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5 Fun DIY Garden Projects


There is so much activity in our garden this time of year. Birds are mating, nesting, some of our fruit trees are flowering, other are starting to bud, our vegetable garden is already producing abundant greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula, radishes, carrots…)

1. About the birds and the bees…

So we counted 6 nests just under the eaves of our house! Moms and dads are coming and going all day long, so I thought, let’s make our bird’s B&B more comfortable by providing bedding material in the form of dog hair stuffed into a recycled garlic mesh bag. We happen to have 2 mini Aussies that are shedding their undercoat this time of year giving us plenty of fluffy material that usually ends up in the garbage bin. If you don’t have a dog, you can use cat hair or other natural material like reeds, small needles, cut straw.

nest material

Stuff as much hair as you can before tying the top and adding a small wire to create a hook and hang. Using a crochet or a needle nose plyer, pull out small tufts so that the birds can easily pull what they need. Just hang on the edge of a gutter, a planter, a tomato cage. Free bedding, check.

2. Bee hotel

Bee hotel

A little over a year ago, I built a bee condo with some leftover pieces of wood, bamboo reeds, and thick branches I had laying around the shed. I placed it in our cherry tree at a height just above my head so that they can pollinate the cherry flowers and get in and out without getting disturbed. Being cold-blooded insects, bees need the warmth of the morning sun to get started. Solitary bees and wasps are more at risk so providing them with a natural shelter where they can bring food for their offspring (pollen and nectar) is a small act of kindness that can go a long way. It also makes a fun DIY project.

Different types of bee hotels

You can make the box in any shape really, I only had enough wood scraps to make a triangle and plenty of dried bamboo canes. I have recycled many aluminum cans and hot glued some rope around it to make it more beautiful and insulated. Just make sure that the can is secured with a small rope or wire to the tree so that it won’t fall in a storm. If you have fruit trees, you can make one for each tree and increase your chances of pollination and fruiting.

Bee condo

When drilling holes in wood pieces, make sure to not drill all the way through, so that the bees have an enclosed safe space. If you are using small pieces of bamboo, you can cut up to the knot. If using reeds, you can add a back wall. Don’t forget to vary the diameter of your drill bit so that different insects can cohabitate the hotel.

We wedged this brand new bee hotel it in between large branches so that it would be solidly attached and not fall during storms. We weren’t sure if we would get any visitors so we just left it and forgot about it. About a year later I checked it to see if there was any sign of activities and to my great surprise, many holes had been plugged, indicating that bees had found it and used it. But what do they actually do in these holes?

Bee hotel

3. DIY bird feeders

We found some pinecones we bought for Christmas. We had a bag of birdseeds and some peanut butter. Just what’s needed to make reusable bird feeders for pennies! You will also need some wire to make a hook. As you might imagine, spreading smooth peanut butter over a pine cone can be a little messy. I used a spatula or a silicone brush. It is important to jam butter in the crack so that seeds can go in the cracks too. Shake it a little before hanging it.

pine cone bird feeder

pine cone bird feeder

This feeder has been used for a few days. The middle section and top has been cleaned up!
When the peanut butter is gone, it is time to reload the feeder.

4. Bird or bee water fountain (no pump)

If you don’t have a water feature in your garden that birds can use to bathe or drink from, you can make one without a pump with objects you most likely have in your kitchen. All you need is a glass jar, with its lid, a saucer, and some small stones. You need to drill holes in the lid so that it can feed the base. Fill the jar with water, put the perforated lid on. Add a few small stones in the bottom of the saucer with some water and flip the jar upside down. As the birds or bees drink the water, it will refill until the jar is empty.

Bird water fountain

I spray painted the jar but you don’t have to.

5. Electro Culture Copper Antenna

The principle behind electro culture is simple. Wrap a copper wire around a wood dowel and anchor it in your vegetable garden. This will help capture atmospheric electricity (low voltage) and direct it towards plants to promote growth. It will also boost their metabolic rates by absorbing more water and nutrients. The rods can also protect plants from diseases, insects and frost. This technique is great if you grow food organically, because it means you don’t need to use fertilizer or pesticides.

copper antenna

You can use copper pipes if you have a large garden. They will last longer. But if you are on a budget, use bamboo canes, or plastic plant stakes with copper wire. You can extend the wire beyond the stake if they are short. I have tested this technique in our garden and could see the difference in a few weeks.

There you have it, 5 fun, quick DIY projects that will brings endless joy, life and entertainment to your backyard!


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