Thursday, February 3, 2022

Canning Jar Sizes

Canning Jars Sizes and Their Common Usages

Mason jars have many uses, but the glass in them is particularly molded for use in home canning to preserve food. The mouths of Mason jars have threads on their outer perimeter so they can accept a metal ring when it is screwed down onto them.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Seed Growing Set-Up


Affordable Seed Starting Setup

Okay. $908 for a four-shelf "plant growth cart"? Saw it on Amazon. Yes, it has the lights attached, it's conveniently on rollers, and it's ready to use. But $908?

After spending way too long searching for a seed starting setup that wouldn't completely break the bank, I decided that it was worth the time to put one together myself, and I'm really glad I did.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Why Birds Aren't Visiting your Birdbath


Bird bathing in birdbath

Why Birds Aren't Using Your Birdbath

It’s been said that birdbaths attract more birds than bird feeders do. I believe that may be true as I know plenty of people who have several feeders but no birdbaths in their yard and they are wondering where their bird visitors are.

If you have a birdbath that is open for business but no feathery customers are visiting, you may find the reason below.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Using Wicker Baskets for Making Hypertufa

This article presumes that you are familiar with the basics of making projects with hypertufa. If you aren’t familiar with the process, or just need a refresher, go to our Hypertufa 101 article with step by step hypertufa-making instructions, by clicking here.

I have made several hypertufa projects and by far my favorite mold for making planters is wicker baskets. They can readily be found for a few bucks at second-hand shops so I don’t worry that they will be destroyed by the process.

When you firmly push the hypertufa mix into the wicker basket’s cracks and crevices, the final look has a basket imprint which I find hard to match by any other method.


Types of Wicker Baskets

The thickness and strength of the wicker basket is important. Baskets that are thicker with a tighter weave will give you the deepest imprint on the final project but will be more difficult to de-mold later.

Recipe for Wicker Basket Planters

The common mix recipe of one part Portland Cement, one part peat moss and one part vermiculite or Perlite works well for small to medium planters.

Building on the Inside of the Basket

The above wicker heart was used as a mold to build the hypertufa on the inside.  It will be a small planter just big enough for a mini hosta or sedum.

Wicker Baskets are generally used as inside molds so that beautiful wicker design is imprinted on the outside of the planter. It’s important to firmly press those hypertufa meatballs into the basket.


Here's a thicker basket filled with hypertufa.


DeMolding from a Wicker Basket

There are a few things you can do to make de-molding the project from the wicker basket easier.

Greasing the inside of the basket with Vaseline or cooking spray before adding the hypertufa mix is one way.

A trick I have learned is to vertically slice one area of the basket from the top to the bottom. Then place some duct tape over the slice to hold the basket steady while you build.

When it's time to demold, pull off the tape and begin the slow process of demolding at the area that you previously sliced open.

There are few garden projects that are as easy and rewarding as making hypertufa garden art and planters.

If you haven't tried it yet, read our Hypertufa 101 and get started!  You'll be hooked in no time.

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This post may contain some Amazon Associate links meaning that I will get a small compensation at no expense to you if you purchase something from this blog.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Making Seed Tapes

Making Seed Tapes 

I used to think making seed tapes was a waste of time and I didn’t understand why gardeners would spend time making them.

That was until I was at my wit’s end trying to thin out carrot seeds that I had direct sown. I find it nearly impossible to get the spacing right on those tiny seeds. So I tried the seed tape thing and made enough of them to fill a four by eight foot raised garden bed.

The result?  The carrots germinated with just the right spacing – NO THINNING!  I was sold.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Don't Cut Corners in your Vegetable Garden!

Don't Cut Corners in your Veggie Garden!
You Can Be Frugal and Successful!

There are a lot of ways to cut corners in the garden to save money. Buying garden supplies such as containers, watering cans, etc from a second-hand store is one way. Building your own raised garden beds or trellises is another.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Feeding Bread to Wild Birds


Feeding Bread to Wild Birds

Generally, bread is not safe to feed birds on a regular basis, and the general category of “bread” for this article includes any bread-like product including buns, bagels, crackers, chips, etc.  

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