- Author: Kathy Low
If you read my July post on stunting sunflowers, you know I tend not to follow convention. But as I said then, the joy of gardening is in the hands of the individual. So this post on re-purposing a tree stump should not surprise you.
My driveway used to be lined with 50 plus year old Monterrey pine trees. But the past few years I’ve had to have several of them removed because they’ve been killed by tree borers. For the most recent pine tree I had cut down, I decided not to have the tree service remove the stump for budget reasons. Instead I had them just cut the stump down to about waist high. My idea at the time was to use the stump as a huge plant stand for one of my enormous planters. That idea quickly fell apart because my huge planter was just too heavy for me to lift onto the tree stump.
So I thought why not just plant something directly on top of the stump. To keep the soil confined to the top of the stump, I purchased some cheap plastic lawn edging, cut it the size of the stump, and fastened it together into a circle. I laid it on top of the stump and filled it with potting soil. I planted succulents around the edges, but I wanted a deeper soil depth to plant some marigolds. So I cut and fastened a smaller circle of lawn edging and centered it on top of the already poured potting soil. I filled the smaller circle with soil and planted the flowers. And since I had another potted flower plant I haven’t decided where to plant yet, I plopped it into the center of the second circle for the time being. So in the interim until I get around to having the stump removed, I have an additional planting area for annual flowers.
- Author: Betty Homer
This past summer, I had the pleasure of interning at a local farm, learning how to be a farmer. I learned a great deal at the farm, including the art of repurposing produce that was past its prime. Specifically, I learned instead of throwing away onions (red, yellow, white, etc.) that have sprouted and turned soft, you can replant them in the ground to produce another crop, affectionately called “scunions” at the farm (this may be a combination of the terms “scummy” and “onions.” A prior Google search did not yield any hits on the term), which can be harvested as used as green onions in several months’ time.
Below are instructions on how to recycle and replant your prior year’s onion crop that has gone soft while sitting in storage:
- Cull the old onions (red, yellow, white, etc.) from storage or root cellar, etc. Discard those that are oozing excessive liquid. Be warned that this is a dirty, smelly job. Keep the onions that are soft but still holding their shape. You will likely have better success sprouting scunions with larger rather than smaller onions.
- Take a pair of pruners and lop off any green shoots/sprouts from the onions, and trim off the roots.
- Dig a hole in your garden deep enough so that the top of the onion protrudes out of the ground only slightly. Bury the rest of the onion in the soil.
- Water consistently as you would any onion crop.
- Voilà! At the end of approximately 3 months/90 days, you should expect to harvest a crop of “scunions” which appear to be a clump of green onions growing together (and can be used as such). To harvest the crop, take a digging fork or shovel, wedge it next to the scunions but far enough so as to not damage them, and lift the scunions out of the ground with your tool (i.e., it is similar to harvesting leeks or garlic). You will need to clean off debris from the scunions before using.
What a great way to combine a love for recycling, gardening and cooking!