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12/30 Full Circle: Deb Darr

Question:

I have some houseplants that I really enjoy keeping in a planter inside our home. When they are watered, the planter always leaks water on the floor -- even if I give the plants a very small amount of water. It's frustrating. Do you have any suggestions that could help me?

Answer:

There are several ways to remedy this problem. Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter:

* Check the type of soil in the planter. It may be too porous or light to absorb any water, or the planter may need soil or compost to help soak up the moisture.

* Add a tray that has sides to help contain the excess drainage from the planter that fits under the planter.

* Try using a special type of water dispenser that only allows small amounts of water to be released at a time. These can be found in store garden sections.

* Try taking ice cubes and sparingly place them in the planter. As the cubes slowly melt, the plants will get watered. This way, the water will slowly be absorbed by the soil.

Question:

Our family sends lots of gift packages to families out of state. We want to use a packing material that will cushion the packed goods without spending a small fortune on bubble wrap that most likely ends up in the trash. Do you have any other ideas that would work just as well?

Answer:

We use many different things to pack our packages. Cardboard egg cartons work well and are recyclable. Also, plastic bags shaped into a ball really work great. Both items are next to free and are reusable.

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