Category Archives: Tools

A Christmas Gift for Gardeners

Other gifts may last longer, but Rosso’s International’s 100% biodegradable bamboo pot is still my favorite gift this season – so much so that I’m keeping this one for myself.  It’s an attractive, inexpensive and eco-friendly planter.  Consider it a longer lasting peat pot.

Depending on where you keep the pot – inside or out – cracks will start to appear in two to three years.  At that point you have two options – throw it out or bury it with whatever is planted inside.  Either way – landfill or garden bed – the pots decompose within three to six months.  But you may as well plant them because while the pot breaks down, it also acts as a fertilizer.  The pots are made from natural materials, mainly bamboo husks.  So while they have the look, feel and utility of heavy-duty plastic, they leach nutrients instead of chemicals.  So far, so good, but it’ll be a few years before I can write my follow-up post. 

Rain Barrels

Sarasota County is going to start selling rain barrels!  At first I thought the $37 per barrel was a little steep.  I heard the county was giving them away at one point, and I saw a pair of them for $20 at the Lakewood Ranch garage sale.  But as John would say, “That’s the garage sale in cuckoo town.”  Nothing short of a car costs more than a dollar.  Under normal shopping conditions, $37 now seems to be a good price.  The kits Manatee County Utilities sell cost $39, and they’re kits…requiring assembly.  You know how I feel about unnecessary steps.  If I had the money, I’d scrap both plain Jane options and go for one that doubles as a planter.  Like anything else, you can spend as little or as much as you want.  Craig’s List has them starting at $10.  On the high-end, I saw one absolutely hideous option that cost $942.50.  It holds 300 gallons but looks like a gigantic, over-toasted, misshapen marshmallow.  No thanks, I’ll keep my imaginary thousand dollars. 


This is the set up outside City Hall.  I don’t know the square footage, but it’s a large roof.  Only three could fit in the collage, but they actually have five hooked together.  This must save them a ton on their water bill.  A one inch rainfall can yield 1,000 gallons of water from a 2,000 square-foot roof!