Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Fine Line Between Reduce, Re-use and Recycle, and Hoarding

I come by it quite honestly. Legend has it that my maternal grandmother had repurposed gallon glass pickle jars full of saved bread clips, because you just never know when you might need to secure a bag or two. Grandma was born in 1916, farmed, lived in a small town, and lived through the depression and the wars. She had every reason to stockpile things that could be re-used.

My dad has spent many, many hours over the last few years reorganizing his garage. Everything is now in it's place and properly labeled. This includes bins full of every size imaginable plumbing connection (he's a pipe fitter by trade and understands that a plumbing emergency might require a specific size elbow), electrical marettes, golf balls (yes) - anything that may have a valid future use. Organized for re-use. Not reduced.

Reusing is good. Keeping things out of the landfill is good. Not having to buy a new one when this old one will do is good. But, when does that good intent cross the line? When is it a problem?

This is the question I'm asking myself now, as I sterilize years worth of bedding plant containers and other pots that I've 'saved' along the way. I can't be sure how many summers they represent but judging from the price tags still on them, they represent quite a nice chunk of change.

I'm finally going to reuse them, as temporary homes for all the lovely little seedlings I've started. But once those seedlings are planted in their forever homes in my garden, what will become of these pots? I expect that they will be saved again, for another 'future' use.

The seedlings are doing alright, though I believe I've been over watering them. The earliest germinators - sunflowers and pumpkin - aren't thriving. Luckily there is plenty of time to start more. We are technically still 6 to 7 weeks away from frost free nights.

The morning glory are thriving, and I still haven't killed the cucumbers. 

I'm slowly able to tell the herbs from one another. Cilantro and Sage both germinated well. The thyme and oregano seem to be lagged. 

I need to figure out the best practices for transplanting the peppers and tomatoes. I'm thinking they should go into larger, deeper pots now so they can establish good strong roots. 

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