Old Answers


As anybody who has ever read one of my DIY posts, I am a sucker for so-called “Life Hacks”. Life Hacks are simple tricks and ideas to make life easier: in the old days they were probably called Home Remedies or Old-Wives-Tricks or something equally folksy. They’re certainly not a new idea as this article about cigarette cards demonstrates: http://news.yahoo.com/cigarette-cards-life-hacks-100-years-ago-112500448.html

It's like the exact reverse of a Molotov Cocktail...

How To Make A Fire Extinguisher: It’s like the exact reverse of a Molotov Cocktail…

But old doesn’t mean obsolete. Ok, so maybe it would be easier to just buy a fire extinguisher than to figure out where to get sal-ammoniac (hint: the hardware store near the soldering equipment) but that doesn’t diminish the fact that a solution of sal-ammoniac and salt water is a good fire retardant.

As a matter of fact one of the pieces of advice turns out to have come at exactly the right moment: How To Keep Your Plants Watered While On Holiday.

Wait- it's that simple?

A basin and wool? Wait- it’s that simple?

The dilemma of having a patio garden is figuring out how to keep it watered during the hottest months of the summer. Here in southern California those months are August and September: both months in which we have plans to attend weddings that will require us to be out of town for several days at a time.  We are already getting into the days where I will water the plants in the morning and will step out in the evening to discover that the dirt in the pots is as dry and white and powdery as a dying ET.

So I was extremely keen to test out this method of keeping plants watered by using a basin and string.  I wasn’t sure if it would work without actually using wool or some other natural fiber so I tested this remedy with both cotton twill tape and the nylon pull-cords from a Crown Royal bag. Of which I have an abundance. For reasons we won’t go into here….

It turns out that both nylon and cotton seem to work equally well at wicking the water from the jug and dripping it patiently into the planter. The amount of moisture is very modest, but better than nothing and with luck and a good soaking I should be able to leave healthy, green plants for a weekend and come home to healthy, green plants even if I’m away for a day or two.  I will report back soon with the results.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 31, 2013.

One Response to “Old Answers”

  1. I love this stuff, too! A friend just lent me “Medical Talk for the Home” April, 1905. Can’t wait to read that wisdom 🙂

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