Using Eggshells in the Garden

Using Eggshells in the Garden

FERTILIZER The first and foremost reason you should be using eggshells on your garden is because of their use as an organic fertilizer. Eggshells are packed full of calcium, which is essential for the health of your soil. In addition to that, eggshells have a very high surface area to volume ratio, which means that all of the minerals contained within them decompose  into your garden. You don’t even need to grind the eggs up, because they decompose so quickly. Don’t sterilize them either; all you have to do is toss them in your compost bin or garden and turn the soil. FEED THE BIRDS Birds need lots of calcium before and after laying eggs, so try putting finely crumbled eggshells in a feeder, or on the ground during the spring and summer. You need to sterilize the eggs before doing this, by putting them in boiling water, but the effort will appreciated by all your neighbourhood bird friends. SEED-STARTER FERTILIZER Because eggs are such a great fertilizer, you can try using them when planting individual flowers, instead of just fertilizing the soil in general. There are two methods to go about this. Crush eggshells and put them at the bottom of the hole you’ve dub for a plant. The eggs will decompose rapidly underground, and feed calcium to your plant. Seed-starter pots: When breaking your eggs for a meal, try breaking only a small hole in the top. The almost-whole eggshells are going to make little pots for your new seeds. Clean the inside of the egg with boiling water, and puncture a small hole in the bottom. Fill each shell with moist soil, and add seeds. Once they’ve outgrown the ‘pot’, transplant them into the garden. PEST DETERRENT If you’ve been having problems with little pests in your gardens like snails and slugs, eggshells could be a big help to get rid of them. The sharp edges of the shells tend to deter snails and slugs because of their soft underbellies, so sprinkling fine pieces of shells around plants they’re attracted to might cause them to finally leave the area. It’s a much better method to try then chemical pesticides! ARTICLE SOURCE http://www.realfarmacy.com/6-convincing-reasons-start-using-eggshells-garden/ Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Kitchen cupboard contents for combating garden pests.

Kitchen cupboard contents for combating garden  pests.

I recently came across these useful hints by Hen & Hammock, published in the Telegraph: Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Apple Cake/Muffins with Streusel Topping

Apple Cake/Muffins with Streusel Topping

Sue van As is a regular contributor to the recipe section, try this delicious recipe. Make topping first :   ¾ cup (90 grams) self raising flour 6 Tablespoons (85 grams) butter ½ cup sugar(100 grams) 1 Teaspoon cinnamon Combine all the ingredients until crumbly – set aside (Do this a day ahead if you wish!) Cake : ½ cup sugar (100 Grams) ½ cup soft Butter ( 125 grams) Mix together until light and fluffy, add 2 eggs– one at a time Stir in : 2 Tablespoons milk followed by : 1 ¼ cup self raising flour ( 150 grams) ½ teaspoon cinnamon This batter is quite thick! Spoon batter into a prepared spring form 9 in (22cm) cake pan or 12 paper lined muffin cups. Top Batter with thinly sliced apples (any kind) – 3 small or 2 large apples should do it! Sprinkle topping over the apples! Bake at 175 degrees for about 50 minutes for the cake   – 35 minutes for muffins until brown and firm to the touch! Can  be served warm with crème anglaise , cream,  ice cream of all 3!!   Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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The amazing journey of the Honey Buzzard

The amazing journey of the Honey Buzzard

Log on to: Trevor Hardaker – wildlife enthusiast and photographer 10 hrs · Bird migration is a really fascinating subject and I am constantly amazed at the distances that some birds travel each year. With the improvements in modern technology, we can now also follow these birds more closely. A female European Honey Buzzard was fitted with a satellite tracking system in Finland recently and was of particular interest to locals because it spent the most recent austral summer around the town of Reitz in the Free State in South Africa. She left Reitz to start heading north on 20 April 2015 and, yesterday morning, 2 June, she finally reached Finland where she will probably spend the boreal summer before probably returning again next season to visit us here in South Africa. Here is an image showing the data received from the tracker which plots out the route that she took to head north… so, in just 42 days, she covered over 10 000 km at an average of more than 230 km every single day! Isn’t that just amazing…?! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Trees – the champions of the plant world.

Trees – the champions of the plant world.

‘The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.’ ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands There are ordinary trees, and then there are remarkable trees;  trees that are of exceptional importance for their majestic size, age, aesthetic, cultural and historical value. These champions of the plant world have been honoured by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry by giving them national heritage status.  Once listed as protected by notice, champion trees will have special protected status in terms of the National Forest Act of 1998.  No such trees may be cut, disturbed or damaged without a licence.  A strict approach is taken to protection and licenses are issued only under exceptional circumstances, such as a tree posing a danger to life or property. Additional protective measures may be necessary for some trees, such as erection of fencing enclosures.  The project also aims at raising awareness about the national tree heritage, and to promote it as an asset for tourism. The first evaluation of nominated trees took place by a panel of experts specially appointed by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry in 2005. The first individual tree to be declared as protected under the National Forests Act of 1998 in 2003 was a historic English oak tree, the only remnant of the old Sophiatown that was razed to the ground by the previous government when it resettled that community in the 1950s. This intervention was an attempt to stop the imminent destruction of the tree by a property owner, and protection was afforded only after the tree was severely pruned. This was the starting point of the Champion tree project, aimed at preventing similar destruction of other trees of national importance by timeously identifying and declaring them as protected. Any person or organisation can nominate trees for Champion status. A nomination form can also be obtained from the Department   and has guidelines attached for the nomination process. Nominated trees may be indigenous or non-indigenous. Every nomination cycle starts on 1 August of each year, and ends at 31 July the following year. At the end of each nomination cycle (every August) an expert panel evaluates all nominations and compiles a shortlist of proposed Champion Trees. This list is published for comment, and after consideration of public comments, a final list is published by notice in the Government Gazette and newspapers. In this manner more trees will be added to the list of Champions year after year. Some of our monumental trees: South Africa’s largest tree is the Sagole Big tree, Adisonia digitata, standing...

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