Chicken Manure for Your Garden and Lawn

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real-chicken-pic Chicken manure contains high amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium making it one of the best sources of natural fertilizer. A 100 square foot garden needs an annual application of 45 pounds of chicken manure. Fresh manure should never be used directly in your garden; instead it should be added to compost. However there are some garden ready brands of chicken manure such as, RediGro Chicken Manure.  Simply mix into the soil of vegetable and flower gardens or apply as a fertilizer by mixing around the base of trees and shrubs. Easier than taking care of a flock of chickens.

RediGro Chicken Manure is available at participating Ace Hardware Stores.  Visit www.norcalace.com for a listing of our stores and phone numbers.

Here are a few links regarding chicken manure and how to use.  Keep in mind that fresh chicken manure is used differently than garden ready chicken manure.

How To Use Chicken Manure by eHow

Chicken Manure Fertilizer by garden-tips-ideas.com

How to Use Chicken Manure by Yahoo

 

Light Fixture Re-Do

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My husband was getting ready to paint our stark white hallway this past weekend.  He claimed he needed to replace our outdated brass light fixture.  Me, the lover of renewing and reusing stuff, suggested we buy a can of  Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  I’d just been browsing the Krylon web set and found this project which became my inspiration.

 I had pinned it to my Pinterest board titled Home DIY projects – so that means we have to do this project.

He was skeptical.  But, with my amazing powers of persuasion I was able to convince him that it would be okay, and we’d spend roughly $6.00 instead of $45.00 for a new fancy light fixture.  So, he nimbly climbed the ladder, unscrewed the light fixture and wiped it down with a damp cloth.

 After laying down a layer of newspaper and shaking the can (following the directions) of Krylon Rubbed Bronze Spray paint he began to spray.  Well, I made him stop and pose for a picture first.

 

Here is the after.  This project probably took five minutes to complete!

My husband is a true believer now.  He went through our garage and grabbed several old brass items that were tagged for a garage sale.   A pillar candlestick holder, a planter, and a floor lamp (see picture below – more on that in another blog) are now Oil Rubbed Bronze.

Here is our hallway now.  The wall paint is a special color mix we had made out of the Clark+Kensington paint and primer in one. It really was only one coat.  The color is a close match to Benjamin Moore’s Storm.  It’s a grayish/blue.  If you want the color match colors I can get them for you.

Here are our next too projects:  tall brass lamp and a retro chair my neighbor was throwing away.  Can you believe they were just throwing this chair away!

Ladybugs Good for Your Garden and Cute Too

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There are roughly 5,000 species of ladybugs in the world, 400 in North America alone.  Ladybugs are a beetle and sometimes called lady beetles or ladybird beetles.

Depending on the species ladybugs can have spots, stripes or no markings at all.

The most common ladybug is the seven-spotted ladybug which is usually red or orange with three spot on each side and one in the middle.

Ladybugs taste terrible, just in case you were going to try and eat one.  Their bright markings warn off predators.  When threatened, ladybugs secrete a foul-tasting oily solution from joints in their legs.  Still want to try one?

Ladybugs live just about anywhere from farmlands, urban areas, grasslands, and along rivers and are most active from spring until fall.

When the weather turns cold they hibernate in huge colonies.

 Ladybugs can survive 9 months off of their stored reserves.

Why do you need ladybugs in your garden?

They are hungry for aphids, fruit flies, mites and other plant-sucking insects.

 Ladybugs lay their eggs in rows on the undersides of leaves, usually where aphids are found.

When the larvae hatch they gobble 350 – 400 aphids in a two week period.  Once the ladybug reaches the pupa stage (adult beetle) they can eat up to 75 aphids per day.  Yummy!

Ladybug Fast Facts:

 Ladybugs in flight beat their wings 85 times per second

Ladybugs breath through openings in the sides of their bodies

A female ladybug will lay up to 2,000 eggs

As ladybugs age their spots begin to fade

 

Ladybugs can be purchased at garden departments at most Ace Hardware stores.

Buy a pack and release them at night, when the temperatures are cooler, they’ll stick around your garden.

The Lost Ladybug Project website along with recording the changing ladybug species in North America,  has a wonderful guide to identifying ladybugs.  Here’s a quote from their web-site.

Across North America ladybug species distribution is changing. Over the past twenty years several native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time ladybugs from other places have greatly increased both their numbers and range. Some ladybugs are simply found in new places. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low. We’re asking you to join us in finding out where all the ladybugs have gone so we can try to prevent more native species from becoming so rare.”

Want more info about ladybugs?

San Diego Zoo

Lost Lady Bug Project

Kids National Geographic

Organic Control

Humus – A Bagful of Fun for Your Garden

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Humus – you’ve seen it in the garden section and probably wondered, “What is Humus?”

First, don’t be confused with hummus which is a tasty spread made out of chick peas and tahini.

Humus is a carbon rich end product that results from the decomposition of organic materials. Think of it as the soft forest floor – the part under the sticks and leaves.  In other words – it’s really great compost.

Humus improves sandy or clay soils.  Adding humus to your soil helps your plants hold nutrients and prevents leaching of elements such as calcium, nitrogen, potassium and iron.  Also, adding humus to your soil increases beneficial microorganisms.

This week, if you’re lucky enough, your local Ace will be selling Redi-Gro Humus during the NorCal Ace Dirt Cheap Event for only .99 for a huge bag!

 Redi-Gro’s humus is 100% recycled composted green waste and has a higher organic matter content compared to sawdust based soil amendments.

Redi-Gro does routine lab testing to ensure active composting – which means a weed seed and pathogen free organic compost.

Use humus not hummus to make your garden look this.

Duct Tape – How to Use It For Stuff It’s Not Supposed to Be Used For

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Okay – do you see my recurring theme?  Using stuff for purposes other than it was intended?  I think outside the box, a lot.  It drive my husband crazy because I get these crazy ideas and he can’t figure it out.  I tell him, “Trust me.”  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I am right.  We’re not going to bring up the reusing of Skoal cans.  No, I don’t chew – and that’s a whole different story.

So, back to Duck Tape brand Duct Tape.  Here are some creative out-side the boxes uses I found for it.

You can create organizers for your home office:

From A to Z Celebrations Blog Spot

Have you ever needed an evening gown at the last-minute?

If you have some white and red Duck Tape on hand you can whip up this dreamy number.

Special bonus there’s no sewing required.

From Runway2Hallway.com

Bow ties are very trendy right now.

From DIY gUrl

Every year Duck Tape brand duct tape sponsors a contest called, Stick it To Prom.

The first place winner receives $5,000!  I think I am too old to go to prom, or I would enter this contest.

Here is last years winning team

Duck Tape comes in lots of fun colors and patterns. You can get it in plain silver and black too.

Make sure you visit the Duck Tape website for how tos and more uses for duct tape.

By the way, if you click on any of the images in this post, you will be taken to an awesome website with directions to craft the item in the image.

I would love to hear how you use Duck Tape.  Share please!

Don’t forget you can purchase Duck Tape brand at Ace Hardware.

Steel Wool – Who Cares?

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Okay, so who cares about steel wool?  It’s weird looking and comes in a huge bag, that I will probably never use.  Every time I do a home project that involves staining or stripping I  have to buy steel wool.  My mom used to keep a a bag of steel wool under the kitchen sink; she liked to use it to scrub pans (this was before the days of Teflon and non-stick pans).  The pad would get rusty and disgusting with little bits of dried food.  The used steel wool was kept next to a can of congealed grease.  Why? I don’t know, but we didn’t need child safety locks on that cabinet – no one wanted to go near the steel wool or grease can.  Yuck.

So steel wool, what’s it good for?  Surprisingly you can do quite a few things with it, and it’s inexpensive.

  • Use super fine #0000 steel wool to clean fireplace and oven doors. The glass will go from black to clear without scratching.
  •  Expanding foam fills in big gaps and when combined with steel wool becomes a barrier to rodents.
  •  Temporarily stuff steel wool in the drain while you bathe your pet to catch shed hair and prevent a clogged pipe (this one I am going to try.)
  •  Remove black heel marks on vinyl flooring.  Use steel wool and a little water, scrub gently.
  • Use super fine #0000 steel wool to create a matte finish on gloss paint.
  • Use instead of sandpaper on awkward shapes.
  • Sharpen scissors or clean up garden utensils

 You can always use it to create artwork,

 

Steel Wool on the Beach

 

 

Steel Wool Bust

 

Steel Wool Over Water

Or clothes…

Steel Wool Robe

 

Done anything interesting with steel wool?  I’d love to hear about it.

Grow Herbs Indoors – Scotts Miracle-Gro

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Interested in growing herbs indoors?  Visit the Scotts Miracle-Gro blog:

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