Ye olde yogurt tubbe

I have never quite got around to regularly making my own yogurt. Tried a couple of times and it tasted OK, but it hasn’t become part of my routine. One of the reasons is that here in SA we are spoilt with one of the best sources of local organic yogurt – Paris Creek Farm Biodynamic Yogurt. I eat so much of this stuff that we have a constant supply of the empty containers cluttering up the house. Hence,  in the search for materials to create garden gear or children’s toys, yogurt tubs feature prominently. Here’s a few of our favourite uses…

1. Plant Labels

Keep a few yogurt tubs and a lead pencil with your vegie seed collection or wherever you plant seed. When planting, take a yogurt container and flatten it until it cracks at the rim, then tear sections (about 2cm wide) right down to the base. They conveniently tear pretty straight and it’s quicker and easier than cutting. Then they can all be folded out flat to form a sunflower (stop right here if you’re making kids’ toys)  and snipped off with scissors.

Simply write the plant variety on the white side of the tag with pencil, and slip it into the pot or garden bed.  The pencil is surprisingly weatherproof and can be rubbed off easily to re-use the labels next season. I pop old labels into an empty plant pot. They last so long that I have to come up with other uses for those yogurt tubs!

2. Cabbage moths

Thanks to a couple of neighbours and friends for these tips… apparently white cabbage moths are very territorial and less likely to lay their eggs where they see other cabbage moths hanging out. So to create the impression of utter moth infestation and thus deter the little beggars, you make a bunch of faux moths from – you guessed it – your yogurt empties, and hang them all around the garden to flutter merrily in the breeze. Here’s how:

  • Cut two triangles approx the size of moth wings from the yogurt tub (curved side, not flat base). Round off the corners. Pierce a hole near a corner of each ‘wing’ and thread fine cotton or fishing line through it. Tie off so that the white inside of the yogurt tub is on the outside and hang up.
  • I suspect these work best if they are vaguely moth-shaped and hung in such a way as to flutter convincingly. However, dangling as they do from the point where the two wings meet, it has been argued that they are clearly upside-down and would fool no moth. But they are fun to make.
  • Frankly I think as long as the brassicas are strong and healthy and have got themselves through infancy, the moths pose little threat anyway. Especially if you catch the caterpillars and feed them to a friendly magpie.
3. Slug traps
Currently under intense R&D and the subject of much wagering between the eldest and youngest men of the house.
I will have to supply a photo to make any sense of the following description, but until I get my act together, here goes anyway: Yogurt Tub Slug Trap (try saying that when you’ve sampled the bait) V1.0:
  • Use two yogurt tubs. Cut the first tub down so that all that remains is the bottom 3cm including the base. This will form the lid.
  • Cut the second tub down to 8cm deep. Then make 8 vertical cuts halfway down from the top, and cut horizontally to remove every second section. What remains is a 4cm-deep dish topped with 4 upright flaps separated by windows.
  • Fit the lid over the flaps and push it down.
  • Half-fill the base with beer, cider, cola or your preferred slug/snail marinade.
  • Position the trap wherever slimy things traverse your garden and check it each morning for the happy dead.
So far, this ingenious device has not quite equalled the performance of the good old glass jar with a dash of cider, tipped on its side in the garden bed. However it is supposed to reduce (a) beer loss through  evaporation and conversely (b) dilution through overhead watering. The yogurt tub traps have certainly attracted their share of slimy attention, as evidenced by their silvery surrounds each morning and indeed the presence of several slugs, most likely from Amsterdam, smearing themselves shamelessly along the ‘windowsills’ of an evening. But somehow most of the varmints are getting away. However, always convinced of the merit of an invention involving yogurt tubs, we push on… and welcome contributions to version 1.1!!
STOP PRESS: Slug trap superseded (Nov 15) by a plastic cup version with its own cocktail umbrella for the sophisticated slug – stay tuned for THAT recipe! Yes, there will be photos, I promise!
This entry was posted in garden design, gardening with kids, organic gardening, recipes, vegetables and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ye olde yogurt tubbe

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