Practical Gardening

Easy-to-do tips and guides for inexpensive and worry-free gardening

Homemade Bird Trap - Materials and Tools

The Homemade Bird Trap project is mostly do-it-yourself or DIY. Some of the materials may be sourced from scrap items while most of them may be bought from a hardware store.

Since the end product will be used for trapping small birds, I had assumed that there really wouldn't be any 'heavy duty' materials needed for the trap. And for this, I bought the cheapest wire screen I could find. I mean how strong can a sparrow or some other small birds be, to destroy the trap? Of course, I have planned on setting the above ground, overhead actually, far from the ground and away from my dog. My dog gets all curious and fired up when seeing flapping birds, especially those in distress. So who knows what she'll do to the trap in order to get to the birds. I'm guessing rolling and gouging on it, and deforming the trap as a result.

Make a Garden Dibble Handle for Comfort

In a previous article, I illustrated how to make a custom garden dibber. This customized garden dibber allows the repotting of seedling plugs from the seedling tray. The garden dibber has been effective in preventing the damage of tender roots of young seedlings.

The garden dibber, or garden dibble as others would call it, is essentially made of two basic parts: the dibble head and the dibble handle. The dibble head is molded concrete. The dibble handle is really nothing more than a metal rod that sticks out from the dibble head. It's a scrap reinforcement bar (or rebar) that is only 9 mm thick.

The rebar, as I've found, is really too thin for my hand to hold. The dibble head, being made of concrete, is a bit heavy and there isn't enough leverage when holding the garden dibble.

Garden Waste Incinerator with Grate

A grate is defined as "a frame of iron bars to hold a fire". In the garden and yard incinerator that I built, there was no grate. The garden waste twigs and branches held up the dried foliage that was to be burned. That is until the branches and twigs burned completely and the burning material start to fall into the incinerator bottom. I then needed to use a stick or rod to prop up the burning garden waste up so as not to suffocate the fire.

This is where an improvised grate will help hold up the burning material so it does not collapse and fall into the pit below. An improvised grate for this garden and yard waste incinerator is quite easy to do. You only need a piece of steel matting material to cut, bend and form. Actually, any scrap piece of metal that resembles some kind of a grill will do.

Tip to Pre-Label Marcots or Air-Layers

In the first part of this two-part series, I discussed a technique to identify marcots for pre-labeling them in a multi-plant garden pot. The purpose is to easily identify the marcots without relying on flowers' color come harvest time. That's because there may be no flowers when the marcots have rooted. By identifying marcots and then pre-labeling them, removes the confusion of identification in a multi-plant garden pot.

But there's more. Say you have several different bougainvilleas planted to different pots. Then you managed to cut or harvest many marcots from these different pots and then put them in a big pile or a tray of water. How will you identify the marcots when you'll be potting them? This is especially if they have no flowers, and the leaves look very similar. How will you know which bougainvillea variety is one from the others?

Identifying and Pre-Labeling Marcots

When we were still in a buying frenzy for bougainvilleas, one of the pots we bought had two bougainvillea plants in it. One had white bracts and the other, violet. The garden pot had plenty of both of these colors and was absolutely gorgeous. I decided right there that I would be marcotting these two plants in the pot.

I've been marcotting (air-layering) plants for some time now and it's nothing new to me. Immediately I started marcotting all the branches that were a bit mature and had the likelihood of successful rooting. There were I think a dozen marcots that I air-layered that day.

Yard Trash Incinerator with Air Vents

In every construction job, there's always some scrap left behind by workers. Such happened right after we had our garden pergola and the garden gate arch fabricated. Some of the scrap metal have been used to make a rain water barrel platform to elevate the rain barrel. But still a piece of tubular metal pipe scrap remained. This pipe was a little over 4 feet.

Rather than still keep this piece of scrap to rust and rot away somewhere outside the house, I thought of utilizing the scrap piece for raising our garden and yard waste incinerator off the ground. Doing so, will provide air vents when yard trash is being burned, thus facilitating the incineration.

Bumblebees Pollinating Flowers of Maiden's Jealousy

This little fella and its friends have been frequent visitors to our front garden ever since our Maiden's Jealousy vine (Tristellateia australasiae) also known as Showers of Gold, has started to flower. Every flush of blooms thereafter guaranteed the return of these bumblebees also known as the Yellow Banded Bumble Bee (Bombus horotum).

Recently, with techniques to promote continuous flowering in the Maiden's Jealousy vine, these bumblebees now visit everyday. In our front fence, there could be as many as 5 bumblebees all pollinating the flowers of the vine at the same time. It's no wonder, most of the flowers become fruits.

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