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Projects For The Birder's Garden: Over 100 Easy Things That You Can Make To Turn Your Yard And Garde

Similar to mulch around plants and garden aisles, straw makes a cheap and effective lining to create or maintain garden walks and pathways. It has the benefit of being affordable, biodegradable, and less permanent than heavy bricks, stones, or pavers. It is also easy to refresh. When used in the garden or for paths nearby to plants, it helps to retain soil moisture while also allowing water through to irrigate plants whose roots may run close to or under your straw aisles.

Projects for the Birder's Garden: Over 100 Easy Things That You can Make to Turn Your Yard and Garde

Instead, you build your garden from the ground up by sandwiching layers of compost and straw that compost down to replenish the soil while acting as mulch and weed suppressant at the same time. Weeds are further suppressed because the seed that is embedded deep down in the ground is not being turned up to a level where it can sprout and live. In this way, the act of not tilling is in itself a weed control method.

This second method is something of a cross between raised-bed gardening and no-till gardening. It creates rows about two-feet tall, sloped down to bare aisles between rows, and requires no frame building as in traditional raised-bed gardens. You can make the area as wide and as long as you like, though the entire surface of the rows should be able to be reached from the sides and ends so that you do not have to walk amongst the bed. You can start this bed directly atop grass or other vegetation (an easy way to start a new garden bed without breaking ground and without worrying over what the soil is like!).

Another option is to create an above-ground storage mound, usually in the garden but you may choose to build it closer to your house where it will be more accessible. The buried garbage pail method is preferable, but if water becomes an issue over the winter months, an above-ground mound that keeps vegetables high and dry may be the better choice.

To make a storage mound, lay a thick layer of straw on the ground, then pile up to a bushel of the crop on top of the straw. Cover the crop with another thick layer of straw, and then bury the entire mound in a thick layer of soil. Do note that when you open the mound to remove your vegetables, you need to remove all of the produce in the mound and take it inside to store and use it. For this reason (and for reasons of warmth and insulation), for a large harvest, you are better off creating several bushel-sized mounds than to try and create one very large storage unit.

Hi Dan. I could imagine a scenario in which too much tilled-in cover crop ("green manure") could result in a soil imbalance that could negatively affect your plants. This might be more true in a warm climate like yours where you plant more year-round than those of us in the north do, because maybe it's not getting enough chance to break down before you're planting. You might have too much of one element and not enough of another (like maybe too much nitrogen). It might also be throwing off your soil pH, which as a general rule, should be slightly acidic to close to neutral for a garden (6.0 to 7.0). Keep in mind some plants like different ranges, but that's a good general rule of thumb.

These plump gray birds are larger than some of the the other songbirds that visit your feeders. Mourning doves often settle in and eat large amounts of seed, but make up for it with their sweet insistent cooing call. When they fly, their wings make a sharp whistling sound, which is especially noticeable on landing and take-off. Discover surprising facts about mourning doves.

Keep cool in the backyard while playing for hours with a water table. Water tables make wonderful sensory play prompts for young kids. Ours regularly becomes a mud table because Bug loves mixing things, but luckily they are also easy to clean!

It's so easy to be tempted into buying a whole host of tender plants when they're on display in the garden center in spring and summer. But remember that they can't stay outside over winter and will need wrapping up and bringing undercover just as it starts to get cold and miserable.

You could spend hours digging over your beds and borders at the start of every spring, but supporters of the 'no-dig' method of gardening argue that it's better for the soil, for the plants grown in it, and for your back, to leave well alone.

Gardening slows down a bit during this month. As predicted, some of us had our first freeze a few weeks ago, as well as lots of rain!! So hopefully all preparations were made last month for the lower temperatures, and the rain reduced irrigations needs. Make sure you continue to protect all new transplants from freeze and their first frost in the December vegetable garden. If the temperatures fall below 28 degrees then cover your plants, securing them with soil, bricks, rocks, or pins. In addition, make sure to keep an eye on temperatures near freezing and frost warnings for citrus trees: either cover them with frost cover or blankets, or if they are potted, move them inside.

Partially bury a log in your yard. Do you still have logs leftover from Snowpocalypse? If so, choose one to partially bury in the yard to create a habitat for various arthropods. This is another strategy that I am using in my yard, although I think that I need to move my buried log to a location that gets better sunlight in the morning. By partially burying the log, you allow moisture in which allows it to be more habitable to a larger number of arthropods. You can have arthropods overwintering in the log, under the bark, or under the log itself.

Over the years I continue to revise my thinking about what makes a great landscape plant. One of the first plants that I worked with when starting the nursery was ordinary Catmint, Nepeta mussinii. As much as I liked it, I realized that it seeded out freely and could be a troublesome invader. So I switched to a sterile type of Catmint, one that definitely would not overrun a garden.

Spring migration kicked off with the first Eastern Phoebe on March 9. By late March a typical assortment of early migrants was regularly frequenting the small community garden in the park's northwest corner that represents almost the only low cover for birds. This corner is the most productive for migrants and yielded most of those reported here. Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, and up to 5 Fox Sparrows foraged on freshly turned soil while Northern Flickers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were at times so numerous that it seemed every tree had its own woodpecker! A Merlin appeared in the last week of March and remained for 3 weeks, feasting on starlings and House Sparrows.

From Wendy Taparanskas, April 12: I am continuing to have some really great backyard birding at my new I was digging a plot for a vegetable garden in my backyard (discovering that grass just simply be raked out!) yesterday, I heard what I thought was a REALLY loud and obnoxious flicker in the woods. It was a Pileated Woodpecker....first one that I have seen in 5 years. That's one big woodpecker! I also had a Chipping Sparrow at one of my feeders earlier in the day.

Take a moment to assess your landscaping goals. Do you have a tired, unhealthy patch of soil that simply won't grow healthy plants? Or how about an area of grass you're looking to turn into a flower garden? While the sheet mulching process is similar in either case, these preparatory steps can help you make decisions down the line. 350c69d7ab


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