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by Gail Kavanagh

Growing seedlings in plastic trays is a tricky business. While separating the seedlings to be transplanted into the garden, they can get stressed and damaged, and the roots can become tangled. But there is a simple solution: sow your seeds in biodegradable pots and plant them in the earth, container and all. There will be no more stressed or wounded seedlings and they grow happily in the soil in which they were set. Here are some ways you can make your own seedling pots from recycled materials.

Egg Cartons

The recycled paper material used to make pulp egg cartons (not the plastic kind) are perfect for recycling again into the garden. Cut each cup into an individual container and place them side by side in your garden tray. Each little cup can be filled with soil and planted with small seeds – two or three is best, to give the seedlings a good chance. Don’t heavily water the seedlings, just gently mist them with a spray bottle filled with water. When they are large enough to transplant, it is easy to just take each cup and seedling and plant it directly into the ground. The cup will rot and allow the roots to grow down into the soil.

Toilet Roll Tubes

Have you ever wondered what use these ubiquitous items have besides making skittles for toddlers? They make ideal seedling pots. Fit several into a seedling tray or tin half as deep as the toilet rolls, and fill each roll with potting soil. You can put larger seeds into these, like nasturtium or melon, one to a roll, and keep lightly misted until the seedling appears and fine roots appear at the bottom of the roll. Transplant the seedlings into the spot in the garden where they are to grow in their cardboard containers.

Newspaper, scrap paper and brown paper

Making seedling pots from rolled paper is quick and easy for fast growing plants like squash, but for slower growing seedlings use a technique similar to paper maché. You can use empty yogurt tubs or plastic drinking cups for molds. Tear the paper into strips wide enough to cover the whole outside of the mold – including the bottom – and long enough to wind around the mold several times. Soak the strips in warm water for a few minutes, then wind around and under the mold. Set the cups in the sun and let the paper dry. Slip them out of the mold and fill with potting soil. These will hold together well, but if a corner goes astray, use a stapler (not glue or cello-tape) to fix it in place.

It is simple to make these biodegradable seedling pots, and you will find that other materials can be used as well. Cardboard can be rolled in a fashion similar to toilet rolls and held in place with staples. Old garments can be utilized as well – pieces cut from woolly sleeves and denim jeans can be stood up, filled with soil, and will work nicely as seedling pots. Large potato or rice sacks can be filled with soil, and openings cut in the side to make attractive strawberry or herb planters. Keep your eyes open and you will see that you don’t need fancy, expensive gardening accessories. Recycling is a frugal option that works even better.

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10 Themes for the Perfect Bachelorette Party

Every great party starts with a fantastic theme. Whether you are planning a quiet day of relaxation for the bride-to-be or an evening of wild abandon, focusing on a theme will help your party plans fall into place.

These 10 ideas range from traditional to unconventional, and they are sure to spark your imagination when it comes to planning an amazing bachelorette party that you and the bride will always remember.

Slumber Party

Pretend you’re 15 again, and throw an old-fashioned overnight party. Make popcorn, order pizza, and rent movies you liked as a teenager. Take time to do each other’s nails and indulge in a game of truth or dare.

Before the party, gather the ingredients for some brightly colored cocktails. Depending on the games you choose to play, the movies you rent, and any planned surprises, you can make your slumber party as innocent or as raunchy as you like.

Remember that sleepovers last longer than the night. Have supplies on hand to make a big breakfast in the morning.

Lingerie Party

Combining a bachelorette bash with a lingerie shower can be fun. Ask guests to bring some sexy lingerie for the bride-to-be, and see whose gift can shock her. For a more adult event, guests can bring grown-up toys as well.

To get the evening started, ask each guest to bring panties that express her personality. Then ask the bride to determine which panties were brought by which guest.

Spa Party

Take the bride to a spa for a day of pampering. Enjoy massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures. You could also throw this party at home. If you have the money to spend, hire massage therapists to come to you.

For a less expensive option, set up some at-home spa treatment stations with homemade skin treatments to try on each other. See if you can borrow a massage chair and a home foot spa.

Ask friends who are great at nails to bring their supplies. Serve fancy cocktails and appetizers for guests to enjoy as they relax.

Wine Tasting

Book your group for a vineyard tour and wine tasting event. This choice is perfect for an upscale afternoon, especially for the bride who appreciates good wine.

Alternatively, you could buy several different kinds of wine to taste at home. Ask each guest to bring her favorite for everyone to try. If you aren’t wine experts, print out a guide to the proper way to sample wine.

Chartered Boat

Take your guests out on the water in a rented boat. Opt for a party boat, a luxurious yacht, or a relaxing catamaran. Some boating services will offer drinks and food, while others will require you to bring your refreshments.

You can save money by making reservations for your group on a touring boat rather than chartering the whole vessel yourself. Some short cruises will have dancing and other entertainment.

If the bride-to-be is less of a party girl and more into the outdoors, you might want to reserve space on a fishing boat and try catching your dinner.

Shooting Range

Take your gun loving group for an adventure at a shooting range. A guide will teach each guest how to shoot a weapon correctly, and then you will have a chance to test your skills.

You can also try your skills at a shooting range that allows you to fire automatic weapons and other guns that you might not have a chance to experience anywhere else. Just remember to do any drinking after your visit to the shooting range.

Dance Class

Head to a local dance studio, and reserve some time with a professional dance teacher. Learn sexy salsa dancing, country line dancing, or ballroom techniques.

For a sexier party, take a class in pole dancing. When you’ve finished your lessons, take the party to a club where you can try out your new skills.

Race Across Town

Divide guests into pairs or teams, and lead them on a crazy night through your hometown. Each group should get a clue pointing them from the first location to the next. At the second place, arrange for them to get a clue for the third one. When everyone has made their way through retails stores, playgrounds, car washes, or any other creative destination, send them to your house or a restaurant where the party will continue.

Comedy Club

Bring on the laughs by spending the evening at a comedy club. If you make it clear by your appearance that you are a bachelorette party, the bride-to-be is likely to get plenty of attention from the stage.

If you have budding comediennes among your friends, attend an open mic night and encourage each other to participate. That can be an especially fun evening when combined with karaoke.

Camping

Appreciate nature and chill out under the stars on a camping trip. Borrow a camper or set up tents, and spend the evening laughing and bonding over a campfire. Ask musicians in your group to bring guitars for a sing-a-long, and don’t forget the marshmallows.

Not all bachelorette parties are the same, and you can throw the perfect party for the bride-to-be you love. Take her interests, personality, and comfort into account as you consider just the right theme for a pre-wedding celebration she will look back on with joy for the rest of her life.


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