Column: Summer birdhouse contest

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Over the summer months starting in June, The Sheridan Press’ Home and Garden page will be sponsoring a birdhouse contest. There will be monthly winners and an overall grand-prize winner. To enter please submit photos of your birdhouse to susan@thesheridanpress.com or bring a photo to the Press office. Please explain who built the house and where it is hanging. Judging will be done solely by The Sheridan Press. Monthly winners will receive a bag of bird seed to help with the feeding of your bird friends.

      Gardening tips and tricks

Shards as markers

Recycle shards of clay pots by using them as plant markers. Simply use a waterproof, felt-tip marker to write the names of individual plants. Small, inverted clay pots can also mark where bulbs are planted, alerting you not to dig under the marker.

Garden baskets

See-through wire egg or claming baskets can be made into useful gardening containers by lining them with peat moss and setting a plastic pot inside.

Good bugs

Some of the most common beneficial insects in a garden are the rove beetle, the ground beetle, the jumping spider and the praying mantis. Be nice to them.

Seeing red — in cabbage

Do you love cabbage but are weary of finding cabbageworms chewing holes in the leaves? Consider planting red cabbage instead.

Studies indicate that cabbageworms don’t like red cabbage as well as the green-leaved varieties. And if a few cabbageworms do show up on the red leaves, they’re much easier to spot and pick off.

Make your garden moveable

Growing plants in containers, like all gardening, is a compromise between nature and artifice. It offers the opportunity to simulate all kinds of growing conditions, place plants wherever they are wanted, grow combinations that would be impossible together in the open ground, and overwinter tender plants under cover.

Container growing also makes it possible to rearrange the outside look of your house in much the same way one might rearrange the interior — to radically change its seasonal appearance, or transform a terrace for a different purpose.

— George Carter

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener.

By |May 8th, 2015|

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