Friday, May 23, 2008

Bugs, Paint, and Other Things

Here's an idea so neat I couldn't help wanting to share. It covers more than one topic - gardening, creativity, families, and being frugal!

It's Family Friday today. For lack of a better idea, I'll talk about something our family has started doing.

Our family has started doing more serious composting and recycling this year. I wish we did more. I'm one of the ones who jumps up when someone heads towards the trashcan "No! Don't throw that away! We can rinse it out and recycle it!" (Mom might call me a pack-rat) ...But I'm glad we're starting small, anyway.

We make most of our food from scratch, which cuts down on a lot of the packaging junk we could be creating, but we do use a lot of cans - glass and aluminum.

One thing about recycling cans, though; they build up. Storage can become a problem quickly. We don't want to be running out to the recycling place every week, so....? What to do? Haven't figured out how to solve that problem with glass, but here's what we do with the aluminum cans:

First, since we're blessed with a sturdy young man who loves to smash things, we arm him with a big sledge hammer and have him smash the cans flat. That will reduce a whole bins of cans to a few inches of metal.

But, if you use this idea, don't smash ALL your cans. If you have a garden, that is. Why? 'Cause old cans are your answer to organic and cheap bugs traps!

Yes, folks, we have cans sitting on the tops of each and every tomato post in our garden. They are spray-painted red and yellow with plastic spray paint (by that same energetic younger brother. See what a great family project this is?!)

The idea is this: bugs can see color. The bugs that attack tomatoes are attracted to red and yellow. Soooo, before we get tomatoes on our plants, we have put these cans on our posts, to attract the bugs.

Oh yes. The cans are smeared with Vaseline. The poor critters will be stuck. And die. Then they get wiped off, and a new coat of Vaseline is smeared on.

So don't throw out those cans! Grab some paint and Vaseline, and take another step towards having a organic yet bug-free (harmful-bug-free, that is) garden!

P.S. Hanging red paper circles (with Vaseline on them) in your fruit trees works well, too.


KarenW said...

Great idea! I hope I can remember that for my garden I'm planning in the distant future. (We live in an apartment now.)

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

Now that is just the coolest idea! :)

WesternWoodburner said...

Now that sounds like a good idea.

Claire said...

umm....Amber, they're called stakes when they pertain to tomatoes.At least, that's what I've always heard, but I reckon it doesn't really matter.....

Amber said...

I stand corrected, Claire. Stakes it is. :)
~ Amber