Sunday, February 28, 2010

Springtime means SNAILS!

Get them before they get you!

More than a snail-trail:
Oftentimes you will not spot a snail trail. Snails will also leave blobs of egg sacks in the soil. I call them aliens. Check your garden every morning and flick them out!
Eggs hatch in 2 to 4 weeks, and snails can live up to 2 years!

Penny per Pick:
If you are like me, you hate to touch those slimy things. Why not pay a neighbor child a penny per snail to pick them out? If you know anyone with chickens the birds will love them too.

Save Your Egg Shells:
Crush up your egg shells and sprinkle them under and around your plants. The sharp edges will cut into the snails' underbelly and they will slime the other way. Wood ashes work too.

Beer or No Beer?
Beer is often a remedy to attract and rid snails, but if you have animals, they will also enjoy the stuff. When you can, sprinkle salt around your patio garden to keep the snails away. In the garden you can sprinkle pet safe snail pellets. The cost is about $5 per pound. "Sluggo" brand snail bate is the best.

Vinegar Mist:
Give the slimy critters vinegar shower (1 part vinegar to 1 part water). This is helpful when snails are wedged into small spaces of plants; such as the crevices of the artichoke plant.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


There are many easy-to-grow plants to start your beginning water garden.

Parrot Feather: An easy to grow plant, parrot feather is like growing a tiny forest in your pond. Zone 8. It will survive light snow conditions. Free float or plant in pots and submerge.

Fairy Moss: Also called Azolla, this tiny floating fern is perfect for container gardens. Changes colors of orange and yellow in the fall time. It can, however, clog a water filter if you use one.

Variegated Four-Leaf Water Clover: This is my favorite of all the water clovers. The leaves spread out over the surface of the water and are fairly large. Very easy to grow and comes back each year. Zone

Pennywort: Also very easy to grow the leaves are eatable! Can be used in a salad or even consumed for certain types of pain control.

A few other beginning pond plants are: Water Hyacinth, Water Lettuce, Floating Heart, Hardy Water Lily, Water Iris, And all types of rushes and reeds; such as cattail.

All of these plants can be purchased on my website and found on my videos too!


Purchase pond plants online or email The Pond Plant Girl at:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Build a Composter for $25 or Less!

Stuff You Will Need...

24" long rebar, 4 pieces

  1. 28" long rebar, 1 piece

  2. 5' long 1" PSI 40 PVC Pipe, 4 piece

28" long 1/2" PSI 40 PVC Pipe, 1 piece

1" elbow fittings with 1/2 inch thread, 2 pieces

1/2 " threaded fitting, 2 pieces

32 Gallon size black plastic garbage can


PVC pipe cement

Yard Stick

Swim Noodle or Rubber Inner Tube

Industrial Glue

Razor Blade or sharp knife

Pipe Cutter

Preparing the Can
☼ The can used was a black plastic 32 gallon trash can purchased from K-Mart for $11.98. A swim noodle was glued inside near the top as a gasket to help prevent leakage when the ran is rotated. This is a was an item I had around the house and a temporary fix. A better choice would be an old rubber bicycle tire.

☼ A half inch hole was easy to drill on opposite sides of the can with a razor blade and made a nice tight fit to slide the crossbar through. The crossbar should be about 1 yard long, 1/2 inch (40 PSI) PVC pipe. The picture below shows rebar and no PVC pipe. I decided the plastic pipe was better to prevent rusting. For added support, slide a long thin piece of rebar inside the 1/2 inch PVC pipe.

Putting it Together
☼ This was unbelievably easy! The connection between the crossbar and the legs was made with two 90° angle 1 inch elbow PVC joints with a 1/2 inch threaded inlet. A 1/2 adapter was screwed into the threaded inlet to attach the crossbar. But before I glued everything in place, I had to make sure the legs were level and even.

Setting the Legs
☼ The tricky part was setting the legs and it took me a couple tries before they looked right. When you snap the 1 inch diameter legs into the PVC elbow joint, they will be at the correct angle for your frame. However, you will need to pound in rebar stakes to keep the frame stable and in place. Use the angle of the legs as your guide to pounding in the rebar at the same angle. It's okay if you are off just a little. Use a yard stick to help guide you in the spacing of the legs on each side. The legs are precut 5 feet long, however you only really need about 4 feet in length. 5 feet will work just fine, but if you want it shorter and do not have a pipe cutter, ask your local hardware store (such as Lowes or Home Depot) to cut it for you.

Glue the Joints and Finish!
☼ There is no need to glue in the 1 inch pipe to the joint, but you will need to glue the crossbar into the joint adapter. This will keep it from popping off! The best glue to use is PVC pipe cement.

☼ All you need now is grass clippings and veggie cuttings to fill the can and strap a bungee chord over the lid for extra support and you are ready! Tumble your new garden composter a couple times per day. In the hot summer months your compost should digest fairly quickly!

Your Comments and Questions are always welcome!