Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coffee Planter Gift

I am seeing a long time friend in about a week. She is also a gardener so I thought I would take her a few seedlings for her garden that I know she has not grown before.

A couple of weeks ago a large fast food chain started selling really good, high quality coffee and had a promotion, giving it away free. Shortly into the free coffee promo, I had quite a collection of coffee cups. One day they were sitting on the counter and this idea came to me. What a unique temporary planter that would make! Being a big coffee drinker, I was able to collect quite a few cups and a holder. The medium size worked better than the large tall size which were tippy.

I thought this could be used to start seedlings, since it comes with a lid as well, but for this purpose I am just going to transplant seedlings I already have growing, into the cups. One week is not enough time to grow things from seed. I could also take another set to her planted with seeds and the lids intact if I have time before I go.

I poked holes in the bottom of the cups for drainage and added a piece of aluminum foil to the bottom of the cup to catch the water.

Into the cups I planted:
Garlic chives
'Keri Blue' dahlia
Aunt Molly's ground cherry
Sweet potato
'Super Shepherd' pepper

I put a label in each cup and put them upstairs in the warm room, under lights. I am hoping they will all be growing and healthy in a few days.

I use slats from horizontal window blinds for plant labels. You can cut them to size and write on them with permanent marker. They last a long time and you get hundreds from one small blind. You can put holes in them to tie onto branches and colour code them too.

I am hoping it will be a surprise but if you are reading this, Diane, see you then!


The Japanese Redneck said...

Very good idea. I like it when things can be recycled.

Your friend is going to love your gift.

Margot said...

What a clever and thoughtful gift!

Jackie said...

What a great idea...I wouldn't have thought to do this. I have a few of these I could use too.


DayPhoto said...

Very good idea!!!!


Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Thanks everyone! I don't know how it will hold up over time. These plants cannot go out into the garden until after end of May.

Mrs. T said...

I love your idea! Last fall, I asked my husband to start saving his cups, as he's on the road a lot and stops in to fast food drive-throughs for tea (not coffee!). That's what I'm using, too, for my seedlings. But I love the idea of presenting them as a gift--cup holder and all!

You always offer so many useful tips! I was wondering what to use to label the seedlings and thought that I would go and buy a pack of popsicle sticks, used for crafts, at the dollar store. But we have old blinds in the basement that I can use! Thanks so much for another helpful post (smile).

Clayton said...

If you want to dress it up a little, spray the tray with paint(or?) and get a package of the little glitter tubes at Dollarama or dollar store and decorate. My artistic side and I am no artist. Not even crafty. What a great idea. New life.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Crafty ideas, Clayton! Little grandkids would love to do something like that and then see it with growing plants in it every time they came to visit ;-)

I could take the time to sponge paint it to look like faux stone.

Little terra cotta pots could be used in the holder instead of the paper cups, if I wanted it to be more permanent.

This was just a quick gift idea, a temporary holding for the plants that will go into the garden at the end of May, windowsill size.

Mr. H. said...

That is an excellent idea. You know those really would work well for most any seedling, especially in the sense that the roots would be able to grow for quite a while before becoming bunched up at the bottom. I like it, and will keep that in mind.