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Ten Considerations Before You Buy A Bird House
When you decide to buy one bird house or more -- be aware that there are many designs being sold that are unsuitable for the birds. These houses may not attract any birds or the types of birds you wish, or they may actually be harmful. Many are very cute and look like little decorated houses. There is nothing wrong with these, but they are usually more appropriate as indoor decoration than as good safe homes for wild birds. Below is a checklist of the ten most important features of a good working bird house. Before you put a house out for wild birds, be sure it has these ten features. If it is decorative and still has these features, then it is fine to put it out.
The Ten Things:
1. No Perch
Tree holes in the wild have no perches, so the birds that use nest boxes do not need them. They can be a disadvantage in that they may attract House Sparrows, an invasive species that often takes over nests from our native hole-nesting birds.
2. Diameter Of Entrance Hole
Most of our common hole-nesting birds can use an entrance hole 1-1/2 inches in diameter. This size also keeps out Starlings, another invasive species that takes over nest boxes from native species.
3. Inside Flooring Dimensions
The inside dimensions of the box are important and should be at least 4 inches by 4 inches so that there is room for the young to develop.
4. Overall Height Of House
The distance from the bottom of the entrance hole to the floor of the box should be at least 5 inches. This keeps the developing young well down in the box and away from predators that might approach the entrance hole.
5. Easy Access For Cleaning
You must be able to open the box, either on the side, front, or top. This helps in two ways: to monitor the progress and health of the young; and to clean out the box at the end of the season.
There must be holes or slits at the top of the box sides or along the top of the front of the box to let hot air out when the sun beats down on the box in summer.
7. Drain Holes
The bottom of the box needs to have holes or cut off corners to allow any water to drain out of the box.
Check to see if there is some way that you can attach the box to a pole, such as holes or a bracket.
9. Wood Material Of Choice
Be sure that the materials the box is made of are 3/4 inch thick wood or a similar material that will insulate the birds from cold and heat. The only exception to wood is Purple Martin Housing -- many are made out of Metal.
10. Roof Overhang
The roof should overhang the entrance hole by 1 to 2 inches. This both shades the entrance hole and keeps the rain out.
Courtesy: Cedar Creek Woodshop
Come Visit Cedar Creek Woodshop For All Your Bird House Needs!!
Working with Landscape Contractors
Having a beautiful and functional landscape is every homeowners dream. Hi, My name is John C Wilkes III and I have worked in the landscaping industry for over a decade. I achieved my degree in Landscape Architecture and went straight into the design and build sector. I have worked around all kinds of contractors and have worked as a contractor myself. Now I'm ready to share my knowledge. My intention is to help all those interested in improving their landscape so they might avoid some serious pitfalls while fulfilling their landscaping dreams.
Choosing Pond Plants
A pond without plants is like cake without icing. Pond plants fight algae, give fish a hiding place against predators, and beautify our own little slice of paradise to plunk down in at the end of a tiring day.
A Little Known Secret to Successful Outdoor Gardening
Early Spring Garden Guide: What To Do In The Yard And Garden Now
Can't wait to get back to the garden? Use this handy spring garden guide to get started. Believe it or not, the key is avoid getting too impatient and doing certain jobs too soon. Early spring jobs: in the yard Start winter cleanup of the lawn when the grass is no longer sopping wet and planting beds stop being a sea of mud. Rake your lawn to get rid of dead growth, stray leaves, twigs and winter debris and let light and air to the soil level, encouraging the grass to grow. Re-seed bare or damaged patches of lawn. Scratch up the soil with a rake first. Mix a shovel of soil with a couple of scoops of grass seed and spread in the patch you're fixing. Rake level and keep well-watered until seeds germinate and the new grass establishes. Remove tree guards or burlap winter protection from any young trees or shrubs. Try not to leave tree guards in place over the summer. They keep rabbits and mice from nibbling on tender bark over the winter, but trees don't need them in summer. They don't allow enough air movement around the base of the trunk and that can promote rot of the bark. Transplant any existing shrubs you want to move before they begin to leaf out. Weeds start growing vigorously early, so when you spot them, go to it. Getting on top of the weeding now means a lot less work later. Weeds are easier to pull out while their roots are still shallow in early spring. Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees, magnolias, crabapples and shrubs such as euonymous to control scale insects and other overwintering pests. Use this organic pest control method when the buds are swelling but the leaves haven't opened yet. Apply when temperatures are between 40 and 70 degrees F (4-21 degrees C). Get your lawn mower checked and its blades sharpened if you didn't get the job done in late winter. Sharp blades cut better and leave your lawn grass healthier. Early spring garden jobs: In the flower garden Don't be in a rush to remove winter mulch or to cut back evergreen plants such as lavender until temperatures are reliably warm. Freeze and thaw cycles over the winter may given some of your plants the heave-ho. Replant any perennials that the frost has heaved out of the ground as soon as you can. Cut back any remaining dead perennial foliage from last season (trimmings can go into the compost). Cut back ornamental grasses to about 10 inches from the ground. Remove winter protection of mounded earth from roses. Prune rose bushes before they start to leaf out. Resist the urge to start digging in your flower beds too early. You can damage the soil's structure. If you pick up a handful of soil, it should fall apart, not stick together like glue. When it's dry enough, you can start to dig beds and add compost or manure in preparation for planting. Grass growth is vigorous in the early spring garden, so edge your flower beds with a sharp trench between them and the grass to keep it in bounds. Repeat this job a couple of times through the season, or installing permanent edging goes a long way towards having a lower maintenance flower garden.
Lady Bugs Are Your #1 Natural Pest Control
First, this bug has many names. Some of it's names are:
How to Make Your Own Rooting Hormone
When starting a new plant from a leaf or stem cutting, the cutting will be more likely to form roots and create a new plant if a rooting hormone is used.
Mustard: The Greatest Among The Herbs
Mustard plants have been used for thousands of years for their pungent flavour in condiments, spicy greens for side dishes and salads, and in traditional folk medicine and Chinese herbal medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The name mustard comes from the Latin mustum ardens, or "burning must." It was so named because as the seeds were pounded with unfermented grape juice, or must, their pungent qualities developed, hence "burning." Mustards seeds are mentioned in ancient Sanskrit writings dating back about 5,000 years ago and the Bible calls mustard "the greatest among the herbs." Valued for their intense flavours and healing properties, mustard seed and the plant itself have been grown for its beautiful yellow flowers and spicy seedling leaves. Members of the Brassicaceae family, mustard is a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, horseradish, cress, and broccoli with the attendant phytochemicals properties.
Fall is the Time to Get Your Garden Trees and Shrubs Ready for Winter: Heres What to Do
Tips for winter care of trees and shrubs
Invite Spring Early - Grow in Your Basement
Now's the time to get ready to grow your own seedlings! It's not really difficult, and can extend your growing season by many weeks. For example, by planting brassica's (cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower) in February in your basement under grow-lights, you can put large, sturdy transplants into your garden by the end of March or early April, and be eating them when others are just seeing them come up! However, remembering that photosynthesis, using light, heat and moisture causes plant growth, you must follow a few key natural principles very carefully, or you will be disappointed.
Hot-Weather Fish Feeding Facts
Summertime provides the best time of the year to water garden ? and also to be on the alert for high-temperature problems.
Composting the Easy Way
Having an ample supply of good rich compost is the gardeners dream. It has many uses, and all of those uses will result in nicer plants. However, composting can be time consuming and hard work. I place a reasonable value on my time, so spending hours and hours turning compost piles doesn't qualify as a worthwhile exercise, at least in my book. Nonetheless, I do compost, but I do so on my terms.
A Look at Planting Flower Bulbs
Flowers are a favorite of many backyard gardeners. Thanks to their ease of planting and relatively low cost, flower bulbs are a popular choice for flower gardens. Not only are flower bulbs beautiful, but planting them is a very simple undertaking.
Aluminium And Wooden Greenhouses
An important addition to any British back garden, greenhouses are firmly established in the British way of life. It's probably the inclement weather that drives the british gardener 'inside'. If you are visiting this site then you are probably thinking about obtaining a new greenhouse. It is possible you don't know the type of greenhouse you need or even how to decide on the type of greenhouse. Greenhouse design was revolutionised with the arrival of aluminium frames and the scarcity of pine. This article takes a brief look at the differences between metal and wooden greenhouses.
Adirondack Furniture - What It is and Why You Want It
Adirondack is the name given to a style of furnishings that date back to the late 1800's. During this time period, immediately following the civil war, upstate New York gained notoriety as a popular tourist destination. People, mostly the rich, flocked to the lavish hotels and guest houses that dotted the rustic landscape of the Adirondack Mountain range to relax and enjoy the tranquility and atmosphere that could be found in these remote destinations.
Tillandsia Airplants - Dont Plant These Plants!
Watch out, it's a tillandsia! Have no fear, I said "Tillandsia," not Tarantula. Although several species of this plant genus have taken on the appearance of the ominous eight-legged spider, you can rest-assured that these plants do not bite. As the largest genus of the Bromeliad family of plants, tillandsia boast of a characteristic that few other plants have, they have the ability to grow and prosper without soil. Nature has provided them with another mechanism for deriving the moisture and nutrients they need to survive. Though many Tillandsia species have a developed root system, its primary purpose is to secure these epiphytic plants to a host. Tillandsia leaves have specially developed cells called scales or trichomes that allow water and nutrients to be taken in from rain, the air, and dust. When opened, these cells give the plants their silvery-gray, somewhat ashy appearance.
What Type of Gazebo is Right for You? Top Questions You Need to Ask
Having a gazebo in the backyard is an excellent way to enhance the appearance while providing you with a quiet place to sit and relax after a hard day at work. Gazebos are wonderful for barbecue parties, family gatherings, or simply sipping on a cup of coffee or glass of lemonade on a lazy day. To create a romantic setting, you could string miniature lights along the railing and roof of the gazebo and then spend time with someone special out under the stars. Because of their popularity, the number of gazebo sales is rising. However, as with any investment, you want to make sure you choose the right type. For that reason, consider the top five questions you should ask.
Are My Grapes Ready to Harvest?
This is the time of the year that I keep hearing the question "When do I harvest my grapes?" Or sometimes the question is phrased "Are my grapes ripe yet?" And then there's the "Are they ready yet?"
Chives - Allium Schoenoprasum
Known as common garden chives, Allium schoenoprasum, can be grown indoors and out. Chives are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium. They are grown for the flavour of their leaves, which is reminiscent of onion, although much milder. Both the stems and light purple flowers are used in cooking and the snipped leaves are an addition to many dishes. Chives lose their flavour with long cooking so it is best to add them to dishes at the last minute. For chopping stems, a pair of scissors is the best tool.
Hummingbirds ? Attracting Those Little Flying Powerhouses
It's early in May a beautiful fairly warm day so I've decided to enjoy it and sit on the front porch.
Spring Garden Tips
Gardeners, it's time to put your gardening skills to the test. If temperatures are cooperating, the merry months of May and June will be your busiest until September, with planning, planting, and patio projects to lead the way into summer. Don't be fooled by a late frost; find out the mean freeze date in your area, and be sure soil is warm and workable-not too wet, not too dry-before putting tender plants in the ground.
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