DIY Lavender-Infused Vinegar Household Cleaning Spray

I have been cleaning my house with vinegar and baking soda for years. Part of my household cleaning arsenal is a vinegar-infused cleaner. You get the excellent cleaning and deodorizing power of vinegar as well as the fragrant and antibacterial/anti-viral cleaning powers of lavender. Together they create a fantastic household cleaner that can be sprayed directly on counter tops, toilets, light switches, walls, floors, sinks and any other flat surface you want clean and shiny. [Read more...]

Lavender-infused vinegar spray is non-toxic, effective and economical. The vinegar scent disappears as the surface dries, leaving behind only a mild lavender scent.

Directions:

  • Crush about 2 cups of fresh lavender buds and leaves in your hand. Put them in a 1 L (quart) jar and pour distilled white vinegar on top. Make sure the lavender is covered. Cap tightly. (You can use dried lavender too.  Use only about 1 cup.)
  • Set aside in a cool, dark location for 2 weeks.
  • Strain lavender-vinegar through a colander to remove bits of lavender.
  • Store vinegar in a mason jar, capped tightly.
  • To use: Fill a spray bottle half full with infused vinegar. Then fill to the top with water.
  • Use as you would any spray cleaner: Spray on and wipe clean.

Enjoy!

Purchase dried lavender buds here.

 

This post has been shared on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways 87From The Farm and Homesteader’s Blog Hop.

Take Control! Mulching On The Cheap With Newspaper.

This year I worked with my son’s grade 4/5 class to grow a class vegetable garden on our property. They came once a week to plant, weed, mulch and… play. This garden turned out to be quite large in size, and, combined with my extra large vegetable garden this year, weeding quickly became an issue. You’d think with 25 extra sets of hands the weeding would get done, but while some were very studious, others… were not. It has been a great experience for us all, but needless to say we could never catch up with the weeds. Since I would be the only gardener during the summer months which is the prime time for weeds to grow, I knew I would have to mulch. I have mulched with straw and hay before, but this would have to be cheap. It didn’t take me long to figure out that newspapers were the way to go.

Mulching is a very successful, important part of gardening. Mulching keeps weeds down, holds moisture in, and adds nutrients back to your soil once it decomposes. This means (MUCH) less weeding, less watering, and better soil. It is a big job at first, but saves you hours of labour throughout the rest of the season.

What is mulch?
Any organic matter that is thick enough to keep light out and weeds from growing through. Mulch can be from straw, hay, wood shavings, (not cedar which is toxic), newspaper, cardboard, compost, well-rotted manure, and more. Anything that will safely biodegrade will make a good mulch. If you don’t have farm animals to give you manure, or a large composter to give you compost, then mulch can be expensive to buy by the bag. You don’t have to buy it though. Newspaper makes a great mulch since it is printed with non-toxic ink, and it readily decomposes, unlike plastic landscape fabric which has to be removed years later.

 

Where to find newspaper:
Newspaper can be found for free at recycling depots, at newspaper offices (outdated prints), or you can collect them from your friends and neighbours. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll need, so collect lots! I found bundles of newspapers in the recycling depot bin still bound together in their original bundles. Ask for your friends’ pine needles or grass clippings for the final covering to weight down the papers.

How to mulch with newspaper:

  1. It is best to weed the area first, to decrease the chance of weeds breaking through.
  2. If you have plants started already, lay newsprint, at least 5 pages thick, and overlapping by a good 3 inches, around the plants.
  3. If you haven’t planted yet, you can still mulch first, then cut holes in the paper to put your plant in at a later date.
  4. Spray down the paper with water to keep it from flying away.
  5. Weight down the paper with rocks, dirt, straw, hay, pine needles, grass clippings etc. The more the paper is covered, the less likely it will crack and allow weeds to grow through. Whatever you weight it down with does not have to be thick, but enough to cover the paper if you find it unattractive.

* Note: Don’t use the shiny inserts. They may be coated with plastic which might make them harder to decompose and they may leach toxins into your soil.

Once you are done, make sure you take time to enjoy your garden this summer! With less hours spent weeding you will have more time to relax and enjoy it!

This post has been shared on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways and From The Farm Blog Hop #37.