Build A Cold Frame For Winter Vegetables

IMG 2496 Build A Cold Frame For Winter Vegetables

Now is the perfect time to build your own cold frame greenhouse for the cold weather months, so you can grow your own veggies and salad green thoughout most of the year.  You don’t need a lot of know how, or space to create your own greenhouse in, and you can create a simple cold frame from treated lumber, or plywood from you local home improvement store.  Plans for a winter cold frame house to grow salad greens and veggies can be as simple as this plan below. 

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Suggestions For A 4-H Rabbit Garden

img 0302 225x300 Suggestions For A 4 H Rabbit GardenOne of my favorite things about August is the county fair!  There is nothing I like better than strolling around a local fairground on an August evening with an ice-cream cone, and my family and friends, watching the kids get excited about the pig races, and petting the farm animals.  The one barn at the fair in which I notice the most “can I take one home?” action with kids in general, is always the Rabbit Barn. Perhaps this syndrome is only due to the slightly more portable nature of the beasts, when compared to the true life size of Holstein cows, I’m not sure. But what child can resist all that fuzzy goodness?

If you have ever fallen prey to the twinkling of a bunnies eye (or your children have talked you into buying or adopting one), I want to provide you with my list of Green Bunny Picks, for the best fruits and veggies for your family pet, many of which you can grow in your yard to supplement it’s diet.

Unfortunately, the family bunny knows nothing of winter hibernation, and sends you out all year-round to buy food and supplies at the local pet supply store. While winter can be a tough month to feed your pet natural foods, spring, summer and fall, you can grow the healthy food your pet needs and craves.  For the avid gardener, a true vegetable garden will provide most of the food your rabbit needs in season, for children, or those looking only to supplement a pet’s diet, raised container gardens will grow fruits and veggies up and out of the way of the  local wildlife, who may overly appreciate your crop.  Very often, the more packed a pot or garden space is with veggies, the healthier the plants themselves are. For the apartment dwelling rabbit owners, you too can grow herbs and veggies!  I suggest trying windowsill pots, or an herb gardening system, as a way to provide fresh produce for your pet, and as a joint project to teach kids about growing and raising plants.

Below are two lists of raw fruits and veggies that the average gardener can easily grow, with minimal space requirements.moz screenshot Suggestions For A 4 H Rabbit Garden

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How To: Protect Fruits And Vegetables From Birds Using Netting

img 0045 225x300 How To: Protect Fruits And Vegetables From Birds Using NettingDepending on what you grow, four-legged wildlife may not be your only problem. If you find birds to be ruining a fruit or vegetable crop, I highly recommend using a polypropylene netting as the first line of defense against birds. Netting is a great flexible, and lightweight way to keep your crop plants out of the reach of would-be invaders, providing a “green” barrier that’s easy to maintain and use. I use netting where necessary to protect my Strawberries, in a way that doesn’t involve adding sprays and powders to them that will effect the harvest, or need to be scrubbed off.

Local garden stores will generally stock a black polypropylene netting material through several season of the year, that are specifically designed to keep birds off your fruit.  I recommend a netting  openings under 1 inch to keep out even the smallest birds.  Recommended netting sizes come in 1/2 inch square, 5/8 inch square, and 3/4 inches square, but a general rule of thumb is that the smaller the netting opening, the better the protection is.  My favorite sizes are the 5/8ths inch sizes and the 1/2 inch size. The benefit of black polypropylene mesh is that it is UV protected, and will not deteriorate out under the sun, or varying temperatures. This type of netting can be brought back out for several years as needed, while taking up less storage space than chicken wire, or other metal products.  And, since it is flexible, it is easy to re-purpose for other garden duties, such as covering compost bins to keep rodents out, and protecting ponds from fall leaves.

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