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Tips and Advice

Bees interesting facts.

To produce 500g of honey bees have to fly 55,000 km and they fly at 24 km per hour. Bees only live for 6 weeks and during their lifetime they produce half a teaspoon of honey. Each bee visits up to 100 flowers on a foraging trip. Bees require fresh water in a garden. Honey is the only food made by insects and eaten by insects, animals and man.

Home made preventive spray and insecticide

Simply mix 1 cup of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil. Store this concentrate in an airtight container. One can spray every 3 days by mixing 2 tablespoons in 2 litres of water. This smothers the insects and mites and they suffocate. Don't forget to spray under the leaves, on the flowers, buds and new shoots.

Suet bird food. Make your own!

Recipe to make your own suet slabs or balls. Melt 1 cup of lard and 1 cup of peanut butter and then add 1/3 cup of sugar, 2 cups of instant oats, 2 cups cornstarch, 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of wild bird seed. Pour into a patty pan tray, or a baking tray and leave to cool and set. Your birds will be grateful!

24 September is Heritage Day

What to do on Heritage Day? Plant an indigenous tree. Pull out alien invaders. Learn the folklore of a plant or the medicinal value of a plant and share that with a child. Visit the local Botanical Garden. Make a meal using indigenous ingredients like Tulbaghia violace in a stew or chopped into a salad. The flowers are also edible!

Stunning pot planting

To achieve a pot that is a show stopper, choose a plant that is a THRILLER. This is an eye catching plant that draws one's attention.It is the tallest plant in the pot. Then one needs a FILLER which will create a full appearance and finally one needs a SPILLER which will cascade over the edge of the pot.

Creating a wildlife Garden

Plant a large variety of trees, shrubs and grasses for the seed eaters. Choose trees and shrubs that will provide fruit, seed and flowers for the nectar lovers. The trees will provide protection from predators. The leafy canopy provides cover from the sun, wind and rain. Put up bird feeders, nesting logs, an owl house and bat boxes. Don't forget to provide water.

How to keep the frogs in your garden happy

Frogs are an asset in the garden as they eat insects and mosquitoes. Make sure that you provide a pond and a wetland . The more secluded the better and keep dogs away. Provide some shelter for the frogs. Take a flower pot and put it on its side as this makes a wonderful home for frogs. Don't use pesticides and stick to organic fertilizer.

Creating an owl friendly garden

There are different owl boxes for various owls. The Barnowl prefers a closed owl box with an oval entrance hole whereas the spotted eagle owls like an open sided owl box. Do provide them with water and tall trees where they can roost as well as use them as a lookout point to search for food. Owls enjoy rats and mice so don't put out any poison to kill them. If you hear the owl at night you will know that you are privileged as your garden has passed the test!

getting rid of ants in your home or patio

1. Soak cottonwool buds in half a teaspoon of cinnamon oil in 1 cup of water. These can then be used to wipe down counters or left in corners where the ants have moved in. 2. Half a cup of vinegar mixed with half a cup of water is used to spray affected areas. 3. A few drops of lemon, peppermint or Tea Tree essential oil is added to a spray bottle of water. The ants don't like the strong smell. 4. Take chalk and draw a line across their entrance. 5. Rock dust, food grade Diatomaceus earth sprinkled will also deter ants as they don't like walking thorough it or chalk.


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