year!!! Thank you for sharing!

    Kadie @ Seven Alive

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  16. Wow what an awesome tip!! Darn - I just finished my potting today - but I'm remembering this for next year!! Thanks for sharing :)

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  17. That's the craziest, smartest idea. Definitely have to try it!

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  18. What a great idea! I'm definitely going to give it a try!

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  19. Oh WOW, this is an amazing idea. I used to have those crystals, and they sure do work well, but you are right, why buy them when you can use old diapers. Totally love it. Here I thought I was done with the diapers, lol.

    This was just a fantastic idea, and I am adding it to my Pinterest board, under Gardening. :)

    Have a wonderful day girl!!
    Also if you get a chance, hope you can come over to see how I make the EASIEST chicken curry ever, using rotisserie chicken, and enter to win your own MAGIC Chicken Curry Mix.

    Hugs, Bella :)

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  20. I'd love to invite you over to link this up to my party. Stop by anytime to say hello!!!
    Hugs,
    Bella :)**AMAZE ME AUGUST** @ Bella Before and After

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  21. I was wondering what to do with those diapers that he's outgrown! Thanks for postingon I <3 Naptime's Sunday Scoop! www.project-purple.blogspot.com

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  22. Someone was just telling me this today. Such a small world.

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  23. That is too funny! Amazing tip though, I may have to give it a try!

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  24. This is a great tip! I am going to have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. Thanks so much for sharing this diaper tip. That is brilliant.

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  26. That is an awesome tip for where I live!

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  27. Awesome idea!!! Can hardly wait to try this one. Thanks for sharing!

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  28. I am SO going to try this. Living in the desert, it's hard to keep everything sufficiently watered at all times! Thanks!

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  29. What a crazy tip - but it does make lots of sense! My kids are passed the nappy stage though...don't have any on hand!

    Just stopped by to let you know that I featured your gardening guru bucket on my round tuit post this week!
    Round Tuit 49
    Thanks again for linking up! Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

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  30. Who would've thought? :-) It makes sense though, thanks for the tip and for linking it up!

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  31. That is genius! I'm totally going to do that from now on. Thank you for thinking to Weekend Warrior!

    Anna
    www.askannamoseley.com

    P.S. I will feature this at some point this week, I'll email you once I know what day.

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  32. I would never have thought of that, what a fab idea! Thanks for linking this up :D

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  33. Oh my goodness! I would have never thought of that!

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  34. At first I was afraid that the "dirty secret" somehow involved human fertilizer....I am SOOO relieved! Thanks for sharing this awesome tip!

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  35. Thank goodness for moms. We always learn something new. Thanks for sharing these tips and the soil recipe.

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  36. Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  37. My family used to have a greenhouse too. While I was glad not to be tied to it when we moved, many years have passed and I miss it. Never heard of the diaper trick. My brother has been looking for a way to keep his plants alive when he travels. I'll tell him to try this to see if it will extend the life of his plants a few days. Thanks for the tips.

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  38. Interesting! I'd love to link up at Inspire Me Monday!
    http://singingthreelittlebirds.blogspot.com/2011/05/inspire-me-monday-thanks-for-stopping.html

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  39. I would never have thought about a diaper will share this with my mom as well thanks

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  40. haha, this is such a funny thing that is totally logical, I love it, too bad all we have is cloth diapers in the house. I'll have to beg off of the neighbor, I'm getting ready to plant some salvia in the kitchen... {so clever}

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  41. OMGosh, I am going to try that.

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  42. This is crazy- I am pulling out the diapers as I write this first to change my son then to use in my pots- it got a little chilly in Chicago and I haven't potted them yet. Great idea! I'd love it if you stopped by Workshop Wednesday and shared it!

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  43. I have lots of diapers on hand so I can't wait to try this trick.

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  44. brilliant! thanks so much for sharing...this is a wonderful tip!

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  45. I like the idea of putting diaper in the pot! From now on, I'll do that :) Thanks for linking this awesome post at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

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  46. what a great idea!! thank you so much for sharing this!

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  47. Thank you for the tutorial. Not one every teaches you how to pot your annuals. It's one of those things everyone assumes is common knowledge, but for someone who grew up without a gardening mother, this is great stuff!

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  48. LOL this cracked me up but I absolutely loved it! Awesome job, and now I know what to do with some of those extra diapers I have laying around. :)

    Emily
    Deviantly Domesticated Team
    http://stephaniehillberry.com

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  49. That is CRAZY! I would have NEVER thought of that. :) Thanks for sharing. I'd love for you to come link up at DIY Thrifty Thursday @ www.thrifty101.blogspot.com
    Michelle

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  50. This is pure genius! I'm featuring you tomorrow as a Friday Fav at naptimecrafters.blogspot.com

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  51. WOW!!! I had no idea! What a great tip!!! Thanks for sharing this on Fancy This Fridays!! Hope you'll stop by on Monday to see if you are a giveaway winner, featured post, or BOTH! :)

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  52. I've never heard of that, but it seems like a fantastic idea!

    Heather @ Local Fun for Kids

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  53. That is such a great idea and that probably also stops the water from running right through. I will have to try this....though I will have to go and buy a box of diapers cuz they are not at my disposal. Have a great day.
    Joani
    http://mysouthwestramblings.blogspot.com/

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  54. Carlee, what a cool tip! I would have never guessed! Thank you for sharing your mom's formula for potting soil too. Posting a link on my FB page...

    Best,
    Jenn

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  55. Bwahahahahah! Unbelievably cool! I just made some planters and a reader recommended this post for me to try for next time. This ROCKS! So glad I was given the link for your site--thank you!!

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  56. Who would have thought! Thanks for the tips! I'm really bad about watering.

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  57. thank you for posting this! I found you on Pinterest.. this past summer I planted hanging baskets for the first time and I didn't know how to keep them from drying out so fast. now, armed with your tip, next years will be fabulous!

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  59. I can not wait to try this, I have never heard of this before. What a fantastic idea, thank you for sharing it with us :)

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  60. What if you have never used a disposable diaper on your baby? Does it matter what brand?

    Much better use of trash! I would spend money on a small pack of nasty disposable diapers for my plants ;)

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    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure anyone can still use this fabulous tip even if they don't have a baby. Diapers are available at most stores for anyone to buy.

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  61. how long does this diaper last in the soil? When would you change it out? other than that it's a great idea.

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  62. I never change the diaper out, towards the end of the summer it might not be as effective, but it sure does help! Thanks for the comments!

    Carlee

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  63. What a great tip. I need to pin it!

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  64. That is genius! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing at the Pomp Party! Pinning to our Pomp Party board!

    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love.

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  65. Wow! Amazing....doing this! Thanks! xo wendy

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  66. Saw this on Pinterest and had to come read about it. GENIUS!!! I will do this next year as all my pots are planted. Thanks!!!! XO, Pinky

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  67. That's amazing! And I think I use that brand of diaper here for my grandson, lol!

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  68. I love container gardening and this is the best idea ever! Thank you for the amazing tip! Happy Gardening :)

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  69. Oh my gosh did I need that hint... I have tried sooo many tricks and none have worked. I will definitely try it next year.

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  70. I saw this on pinterest- wow, what a great hint! I'm terrible about remembering to water, so I will definitely be trying this. Now to go beg a diaper or two from someone....

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  71. Wow, it's amazing, I am going to try this.

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  72. Are dirty diapers even more beneficial?

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    Replies
    1. Dirty diapers .. I'd have no problem using a urine-soaked diaper in ONLY pots used for flower plants, not for edibles. Poopy ones, NO.

      http://www.goveganic.net/article217.html

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  73. If you read my blog post, I used a CLEAN diaper, I would think that a dirty diaper would be to acidic, or something... I only use the clean ones!

    Carlee
    www.ladybirdln.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi, if I'm using extra large deep pots would I put the diaper higher up or still at bottom? Also, I'd love to see your baskets/pots in summer when they are nice and full! thx for the tip :)

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    2. I forgot to get notification :)

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  74. For smaller pots, can you cut the diaper to size?

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  75. I love this idea. Definitely going to do it. I will be sharing this information on www.free.gditraining.com and www.Top-End-Marketing.com Thanks so much for this cool trick!

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  76. This is also a great use for the dry parts on the ends of soiled/wet diapers. Just cut them off. Double duty diapers!

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  77. Such a great idea. when do you change the diapers?

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  78. Such a great idea. when do you change the diapers?

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  79. Such a great idea. when do you change the diapers?

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  80. Such a great idea. when do you change the diapers?

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  81. Such a great idea. when do you change the diapers?

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