by Yankee Magazine
- Soil Mix for Containers
Instructions:Pool Time In my area, you pay once for the water coming into the house. The water company also handles the sewage, so they figure all the water you use will also end up in the sewer system. They make you pay an additional amount equal to what you used. So, if you use $30 worth of water, you pay $60. $30 for the water coming in and $30 for that same water going into the sewage system. If you used the water on your lawn or your plants or to wash the dog or the car, you still pay as if it went down the sewer. If you are filling a pool, call them and tell them on what days you plan on doing this. They will still charge you for using (consuming) the 20,000 gallons, but they won't charge you for 20,000 gallons in sewage fees.
You will need:
plastic net bags such as onions or potatoes come in.
suet (ask for this at the meat counter of your grocery store)
Roll the suet in birdseed.
Put the suet in the bag.
Tie the top of the bag with yarn, and hang.
needle and thread
String the popcorn and dried fruits to make a garland.
Tie the garland to the tree.
Cheerios or Fruit Loops
String the Cheerios or Fruit Loops.
Tie the garland to your tree.
Scatter seeds on the ground.
Some birds are ground-feeders, so be sure to sprinkle some bird seed on the ground so they can eat, too.
Decorate a Snowman for the Birds
Try dried plums for the
eyes, a carrot nose, walnuts for the smile, string cranberries for a
scarf and half-apple buttons to finish him off. Hide birdseed in the
folds of his hat and sprinkle more on the ground around him.
Friendly Snowman: Make a snowman who holds flowerpots full of treats in their arms.
Grandma's Sunflower Seed Cookies.
1 c. softened, unsalted butter
3 beaten eggs
3 1/2 c. sifted flour
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
Setting sunflower seeds aside, mix all other ingredients together until soft dough forms. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface and cut cookies into any shape you desire. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top and press firmly into dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cookies can be hung by making a 1/4" hole in top before baking them. When cooled add a string and hang as desired. In damp weather it is best to lay them on feeder or tray as they will crumble. This would be a fun activity that kids would love to do. After they are done & are hung, you can watch & see what birds come over for a meal!
LAWNDRY LIST AMMONIA contains nitrogen, which encourages leafy plant growth. MOUTHWASH swishes away germs that leave cavities (holes) in your plants. SHAMPOO softens soil, washes away pollution and makes bugs gag. BEER helps release nutrients in the soil, while soda pop (with real sugar, not diet) promotes good bacteria growth. EPSOM SALTS deepen color, thicken petals and strengthen roots. MOLASSES stimulates chlorophyll formation. TEA contains tannic acid, which helps plants digest their food faster. TOBACCO poisons bugs and protects against germs that cause disease. URINE makes critters turn up their noses and run the other direction. WHISKEY provides nutrients, plus a mild disinfectant. (Source: Jerry Baker’s Backyard Problem Solver)
First, measure off the area where you wish to put the bed.
Don't make the bed so wide that you can't easily reach across
it. You can make the bed a classic rectangular shape or you
can make it an irregular shape to fit into a niche in your
Remove any sod or weeds where the bed is to be prepared. You
can loosen the soil a bit, although this step is not strictly
necessary. Loosening the soil does encourage earthworms and
soil microbes to go up into the bottom layer of the bed, as
well as providing better drainage.
Next, gather grass or other green compostable matter and cover
the ground where the bed is to be to a depth of about 12
inches. I have a weak-stemmed native grass that grows in my
yard that I used. You can also use vegetable peelings and
other compostable scraps from the kitchen.
Over the layer of green matter, spread newspapers. The layer
of newspapers should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Once the
newspapers have been spread, wet them down so that they are
evenly moist. The newspaper will suppress any weeds that
emerge from the ground or from the compostable material.
Now over the layer of newspapers, spread an inch or two of
compost or topsoil. Last spread a three to six inch layer of
mulch over the top of the bed. You can use leaves, straw, pine
straw, or any mixture of mulching materials. Water the bed
well so that all layers are moist.
Leave the bed alone for a few weeks to a few months. This will
give the green matter on the bottom of the bed chance to
decompose into compost. When you are ready to plant the bed,
simply move the mulch aside and place your seeds or plants in
the soil underneath. The layer of newspaper will have
decomposed enough that the roots of the plants can grow down
into the layer of compost on the bottom of the bed.
I made two of these beds in my yard last fall. I find that
they hold moisture best of all the garden areas I have,
whether a conventional raised bed or an area that has been
tilled and amended with organic matter. I got more lettuce out
of one bed than I've ever gotten from a similar-sized garden
bed before. And the lettuce kept bearing well into our warm
weather, far past the time it would normally have bolted. I'm
convinced that this is because of all the moisture retained in
The only possible downside to creating garden beds like this
is the lack of defined boundaries. This should not be a
problem if your household consists of adults and older
children. Pets and very small children might need to be gently
reminded that the garden beds are not to be walked on. One dog
continually walked in the bed where we had planted
strawberries this spring and the other dog took naps there. In
retrospect, we should have put up stakes or some other type of
barrier around the bed until the dogs learned to stay out of
These new raised beds cost me nothing for materials. I had all
the green matter for the bottom layer in my yard. All I had to
do was pull it up. I had the newspapers on hand, ready to
recycle. It's true that I had to pay for the newspaper
subscription, but we were taking the paper anyway. And I could
have asked a neighbor to save papers for me. The compost and
dirt were from our compost piles and dirt that had washed down
into our yard from the neighbor's yard. The mulch was raked up
from my yard. I avoided spending money on mulch, soil, and
landscaping timbers, and gas to go to the garden center, and
the result has been very productive garden spaces.
This recipe was submitted by one of our readers and has not been tested by our food editors. We are not responsible for errors in this recipe, but if you find one, please let us know.
Updated Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007