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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This and That Now that Christmas is Over




This And That Now That Christmas Is Over

One Woman’s Garden
By Billie A Williams © 2007

You’ve finished with the Christmas tree and you know that you should decorate it with bread tied to its branches — pretty yarn and string bows, that will serve as nesting material in the spring – and perhaps some pine cones filled with peanut butter and bird seed for the suet eating birds like the black capped chickadee and the nuthatch. You can stand your tree in a snow bank or a bucket of sand until the feast has been eaten by the birds. You can lay it on the ground as a natural hide away for rabbits. Your feathered and furry friends will appreciate it.

But what do you do with all that sugar left over from the candy making you did for Christmas. It isn’t quite time for hummingbirds (they get 1 part sugar to 4 parts water— you remember- and food coloring isn’t necessary – as long as the container has a little red to attract them initially – they’ll find it.)

So how about some uses for that left over sugar.

1. We’ll think ahead to your lawn use it to remove gasoline spots by sprinkling a mix of six cups gypsum and one cup of sugar over the area and watering frequently.

2. You can use it to trap insects. Create a sticky mess by sprinkling a flour and powdered sugar combination on plants before the dew dries in the morning.

3. You can use sugar to get rid of nematodes by tilling in three pounds of sugar per acre of soil in early spring and late fall.

4. Or you can make a fertilizer for strawberries and rhubarb by combining ½ cup of sugar with five pounds of dry garden food.

Oh and while you are visiting your local hardware store—you know your favorite pastime—looking for new gardening tools, be sure to look for a Bricklayer’s pointed trowel. Why, you ask?

Well silly think of it as an all purpose knife. Think of it as a planting, or harvesting tool. You can use it to cut apart and lift petunias, tomato, pepper and other plants from the flats when setting them out. You know how they never seem to release easily. You can also use it for gathering and trimming head lettuce, cabbage, kohlrabi etc. The blade is thin and sharp on both sides – why didn’t I think of that sooner, you’ll say the first time you use it. Your neighbors will think you are so clever.

Spring can’t be that far away when you start receiving those garden catalogs in the mail. Get out your pencil and paper and plot a garden – stick these hints in your note book and the howling wind and falling snow won’t seem so daunting.

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