Practical Gardening

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

Detachable Fruit Picker and Basket - Improved

After initial success picking fruits with the homemade fruit picker, I felt that the fruit picking tool can further be improved by giving it an increased catching and gripping capability. Although the first version is adequate in most cases, something's amiss.

Fruits that have a very smooth surface have a tendency to slide out from the Catch part of the fruit picker. Fruits like canistels, apples, mangoes and the like have this tendency. An apple picker for instance, would find that when the pole and the apple picking tool are almost vertical, the the catch wouldn't grasp the apple at all.

DIY Fruit Picking Tool and Pole Attachment - Part 2

In the first part of this article, the materials and tools for fabricating a homemade fruit picking tool were listed. Other than a power drill, there are no special tools required to assemble this fruit picker. But it takes some time and heft to bend and form the basic frame of the fruit picker.

From the specifications of the tool's measurements, the fruit picker is able to pick medium sized fruits like apples, mangoes, oranges and many more. The fruit picker's ring is large enough to hold a big basket or net that can contain as much as 10 medium sized fruits.

Homemade Fruit Picker with Net and Pole

We don't have any trees in our yard that are yielding any fruits. Our neighbor at the back has a hugh Santol or Cottonfruit tree that bears plenty of fruits. Although many of its ripe fruits fall on our backyard and some are near enough for us to pick, I'm not too fond of this fruit to pick them.

In our early morning walks though, I found a liking to fruits from a couple of Canistel or Eggfruit trees in a nearby subdivision. One grows near the sidewalk while the other's owner doesn't bother getting them. Many of its branches are at the street. Many of its fruits just ripen on the tree and then fall on the ground. When cars run them over, they're squashed and then flies abound.

Cleaning and Storing Gynura Procumbens (Sabungai)

In the past, the only method I knew to store the leaves of Gynura procumbens or Sabungai was to keep them in the refrigerator inside a plastic container. I simply washed the leaves, drained them and then put them in an old recycled ice cream plastic tub (in place of a tupperware container). I would then take out the tub and open it at the dining table where I ate the leaves raw during dinner.

For the most part, they would keep for a while in the refrigerator, probably a week. After that, parts of some of the Gynura procumbens leaves would start to darken into a gray color and turn soft. I just threw these leaves that had gone bad because I had so much that were still good. Somehow, though, it's still a waste to throw these out, especially when I learned that there's a way to keep them longer in the refrigerator for two weeks or longer.

Easy and Cheap Garden Support Stakes

In one of my occasional trips to garden shows, I saw how some plant traders displayed their vines. Vines need some form of garden support stakes to keep them upright and contained in one spot. Otherwise, they sprawl over the rest of the plants and, in some cases, continue climbing on other plants.

The garden plant stakes that was made was fairly easy to assemble and didn't require much materials. All what was needed was: three pieces of bamboo sticks, a short metal wire and some twine.

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.

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