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Rosemary Bonsai Tree

The name given to the aromatic herb rosemary (Rosmarius in Latin) means “dew of the sea”.

Rosemary leaves have an extremely sweet fragrance that adds an incredibly appetizing taste to any recipes.

rosemary

The tree of the rosemary is very hardy. It can withstand dry seasons without much watering. This tree can also survive even in colder temperatures if planted in a bonsai pot because it can easily be moved to other locations.

Its flowers ranged from pink and purple through to blue and white.

Rosemary is highly versatile. It can be used as garden decor (hedges) or landscape (topiary), makes for great medicinal herbs and can also adorn the house indoors.

Some Facts About the Bonsai Tree

bonsai

When most people hear the word bonsai, the first thing that comes into their mind are those dwarfed trees grown in a small pot.

Bonsai is a Japanese word that means planted in a container. It is the art of making a miniature from a fully-grown tree complete with landscape designs in a shallow, small vessel.

Most people think that bonsai literally means small or tiny. This is why they often refer to small things or people as bonsai. This reasoning is generally because of the mini version of a tree in a pot.

The best bonsai pots are made from ceramic or porcelain. Plastic and metal containers can also be used but they should be as rigid and strong as the ceramic and porcelain pots to work well. This is because the pots are not just going to be a plant holder but need to support a mini tree.

Bonsai as a type of gardening art originated in China centuries before it was mentioned in Chinese documents in 600 A.D. Ancient Taoists formulated the idea of imitating the dwarfed trees in the forest, by means of planting and growing miniature ones in a pot. They achieved this through constantly cutting and pruning them to their desired height and width.

Those Chinese artists called this art “Penzai”, which literally means tray plant. Penzai was introduced in Japan around the 11th century where it was later known by its present name bonsai. Five centuries after this, bonsai art found its way into the western world, through the Japanese traders, where it was welcomed and embraced with much enthusiasm in middle-class society and most especially by royalty.

How To Make a Rosemary Bonsai Tree

rosemary bonsai

Source: Pinterest

Rosemary is one of the preferred varieties to be planted as a bonsai tree.

Their stems’ natural slender growth and beautiful but very tiny flowers make rosemary popular among bonsai planters. Added to that is their fresh, sweet aroma that can add a feeling of calmness within the house.

Here are some simple steps to follow if you want to make a rosemary bonsai:

Important Note: A dwarf variety of rosemary tree is the best to use as a bonsai plant due to its natural small size.

  1. Pick a small rosemary plant that has a firm but upright stem and lots of branches to work with
  2. Think of a design you want to create before trimming away branches. You can try drawing your desired bonsai style. Cut off all small branches just above the roots
  3. Remove all dead roots, branches and leaves. Do this before placing the plant into the pot. Be extra careful not to break the rosemary from its stem
  4. Start putting the tree into the pot. It’s best to choose a large but shallow pot to allow the roots and foliage more room to grow
  5. Remember to always press the soil gently to prevent any air pockets from forming
  6. Circle the new sprouts with a soft wire to support the stem
  7. Water the plant now but be sure to wait for it to drain out of the holes before stopping. If air pockets form, add more soil, and water it again

Taking Care of a Rosemary Bonsai Tree

  1. Rosemary bonsai should always be partly dry before watering it again as it dies if constantly wet. Consequently, the plant should never be left too dry before rewatering
  2. Bonsai plants are generally intended for indoor displays but, just like other indoor plants, it also needs adequate natural light. Place it somewhere where the sun’s rays can penetrate it directly. Rosemary needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily and then to be left in a cool temperature of 5 to 7 degrees C
  3. Since rosemary grows fast, repotting to a larger container is necessary when the tree starts to outgrow its first pot. It needs more space to thrive and to achieve your desired size for your bonsai. Afterward, repotting is required every 2 years

Important Note: When repotting rosemary bonsai, the entire tree should be uprooted very carefully from its present pot. Pop in some new soil to promote healthier new growth and fertilize as soon as the bonsai tree has been replanted.

  1. Fully-grown rosemary bonsai should be nourished with a liquid spray fertilizer every 3 weeks except during the winter season when the tree should stop growing. However, freshly planted rosemary bonsai should be fertilized weekly to encourage growth until it’s repotted. Use a non-acidic fertilizer that also contains potassium and nitrogen
  2. Pruning should be conducted periodically to prevent the bonsai tree from growing bigger than you would like. Trim minimal parts of the roots and cut all leaves that will hinder your design
  3. Do not put wires on old trees as they will tend to break down

Wrap Up

We hope this article has been of great help in your quest to create your own Rosemary bonsai tree.

If you have questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always very happy to help and we’ll get back to you promptly.

Happy planting!

How To Avoid a Dead Hummingbird In Your Garden

If you live anywhere in the Americas, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter hummingbirds in your garden.

With 300 species found from Alaska to Chile, 12 of these species will spend summer in America before heading to tropical climes during colder periods.

We will look today at how to limit the chances of coming out one day to find a dead hummingbird rather than hearing the delightful sound of their rapidly flapping wings.

These tiny, brightly colored birds with their iridescent feathers are among the smallest of birds. They measure anywhere from 3 to 5 inches.

hummingbird

Hummingbirds are from the family Trochilidae and, for birds with such rapid metabolisms, they have surprisingly long lifespans. Some live for up to a decade while the average is somewhere between 3 and 5 years. From hatching to fledging, hummingbirds are pretty vulnerable. Many die in this critical period.

They normally rely on nectar, the sweet liquid found inside certain flowers. Nectar is a combination of fructose, sucrose and glucose. As such, it’s a poor source of nutrients. Hummingbirds will top this up by preying on insects or spiders.

So…

How can you give them a helping hand?

Feeding Hummingbirds

dead hummingbird

Because of their fast breathing rate, rapid heartbeat and elevated body temperature, hummingbirds need to eat often.

Try growing some flowers that attract hummingbirds. This superb mini-guide outlines many options at your disposal

Many gardeners also choose to provide these majestic little birds with a feeder so they can further supplement what they can forage in the wild.

Hummingbird feeders are very inexpensive. All you need is one of these feeders, some refined white refined cane sugar and some water and you’re good to go.

Feeders

Most feeders are red since this color seems to draw hummingbirds in more than others.

When you are looking for the best feeder, think about how easy it is to clean and fill. Look for a model that will come apart so you can regularly clean all the components.

Some feeders come with a handy little perch. This is not necessary and hummingbirds will happily feed without needing to rely on any assistance. The advantage of perches, though, is that you get to enjoy watching these incredible little birds just sitting there gorging on nectar.

Nectar

feeding hummingbirds

Source: Pinterest

Hummingbirds get their energy from nectar while the bugs they eat deliver a shot of protein.

Flower nectar is nothing more than sucrose in the range of 21% – 23%. Making sure the hummingbirds in your garden are well fed is extremely cheap. It’s also pretty easy…

  1. Mix up 4 parts of water to 1 part of cane sugar in a pan
  2. Bring to the boil while stirring to dissolve all the sugar. Boiling will kill any yeast spores or mold in the sugar. It also removes any chlorine from the water
  3. Remove from heat, cover and cool

It’s in your interests to make up batches of nectar so that you are not continually performing this task every time you want to fill your feeder. Store in plastic bottles in the refrigerator.

Do not be tempted to replace cane sugar with any alternatives.

Do not feed hummingbirds any of the following:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Jello
  • Raw sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Molasses
  • Corn syrup
  • Red dyes
  • Preservative mixes

The last thing you want is to try doing a good turn only to end up with a dead hummingbird. Stick to the tried and true combo of water and sugar and you’ll be perfectly safe while giving the hummingbird exactly what it needs. They expend massive amounts of energy and need plenty of real sugar to compensate.

Keep Things Clean

Sugar water might be cheap but it’s also a highly fertile growing medium. Yeasts like to eat sugar. This causes fermentation which can be harmful to hummingbirds.

Various bacteria and mold also tend to proliferate in sugar water. Again, this could lead to a dead hummingbird rather than hours of mutual pleasure.

For these reasons, keeping the feeder sparkling clean is essential.

It’s equally important to ensure that the nectar is always fresh. If you live somewhere with cooler temperatures, changing the nectar weekly is fine.

At 70 degrees or above, use these temperatures as guidelines for how often you need to swap out the feed…

  • 71 – 80 degrees: 3 days
  • 81 – 85 degrees: 2 days
  • 86 degrees plus: Every day

Keep a close eye on the nectar. If you spot any black spots or white strings, make sure to clean the feeder more frequently.

Each time you refill the feeder with nectar, wash it thoroughly with very hot water. This is where your life will be much easier if you buy a feeder that can be completely disassembled. Cleaning the parts is far simpler when they are broken down.

Where To Put Your Feeders

Ideally, choose a shaded location for the feeders. This will ensure the nectar lasts longer than if exposed to the sun. If you must place the feeder in direct sunlight, simply change it more often.

It obviously pays to situate the feeder near to a window so you can enjoy the view of the feeding hummingbirds. Keep it well out of the way of cats.

In no time at all, the birds will become tame enough to go about their business with you watching them from tight up against the window.

Pests That Threaten Hummingbirds

If you have any bees or ants menacing the feeder, hummingbirds will not use it.

  • Ants: Install ant guards. These are small moats preventing the ants from finding the feeder
  • Bees: Try to make certain there’s no nectar leaking out that might attract them. Avoid feeders with tubes as they tend to drip

What To Do If You Find a Dead Hummingbird in Your Garden

In the event of coming across a dead hummingbird, check out first if it has a band. If it does, contact the Bird Banding Laboratory.

Being careful not to ruffle the feathers, wrap up the dead hummingbird in a paper towel.

Pop it inside a Ziploc bag then double-bag it with another.

Label it with the location, time and date it was discovered.

Freeze.

Here is a list of rehabilitators across North America.

Failing that, try contacting the biology department of a local college or university.

Your remaining options are either to bury it or give it to your local animal control agency.

Wrap-Up

We hope you’ve found this glance at how to limit the chance of finding a dead hummingbird when you planned to relax in your garden with a coffee and watch these magnificent birds happily feed.

It needn’t cost much to do your part and give these survivors a little helping hand with some nectar. Pay attention to the advice above and you should be rewarded with a nice throng of feeding birds.

Feel free to share this article and drop us a line if you have any queries about gardening. We respond as quickly as we are able and always welcome feedback.

Now get some nectar prepared!

How To Can Tomatoes Without a Pressure Cooker

Tomatoes are extremely simple to grow. There is very little that you can do wrong with this

Whether you are an experienced gardener with plenty of garden tools, a beginner just starting out or you fancy trying to grow some tomatoes indoors with a grow tent and some HID ballast.

can tomatoes without pressure cooker

The first thing that springs to mind when you think of preserving fruit and veg is a pressure canner or pressure cooker. What if you don’t want that expense, though?

You’re in luck!

We will look today at how to can tomatoes without a pressure cooker. Using nothing but basic kitchen equipment, you can enjoy the wonderful taste of tomatoes year-round.

First thing’s first, though…

What Is a Pressure Canner?

pressure cooker

Source: Walmart

With water bath canning only really safe for fruits, many people choose to use a pressure canner so they can safely preserve their meat or vegetables without fear of bacteria.

This handy diagram shows you precisely how this innovative technology works…

using a pressure canner

Source: Pick Your Own

As you can see, a pressure canner is rather like an oversized steel or aluminum kettle. The lid twists on and off with gaskets.

The racks inside are easy to remove and there are safety vents and steam vents.

Sometimes, a dial gauge is used to show the pressure. Other models have a weighted gauge which will also cause the pressure canner to rattle.

Simply add water according to the directions and you can make sure all your cans are adequately pressurized fuss-free.

How To Can Tomatoes Without a Pressure Cooker

Since using a pressure canner is unnecessary when preserving tomatoes, it makes sense not to bother using one.

We will walk you through a simple alternative using a water bath and some Mason jars.

canning tomatoes in water bath

Source: Freshly Preserved

What Will You Need?

Luckily, all you need is some very basic equipment.

  • Mason jars with properly fitting lids
  • 2 large stockpots
  • Funnel
  • 2 spoons (slotted and non-slotted)
  • Potholders
  • Tongs
  • Knives
  • Some towels
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

OK, once you’ve assembled these basics, it’s time to get started!

What To Do To

Before anything else, you’ll need to pick some tomatoes. You can use any fruit that’s past its best but steer clear of any rotten tomatoes. If there are any imperfections or cracks, just trim them away.

Next, follow these simple steps to enjoy a bountiful supply of organic tomatoes throughout the year.

  1. Grab yourself an apron and prepare a working area with all your equipment close to hand
  2. Thoroughly clean and sterilize all your jars and their lids
  3. Clean the tomatoes and place them near the oven
  4. Boil up some water in your stockpots. The purpose of this step is to split their skins after which you should pop them into a clean sink
  5. With a slotted spoon, pop 3 or 4 tomatoes into each pot. In less than a couple of minutes, the skins should tear apart. Set them aside as directed
  6. Repeat with remaining tomatoes then wash out both pots
  7. Peel the tomato skins then get rid of the cores and any bad or damaged spots. Chop them all up and throw into a clean pot. Add the pulp and juice if you fancy
  8. Bring the pot to the boil on top of your oven
  9. At the same time, bring some water to boil in another pan. Boil 3 jars and lids. It’s absolutely essential that the water is at boiling point to sterilize them fully and also to create a vacuum seal. Do not skimp on this step. Effectively, this stage replaces the need for pressure canning so take your time and get the job done right
  10. Grab a potholder and remove the jars one at a time once step 9 is complete. Using a funnel with a nice wide mouth, decant your tomatoes into the jars. Some mess here is almost inevitable so make sure you have some towels on hand
  11. When filling the jars, leave an inch or so of space at the top. Season to taste at this point with some good quality salt and black pepper. Pick out a lid with your tongs and use a towel to protect your hands as you pop the lid on your jar
  12. Listen for the reassuring sounds of the lids as they vacuum seal under their own heat. Watch for the buttons on the lids which will become sucked in. Most jars will seal like this in no more than 5 minutes

And that’s it!

Fill up those jars to your heart’s content and never need to rely on processed tomatoes again when you can stock up plentifully on the fruits of your own labor.

Important Note

Very rarely, the seal might not take causing the tomatoes to rot. Obviously, if this happens simply throw the rogue jar in the trash.

Fortunately, there’s an initial test you can perform to minimize the chance of this happening. Leave your canned tomatoes out on the counter overnight. The next day, if you remove the ring from the jar and try to remove the lid, it won’t be possible if the vacuum seal has taken effect properly. This is not a failsafe method but it certainly reduces the likelihood of spoiled produce.

Handy Hint

How about all the tomato skins and cores that you accumulated?

They’ll make perfect compost! Enjoy fertilizing your garden the natural way!

Wrap-Up

We hope you’ve found this look at how to can tomatoes without a pressure cooker useful when it comes to making the very most of your supply of this delicious fruit.

Once you experience the taste of food grown organically in your own backyard, it’s tough to return to store-bought produce! Not only can you control exactly how your fruit and veg is grown but you can save a great deal of money as well.

Please feel free to share this article on your social media. As always, drop us a line if you would like any help with any aspect of gardening. We try to respond as swiftly as possible and we’re always more than happy to help.

Growing Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chefs prize chanterelle mushrooms just as they value truffle, that other famous fungus.

The chanterelle is mycorrhizal. This means it has a mutually beneficial relationship with the roots of certain trees.

Before we look at growing chanterelle mushrooms, a quick look at the bare essentials of these unusual fungi.

Chanterelle Mushrooms: The Basics

Chanterelle Mushrooms

Source: Beth Dunham

  • Key Features: No true gills and a funnel-shaped cap. Yellow in color. Smells faintly of apricot. 2 edible species in the same genus. The Tubular Chanterelle has a browner cap and a hollow stem. Luminous Chanterelle is much more orange and also has a hollow stem
  • Habitat: Woodland. Especially oak or beech but sometimes birch and pine. Favors broad-leaved woods. Often grows among moss or where plant cover is sparse. Seen on sloping ground
  • Season: Summer and fall
  • Frequency: Grows either singly or in troops
  • Cap: This is convex when the mushroom is young then flattens and becomes funnel-shaped with a depression in the center. Flesh is thick and dry on top. The skin doesn’t peel. It’s an egg-yolk yellow that fades with age
  • Gills: No proper gills just a network of veins
  • Spore Print: Pale yellow
  • Stem: Fleshy and solid. Broad at the top and narrowing toward the base. Color of stem slightly paler than the cap
  • Flesh: Pale yellow. Smells of apricots. If eaten raw, has a mild aftertaste with a kick of pepper

Where and When To Find Chanterelles

Where and When To Find Chanterelles

Source: Wild Harvest

In broad-leaved and coniferous woods, you’ll often spot chanterelle mushrooms in the undergrowth.

These mushrooms relish damp places like hollows and ditches.

Chanterelle is actually a pretty common mushroom but it’s tough to spot. It hides under moss and leaf litter which help to conceal its brilliant yellow color.

The mushroom grows throughout the temperate zone. It often crops up after summer storms.

When it comes to commercial picking, intensive carpet picking has been clamped down upon and regulated in some countries. France and the USA have imposed strict limitations on just how many chanterelles you can pick.

The mycelium on the chanterelle must be allowed to fruit in subsequent years so no implements should be used when picking that tear the moss and damage the mycelium.

Growing Chanterelles

If you have wondered about growing chanterelles, it’s really not straightforward.

The nature of the symbiotic relationship they have with certain trees mean you are limited. Those trees need to be where you want to grow or you’ll be clean out of luck.

Let’s assume that you are lucky enough to have some substantial beech, birch or spruce trees in your garden…

What then?

  1. If you have one of the trees that lacks a mycorrhizae fungus, make sure the soil around it is nicely drained and low in nitrogen
  2. You’ll need to test the pH of the soil. Anywhere between 4 and 5.5 is good. Sodium chloride helps to lower the pH levels. Lime is ideal if it needs a boost
  3. Start the mushrooms in July
  4. Rake over the soil where you plan to grow the chanterelles
  5. Take an old chanterelle. Break it up and scatter the pieces where you would like your mushrooms to grow. It is hard for these mushrooms to reproduce because they produce less spores than other types
  6. When it comes time to harvest your chanterelles, twist and pull them rather than cutting. Minimize harvests to no more than once every three weeks to prevent compacting the soil

Careful harvesting will lead to these mushrooms appearing year after year in the same spot. If you are successful in growing chanterelles then you should be blessed with an ongoing supply as long as you take good care of them.

It really isn’t straightforward growing chanterelles so if you are lucky enough for the conditions to fall in your favor, why not give it a go and see if you can bag some of these delicious mushrooms for your kitchen!

Eating Chanterelles

We have eaten the chanterelle since the times of the Romans.

Slugs and larvae tend the leave the chanterelle in peace so the flesh remains intact more so than with other mushrooms.

Its consistency is firm and compact. This needs to be compensated for with slightly longer cooking times.

Chanterelle can be cooked alone. It’s great sprinkled with some parsley, too.

These mushrooms make the perfect accompaniment to eggs in omelets and the color coordinates as well! They also go well with meat and can be pickled.

Chanterelles travel well so they are widely sold at market.

This site has some excellent recipes with chanterelles.

Wrap-Up

If you have the right conditions in your garden and fancy growing some chanterelles, why not give it a go?

Please feel free to share this article on your social media. Get in touch at any time if you have any questions on any aspect of gardening. We are always delighted to help.

How To Train Schefflera Bonsai

Gardening takes many forms.

Perhaps you have no outside space and want to grow something striking in your house instead. Maybe you have a large yard but also want some greenery around while you relax on the couch.

If you like gardening indoors then perhaps a bonsai tree would nestle nicely alongside your cacti and make a superb conversation piece.

The Japanese have grown trees restricted in containers for more than a thousand years and the intricate bonsai is always an impressive sight.schefflera bonsai

We’ll look today at how to train the Schefflera bonsai along with some general information about cultivating this tree indoors.

Double Dose of Schefflera

There are two related plants known as Schefflera:

  • Dwarf Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola)
  • Full-sized Schefflera (Brassaia actinophylla)

The larger tree favors tropical climates and can soar to thirty feet or more. With enormous leaves like an umbrella and clumps of bright red flowers, the Brassaia is highly attractive.

The dwarf version grows anywhere from 6 to 12 feet if left unfettered. It has smaller leaves and branches a bit more freely than its big brother.

Schefflera For Bonsai Trees

Schefflera

Schefflera trees have a compound leaf. This means that each stalk or petiole has more than a single leaflet. As a result, the leaf seems to be larger than it really is.

The fairly sizeable leaf on both types of Schefflera makes cultivating really tiny bonsai tough.

Unlike most trees, Schefflera don’t really have growth rings as such. They are not a particularly woody tree and the bark formed isn’t especially tough.

It’s quite hard to form serious bends with this tree even using wiring. You need to cut the branch to get any real movement.

One significant bonus of the Schefflera is that you can easily form aerial roots. Making a banyan tree form or any other form with drastically exposed roots is satisfying with these dramatic trees.

Many trees cope badly with dim light and low humidity but the Schefflera thrives in these conditions even though it hails from tropical climes.

With effort, both types of Schefflera can be turned into fairly small bonsai to stunning effect.

How To Cultivate Schefflera Indoors

Soil and Moisture

The two different species require different levels of moisture in the soil.

  • Dwarf Schefflera: Moist and never let it get bone dry
  • Schefflera: Water profusely then allow roots to dry almost completely

They also prefer different soil mixes…

  • Dwarf Schefflera: Half bark, half inorganic material
  • Schefflera: One-third organic material to two-thirds inorganic material

These are rough guides but you should always fine-tune your mix according to your individual tree, general growing conditions and micro-environment.

Light

Both Schefflera will tolerate extremely dim lighting. This means that the leaves will be quite large, reduced in number and shaping will be a tall order.

In order to see your tree truly flourish, try to give it as much light as possible. This will lead to smaller leaves and improved growth. It’s much easier to shape and form bonsais when the tree is in a period of active growth.

Humidity

With thick and waxy leaves, Schefflera deal well with lower humidity levels.

You can get by without the need for any kind of humidifier and this tree will survive in even the driest indoor environment.

Propagating Schefflera

Bringing these trees on from seed is straightforward. That said, they are so readily available at garden centers that few would bother.

Propagating from cuttings will be stress-free. Pop the cuttings into a container with some granular soil mix then cover with a plastic bag. After a month, they’ll have set root and you can remove them from the bag. Don’t make the soil too wet or the stem might rot and fail to root.

Fertilizing

A normal houseplant fertilizer diluted by half is ideal. Adding this weekly should give your bonsai all the nutrients it needs. You can cut back to monthly feeding over the winter or any times when the tree is not actively growing.

Water your tree thoroughly before fertilizing.

Pests

Schefflera are seldom menaced by insects which is welcoming news.

From time to time they may suffer from scale infestation. Treat this by spraying dormant oil weekly taking care to spray all surfaces of the tree.

How To Train Schefflera Bonsai

bonsai tree

Pots and Repotting

Repot your bonsai every two years. Make sure that the container is not too big. This way, you’ll showcase the tree’s canopy to full effect and prevent the soil from getting too soaked.

Take your time and separate all the old soil from the root ball. You can easily wreak havoc on the delicate roots if you undertake this too roughly.

Oval or round pots work best with Schefflera.

Wiring

The lack of woody trunk means Schefflera can be challenging to wire.

Try to get started when the branches are young. Apply the wire a little more loosely than you would with some other bonsai. Shoot for gentle bends and avoid extreme changes in direction.

Prune above the leaves for perfect results.

As with any large-leaved tree, you can wire individual leaves for added shaping. Do this when they are mature and full-size.

Hacking Back: Reduction

Often, people come across their Schefflera by taking away a bedraggled specimen from a friend’s house.

You can cut back tall examples with abandon and get rid of the leaves.

Take no prisoners when shortening the stem. If you don’t do the job properly, you risk needing to return to reduce your Schefflera later on. This will cost you time and result in needing to cut the stem back even further.

If you do take on a severe hacking back, wait a few months afterwards before repotting your Schefflera.

Wrap-Up

We hope you’ve found this glance at bonsai trees and how to train the Schefflera bonsai informative.

Why not try growing one to supplement your indoor garden?

Please get in touch if you have any queries or feedback. We are always delighted to hear from our readers. Also, feel free to share any of our articles on your social media.

Chicken Manure from Lowes and Natural Poultry Manure

Anyone who loves gardening knows the importance of a good fertilizer.

If you have a healthy vegetable garden, one of the best choices is chicken manure.

This type of fertilizer is usually sold commercially as dried pellets. It’s one of the best non-chemical options for those of you who like to keep things natural.

You should be aware that you might need to add some other fertilizer if you opt for poultry manure in the dry form, whether pellets or powder.

chicken manure lowes

What Are The Advantages And Drawbacks of Using Chicken Manure?

By definition, most gardeners have a keen interest in the environment. By choosing a fertilizer that’s free of chemicals, you can offer your garden the best nutrients while remaining completely eco-friendly.

If you are looking for green plants with plenty of leaves, nitrogen is the key nutrient required. Chicken manure is a wonderful source of this colorless gas. You’ll also enjoy a dose of other vital nutrients into the bargain. Organic matter will be added to the soil which will enhance the retention of water and nutrients.

It should be noted that poultry manure contains rather less potassium and phosphorous than you’ll get with some synthetic fertilizers. The nutrient content is also slower release.

How To Use Chicken Manure

chicken manure lowes

If you’re looking to carry out some simple top-dressing, you can safely select an average dose of chicken manure. Use 150g per square meter.

Always err on the side of caution and use less rather than more. You can always increase the dose but you can’t undo the damage caused by being heavy-handed.

Circumstances always differ. Perhaps your crops are not quite so hungry. Maybe your lawn is prone to scorching. 100g per square meter will suffice in either of these situations.

Some vegetables, on the other hand, are much greedier. Ramp the dosage up to 200g per square meter but split this in half with a month between applications.

Make sure you are not drawn into using the manure from domestic chickens. This is fine for compost but not so great for fertilizer. It looks extremely unsightly and draws in vermin. As a final insult, this may burn the roots of your plants so sidestep it completely as a fertilizer.

When To Use Chicken Manure

chicken manure

Due to problems with transportation and the issues above, home gardeners rarely use fresh chicken manure. As well as composting, it can also be used for blackcurrants and plum trees if you are able to source some.

If you do roll with the fresh variety bear in mind that the manure can contain damaging bacteria. Take proper precautions…

  • Wear gloves when you are handling the manure
  • Don’t eat or smoke when you are working
  • Steer well clear of the dust kicked off and do not breathe it in

The dried or processed type such as that offered by Lowes presents far less of a risk. This manure is sterilized so it’s much safer.

The pellets of this type of chicken manure can be confidently used on most vegetables and fruits. Some sulfate of potash makes a nice supplement.

It’s best not to use chicken manure for any acid-loving plants.

Composting Chicken Manure

chicken manure

Composting your chicken manure is straightforward and a great way to enhance the release of nutrients over time. They will break down better and become more easily put to use by your plants.

Take the used bedding from the chicken coop and pop it in your compost bin. Douse it with water then turn it every few weeks to allow the air to properly circulate.

You’ll need plenty of patience. It’ll take anywhere from 6-9 months for the manure to be properly ready. Waiting for as long a year is not uncommon.

Once you’re done waiting, simply spread your fresh manure compost over your garden. Use a shovel to work it over thoroughly.

If you are growing vegetables, this type of fertilizer can help them to grow bigger and also much more quickly. It’s a natural way to give things a boost.

Wrap-Up

If you want to give chemical fertilizers a swerve and get superb results without hurting our fragile planet, chicken manure is a worthwhile alternative.

If you have any questions about this or any aspect of gardening, drop us a line and we’ll get right back to you.

How High Can Rabbits Jump and Other Fun Facts

Rabbits, as everyone knows, can run extremely quickly. Their turn of pace is actually on a par with foxes. A rabbit can reach speeds of anywhere between 18mph and 45mph.

How high can rabbits jump, though?

This is a common question which we will address today. We’ll also look at some other interesting facts about this resilient animal.

How High Can Rabbits Jump?

how high can rabbits jump

Rabbits leap using their hind legs. These are specially designed to make them jump higher and farther whenever they feel the need.

The opinions of experts vary in terms of how far rabbits can jump…

Some say that a rabbit can reach up to 2 feet (60.96 cm) high when leaping vertically. Others claim that rabbits can jump as high as 4 feet (121.92cm).

When they jump horizontally, they can hit an incredible 15 feet (457.2 cm).

This discrepancy depends to some extent on the type of a rabbit in question.

Domesticated or pet bunnies generally cannot make a leap of even 2 feet. The simple reason for this is that they are being extremely well fed. This tends to make them fat and heavy. In the wild, they would be leaner and better primed for action.

Also, most pet rabbits are either caged or do not have much space to roam about and practice their skills. Compared to wild rabbits whose lives are seemingly one endless chase, there is not much need for pet rabbits to actually run and jump. This means they are rather less able than wild rabbits. In the great outdoors, the life of a rabbit is frequently threatened. They must be on top of their game in order to survive.

Building a Fence to Keep Away the Rabbits

fences to keep rabbits away

If you need to build up a barrier or walls to keep rabbits from entering your gardens and feasting on your vegetables, a mere 3 feet tall fence should be more than adequate.

Since the majority of rabbits, both domesticated and wild, peak at jumping to heights of about 2 feet, the extra foot should be sufficient margin for safety.

If you opt for walls, they should be buried at least 6 feet into the ground. Make certain that they are 3 to 6 feet away from any plants. Rabbits often dig into the ground if the walls are too high for them to reach.

Capturing a Rabbit

Rabbits are mainly prey. They bank on their speed in running and their prowess at jumping to elude predators in the wild.

But, despite their skill, some of them are still liable to meet misfortune in the mighty paws of their enemies.

These animals also serve as either food or pets for humans.

To catch a rabbit, you need to create a sound strategy first. Their raw swiftness means it’s tough to trap one without proper preparation.

It is also imperative that you have at least an idea as to how long and high these bunnies can reach when jumping. This will help you to estimate the kind of actions you will need to perform.

This great pictorial article gives you some handy hints for capturing a rabbit.

Catching a Lost Pet Rabbit

In capturing a strayed pet rabbit, one may need help. It can be fairly difficult to catch them alone due to that speed.

You can use a large net to entrap the animal. Skilled, strong hands along with the keen eyesight of your helper is just about all that’s required.

Rabbits are generally smart and hiding is their prime instinct. They are very hard to spot it as they disappear from sight rapidly.

Wild Rabbit and How To Seize One

rabbits jumping

Wild rabbits are regularly the cause of worry in countryside backyards. They are considered pests just like rats are.

Moreover, wild bunnies usually carry diseases that can also infect humans. The most devastating disease for rabbits is myxomatosis.

Rabbits eat grass, plants and vegetables. So, in the event that they get a chance to loiter around residential areas, the first thing that they attack is the garden full of vegetables!

As with other wild animals, rabbits scare people although they rarely cause us any harm. It’s the plants that they ravage! They are prone to biting at times so be extremely careful when handling wild rabbits.

If by any chance you are attacked, hurriedly wash the bitten part with running water and soap then go see a doctor to give you proper medication.

The easiest way to get a wild rabbit is to take it out with a gunshot. If your only reason for attack is to drive it out of your garden then you can use a net to trap it.

Make sure to hold the bunny on its back and not by the ears. This way, you are protected and it will not inflict any harm. Carry it like you would a baby at its butt. Then gently encase it in a carrier so it cannot escape before you take it back to the wild again.

Another easy way is to set up a rabbit trap. This is actually a cage wherein you can put some food like carrots or bread. This will lure the animal to approach the trap and your job is done with no fuss at all.

Conclusion

Never underestimate any animal’s capability to outsmart humans. Always be highly vigilant in situations where you need to catch any animal at all. You don’t want to get hurt through being careless.

We also need to respect the fact that however wild or dangerous they might appear, the only reason why they come to residential areas is to look for some food.

Try to understand that animals also get scared when they see humans. Their very first instinct is to run away for fear of being harmed or killed. If they feel any sense of danger, it is only natural for them to attack. It’s a defense mechanism.

Unless, though, they exhibit any harmful behavior, you should not attempt to hurt or kill them. Rabbits are 90 percent harmless and just want to extend their horizons. A touch of caution should, of course, always be exercised.

How high can rabbits jump is not something conclusively proven. Let us know how high your rabbit can jump and see if there is any evidence to support the higher claims of 4 feet!

Are Possums Dangerous And Other Strange Facts

The possum is an extremely strange animal.

Looking rather like an oversized rat, there is certainly something unsettling about this malevolent looking creature.

Are possums dangerous, though?

This is one of the first questions posed by many people when they are faced by the fierce teeth of this unusual marsupial.

We will look today at this issue along with some other facts about this bizarre animal.

Are Possums Dangerous?

are possums dangerousIf you are ever confronted by a possum, fifty teeth bared as above, it is only natural that you might feel threatened.

Usually, possums have easy-going and laid-back temperaments. The exposed snarling grimace is simply a smart defense against would-be attackers. If you approached the animal, it would be highly unlikely to do more than back off and cower away.

You must face facts, though: if a possum is cornered by a human or another animal, there is an outside chance it might defend itself by lashing out. When we are talking about a wild creature the size of a cat with claws and teeth – all fifty of them! – like razors, it pays to err on the side of caution.

If you have any pets at home, make certain to keep them well clear of any possums on your land.

The next time someone asks you, “Are possums dangerous?” you will be able to answer confidently that, normally, they are not.

How else, then, do possums protect themselves?

What Does Playing Possum Mean?

playing possum

Source: Deviant Art

The expression playing possum is often used when a child is playing and feigns being dead. The phrase has been around for generations but people tend to think it’s nothing more than an alliterative myth.

When a possum is in any kind of trouble, its first course of action is to bare that vicious set of teeth growling at the aggressor. It compounds this fearsome effect by belching and will also urinate or defecate in an attempt to confuse and disgust the predator.

If all else fails, something is triggered in the possum’s brain and it suffers from a temporary paralysis. This is more like the animal fainting than a natural response and it works very well.

The animal on the attack will see the possum roll and fall over. They tend to close their eyes or stare vacantly into space. This alone would be an inadequate defense mechanism. The attacker would perhaps approach and try to eat the possum.

So…

Saliva foams up around their exposed teeth. Their glands secrete a rancid odor.

The overall effect of the animal “playing possum” is to allow the opponent to believe they have triumphed and the possum has somehow died.

This state of catatonia can last for several hours. The sight and smell of the seemingly-dead beast is more than enough to put any marauding predator off the thought of trying to eat it!

Is A Possum The Same As An Opossum?

are possums dangerous

The word opossum was first coined in the early 1600s by Captain John Smith. This Jamestown colonist borrowed the word from the native Algonquian language in which opassum meant white animal.

Just a few years later, in 1613, the name appeared in print for the first time. The “o” had been dropped and the world was introduced to the possum! They

So… the animal which was first known as an opossum is widely referred to as a possum.

But…

A possum is actually a different animal, one of several species of nocturnal, tree-dwelling marsupials found in New Guinea and Australia. The story goes that Captain Cook named them after their North American cousin the opossum.

Today, the Australian possum holds claim to the true scientific title of possum.

The animal from North America is strictly speaking an opossum.

That said, old habits die hard. Most people refer to the American marsupial as a possum so the name has stuck. The words are technically different but in real terms they are used practically interchangeably.

What Do Possums Eat?

Opossum are omnivores. They quite happilys eat both meat and plants.

They eat a surprisingly varied diet including:

  • Rodents
  • Carrion
  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • Eggs
  • Birds
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Plants

If none of the above are available, opossum will readily eat human scraps, dog or cat food along with any other scraps they can find. These animals are highly versatile and will never starve!

They are scavengers by nature but opossum will also hunt if forced into it. They are quite capable of bringing down birds, snakes and other small animals.

Possums also have an elevated need for calcium. This leads them to gnaw on the bones of road kill to take more on board.

How Many Babies Do Possums Have?

Alongside a desire to know if possums are dangerous, another frequently asked question concerns the number of babies they have…

Marsupials, female possum have pouches and give birth to large litters of babies. The moment they are born, these babies climb directly back into the mother’s pouch. It’s from here that they grow and develop.

Litters can contain up to 20 babies but normally only half of these survive. Nature if often a numbers game. The possum protects itself by having more than enough offspring to guarantee that enough will live on and escape the rigors of entering the world outside the mother’s pouch.

Possums Have Remarkable Immunity

are possums dangerous

The possum has a remarkable immune system. This is rugged enough to protect them against the venomous bites of snakes like the rattlesnake, cottonmouth and viper.

They are practically immune from contracting rabies. You are far more likely to see a rabid dog than a possum!

The Possum Is Very Smart

Not all animals are created equal when it comes to intelligence.

Possums possess incredible memories. They can easily remember where they found food. This helps them to stay on top of their food supply. Adult possums move around alone seeking out whatever food comes their way.

In controlled tests, opossums navigate mazes far more confidently than cats or rats.

Possums Have Opposable Thumbs

possums opposable thumbsOpossum have exceptional climbing abilities.

This is helped along by their “thumbs” which are opposable like a human’s. These are called hallux and are situated on the rear feet.

Possums are the only animals except for primates that boast opposable thumbs.

Natural Pest Killers

Rather than worrying whether or not the possum is dangerous, you should actually welcome them into your garden.

They munch on the beetles, slugs and snails that can ravage your grass.

Possums compete for food sources with rats and cockroaches. They will kill both of these vermin if they venture into their territory. In this way, it could be said that possums are dangerous to some!

Aside from protecting your pets from any harm, you should be glad if you have possums on your property.

Wrap-Up

In response to the age-old query, “Are possums dangerous”, the answer is a qualified, “No.”

These fascinating animals have a lot more going for them than they are given credit for. Just be careful not to approach and corner one and you will have no problems.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the opossum or any other aspect of gardening. We will get back to you as soon as possible.