Friday, June 29, 2012

DIY aluminum plant tags

Home made aluminum plant tags

So you may have wondered why I didn't use aluminum cans?

Aluminum cans are hard to work with and leave sharp edges. That's not to say you can't use them, just be more careful. If you use an aluminum can be sure to bend the edges over to eliminate sharp edges.        (note: If you can get cut on a piece of paper, you can get cut on one of these tags.) Sorry in this day and age with all the idiots out there, I have to put disclaimers on everything.
The aluminum I use is easy to work with and it's an aluminum that doesn't normally get recycled. It is not as rigid as aluminum cans, but still holds it's shape.
    The plant tags will last for a long time. I have some tags that are over 10 years old. The following is an example of what I put on my tags.

  • Name of plant
  • date planted (moon phases and or planetary  alignment )
  • where purchased (note many stores guarantee plants)
  • original location (if moved or propagated)
  • herb, fruit,vegetable

  • Name of plant
  • Ref number
Then have a catalog with the reference number and all the details about the plant that you could not include on the tag.

    Other ideas are to use the tags on gifts, as Christmas ornaments, luggage tags, or anywhere you need a nice tag.

(Note: disposable pie tins and disposable roasting pans also work very well . )

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Garden pest control

Pest control

Live bull snake
Snakes, real or fake in your garden can help deter pests.  If you cannot tolerate the real thing, then a few fake snakes here and there can be of big help.
rubber snake
The local dollar stores are a good source for rubber snakes. I try to select snakes that look like something you might find locally . I then place the rubber snake in a conspicuous place in the garden and make sure to move the snake periodically. If the snake does not look realistic enough I may take the time to paint the snake with model paint . I use rubber snakes in areas that get a lot of water as they tend to hold up better.
wooden snake

 Flexible wooden snakes are also great for the garden . The one pictured to the left is supported off the ground by a piece of coathanger wire . This gives the snake some animation when the wind blows and as a result does not have to be moved as often. 

This snake I simply zip tied to a fence railing .
It should be kept in mind that no artificial deterrent works 100% of the time .  How effective a deterrent works depends on the type being used and how often it is moved . Even with moving them daily wildlife tends to get used to them.