How to make Toys and Bird Feeder

Project Woodworking: Make Toys

Toy projects made from wood are fun to do as they require some creativity. Once you are done, not only the kids will enjoy playing with them. You too can have fun with your toy creations. Among the more popular wooden toys that you can create are cars, boats, and airplanes.

The first step is to decide on which particular toy to create. You can find a lot of patterns to use online. You can even buy kits from specialty toy shops that have all the materials pre-cut, and all you have to do is to assemble everything. However, some people find it boring as it does not require you to use some creativity.

If you do not want to go the “buy and assemble route,” then create your own pattern from cardboard or paper. Then, trace the pattern on the wood and use a router or jigsaw to cut it out. Assemble your toy using some tack nails and glue.

Project: Bird Feeder or Birdhouse

A lot of adults today have, at one time or another, experienced building birdhouses as kids, however simple they may be. To build a birdhouse, you will need two pieces of wood to use as base. Drill a small hole in each of the corners of the wood where you can insert an eye hook. Do it for both of the base pieces.

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Pallets of the Garden

Pallets of the Garden

One of the best outside furnishings to overlook your garden is that of the porch swing. These things are a lot of fun, nothing relaxes me more than to sway back and forth in a porch swing on a summers day and watch my garden grow. These swings are not as hard to construct as you might think either. To get started all you have to do is take a normal sized pallet and cut it in half lengthwise. With the pallet then in two pieces, place them in a couch type assembly with one pallet half standing up on the other. And then once the assembly is in place drill holes through the backing of the swing, to the seat, drilling four holes, making sure that they are evenly spaced, and after this take some screws and screw these two pallet halves together.

Now after this take some steel hooks and attach them to the chair backing  of the porch swing. And then take some additional hooks and attach them to the ceiling of your porch (or whatever area you place the swing), it is important to make sure it is firmly attached, so triple check the strength of the hooks. After this is done, you can take either nylon or a light chain to thread through the ceiling hooks and chair hooks. Once you have done all of this you will have a rocking porch swing just like the one pictured below!

Another good one in our Garden Series is that of the “Arch Framed Garden”. The Arch Frame just like the name implies is composed of two standard pallets that are put together in an arch formation. These arches will serve as the awning over your garden. As the picture below demonstrates, reinforce this arch with a couple of slats of wood and then once structure is complete put down a square of soil and plant your seeds! As you can see in the picture below we opted to reinforce are garden structure with cinderblocks, this makes for a great stabilizing feature for the garden, but feel free to use whatever stabilizing structure you wish for the outskirts of this garden masterpiece!

Now that we have some comfortable furniture to view our garden from, for the next pallet project we are going to go straight to the garden itself. This one is so easy all you have to do is throw a standard sized project in your yard and your halfway done. Because the standard pallet by itself laying flat on its back in your yard turns out to be the best garden bed you could ever ask for.

This pallet makes for the perfect garden box, with the pallet boards themselves working as perfect demarcations for all of your different plants and vegetables. Just put in your soil and use each row of pallet for a different plant and as shown in the picture below you have a really good and clearly defined Garden box!

Another great way to showcase a Garden in your yard that is a bit more dynamic but just as easy nonetheless is that of the three walled pallet garden. With this project, simply take one pallet and cut it into three sections, these are the three walls.. Take these three walls and stand them up, these are the walls of your garden, here you can start throwing down your soil and planting your best seeds to grow your garden.

Another great pallet garden trick is to create what I call a “corner pallet garden”. This one is incredibly easy to do as well. Just take two standard sized pallets and stand them up on end and put them in the corner at an angle, perfectly covering the corner of your porch and then load all the pallet slots up with your favorite plants and vegetables. Sort of a combination between a hanging garden and a standing garden, this is a highly effective method for a gardening platform and also very beautiful! We usually tend to spruce ours up with either some wood varnish or a good paint job as pictured below. And like with all other pallet projects be sure to sand down any jagged edges and remove any extra nails!

The Factors Effect Light, Wind & Weather To Your Garden

Light, Wind & Weather

These 3 factors are so important. You need to ensure that your plants are getting a good amount of sunlight so that they can grow and for photosynthesis.

Regardless of the size of your garden, build the square foot garden away from the trees. Shade shouldn’t be an issue and the bed should be exposed to sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 8 hours. More is always better, but 6-8 hours will be good enough. Fruits and vegetables need 8 to 10 hours of sunlight because these tend to be more demanding than other plants or crops.

If you happen to be living in a city or country where the summers are dry and hot, water your plants so that they aren’t overwhelmed by the amount of sunlight they are receiving. Also, as was said earlier, grow your plants close to one another- they should be close enough so that they can protect the soil from the heat and evaporation, but not so close that you end up with a square foot garden with plants growing on top of one another. If you have a tree that’s leafless in your garden right now, remember that come summer the leaves will grow back. So be sure to build your bed in an area where this won’t be an issue.

Wind can be good for your plants because it can blow away certain insects and pests, but too much wind is never good. Such winds can practically ruin everything for you. Do not grow tall flowers or crops near the monsoon period or fall because such crops and flowers tend to break easily and the damage done would be irreversible.

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Benefits and Disadvantages of Square Foot Garden

Benefits

There’s a reason that square foot gardening gained popularity so fast- it works and it is a highly effective form of gardening. Remember that since you are required to raise the bed for square foot gardening, you will also enjoy some of the benefits of raised-bed gardening. You get to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Listed below are some of the various advantages of square foot gardening:

  1. You will be using a significantly smaller amount of soil to grow whatever you wish to grow in your garden.
  1. You can grow a large number of the kind of plants, crops and flowers you like in a smaller area. You could grow carrots, peas, and beans in just one square of your garden.
  1. No seed would go to waste.
  1. Placement of plants is made easier.
  1. You get to determine how to ‘customize’ each square foot of the garden for optimum results.
  1. You can experiment with garden designs. For example, you could grow flowers in one area and vegetables in another.
  1. Square foot gardening makes it easier for the gardener to manage his garden as he divides his garden into different ‘segments’ when growing different types of plants.
  1. This is one of the easiest methods of gardening regardless of how new you may be to gardening.
  1. You get to determine what plants, crops, and flowers you would like to grow and the quantity you would like to grow.
  1. You will find that water drains a lot faster. This is actually an advantage of raising the beds.
  2. Weeds and grass won’t be a problem
  1. It would be easier for you to harvest crops once they have grown fully.
  1. Soil erosion won’t be an issue because frames hold the soil in.
  1. You may raise the bed and grow your plants anywhere you wish to do so.
  1. The soil in such beds tends to warm up faster and sooner and so your plants would grow a lot faster than they would have if you had employed traditional methods of gardening.
  1. Since you will be growing several types of plants so close together in the raised bed, their leaves will protect the soil from evaporation and overheating.
  1. You won’t have to worry about anyone or anything falling onto the soil because the beds are raised.
  1. You get to determine how big you want your garden to be and how to use it. This will give you more control over the garden and you can use it to your advantage.
  1. If you find that your soil is lacking in certain nutrients, adding these in the form of additives would enrich the soil.

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Planning Your Square Foot Garden

Planning Your Square Foot Garden

Before you go about making your square foot garden, you must plan it properly. While it is easy to make such a garden, you also need to consider other factors. By way of example, you can make a square foot garden, but you would have to make it in an area where the garden will be exposed to maximum sunlight for at least 6 hours. Here are some of the factors that you must consider:

  1. Layout- how would you like your layout to be? What types of plants would you like to grow in the square foot garden? In what quantity would you like to grow these plants? Would you like to go for a 4×4 layout? Or would you prefer a 3×5 garden bed instead?
  1. Location- Where would you like to locate it? Where can you locate it?
  1. Light, wind, weather; is your square foot garden getting enough sunlight? Will wind erode your soil? Is the weather suitable for the types of plants you would like to grow? Is the weather ideal for a square foot garden?
  1. Other factors (which will be touched upon later) – What material would you use to raise the bed? Is it safe for your plants? What kind of pesticides and insecticides would you use? Will you use insecticides and pesticides? Should you use these? Do you have the funds you need in order sustain a square foot garden?

These are 4 factors that you must keep in mind if and when you choose to try square foot gardening. Also, remember to consider the factors in conjunction with one another.

We will divide these into 4 different chapters and elaborate on each so that you can understand why these factors are important and how to apply what you know about them in a practical manner.

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Water Source – Important for Garden

Other factors

The factors mentioned above are important, but in no way are the factors mentioned in this chapter any less important. These factors include certain areas that the chapters above did not cover.

Watering your plants is so important, especially when it comes to square foot gardening. This will add some moisture to the soil and the soil won’t dry up as fast either. You need to water your square foot garden every day so that it isn’t affected by the weather conditions in the summer.

No matter what happens, do not use chemical insecticides and pesticides because these will destroy everything. Some pests harm your plants, but there are those that your soil actually needs. For example, worms aerate the soil by churning it as they move through the soil. If you would like to grow flowers in such a garden you would benefit from ‘visitors’ such as bees, which carry pollen grains on their bodies. Chemical insecticides and pesticides wipe out everything and it also negatively affect your soil. It’s better to pick harmful pests with your hands but be sure to wear rubber gloves when doing so.

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What Is Square Foot Gardening?

What Is Square Foot Gardening?

You must have heard of people talking about ‘square feet’ when they talk about real estate and things like that. Well, a square foot refers to a certain measurement of an area. In square foot gardening you, literally, use a square foot of a garden to grow certain types of plants.

However, you first must raise the bed in your garden and then, divide it in a manner that you will be able to grow plants, crops and flowers this way. Raising the bed allows you to separate the soil, which you intend on using for your plants, from the soil that is available in your garden. Soil available in your garden can only be used to grow certain types of plants. That is what makes square foot gardening more unorthodox and easy: you get to choose what you would like to grow, where to grow it, and the quantities that you grow as well.

You will be using various mixes of soil in order to grow the types of plants you would like in your garden. You will come to learn that the mix is made in such a way that you will be able to grow your very own square foot garden. Mel’s Mix is believed to be the perfect mix for this purpose. This is part compost, part peat moss, and part vermiculite.

The compost is used to fertilize the soil so that the plants are provided with the nutrients they need to grow and sustain themselves. Vermiculite, when mixed with compost and peat moss, provide the soil with the right nutrients that will help the plants grow a lot faster and in a shorter time span. It usually consists of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and ammonium. It is also know to retain air and moisture. These are released to the plant as and when needed by them. This way you won’t have to water the plants constantly or enrich the soil time and again.

Finally, the peat moss is known to save water in the soil and to prevent it from hardening. In addition to this it is also helps in the composting of the soil and can be used over a longer period of time. These 3 components of the mix make Mel’s Mix perfect for square foot gardening.

Look at the picture below to get an idea of what your square foot should would look like:

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