Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall bulb planting tips

Well its that time of year again, time to start thinking about planting your bulbs for spring.  I found this grate picture that shows planting the depth for the most popular flower bulbs.    

A nice tip is to plant a few of them upside down.  They will still come up (unlike my grandmother always told me) but it will take them a few days longer to come up then the ones planted right side up.  Doing this will give you a few extra days of bloom.  

Another nice trick is to plant several types of bulbs on top of each other in the same pot.  Some bulbs come up later then others, this will extend the flowering life of your pot.  The ones that come up at the same time will give you a really pretty display, when they flower together.

If you plant them now all winter you can look at your pot and look forward to the spring. Now its time to go bulb shopping :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Epsom salt for greener plants.

Epsom salt or Magnesium sulfate is a cheep source of magnesium for your garden.  By mixing 1 Table spoon of Epsom salt into each hole before you add your plant, or if you have already planted it you can add a table spoon to the soil around the plant.  It will help it to grow larger, greener and leafier.   You can also dissolve 1  tablespoon into a gallon of water and use it to water your plants,  trees, fruit trees, roses, all types of flowering plants and veggies.

exact amounts are not all that important.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Hindbæresnitter are one of my favorite danish cookies.  They are very easy to make.

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar plus 1 cup for glaze 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla sugar (optional) 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 3/4 cup butter, soffened 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 1 cup raspberry jam or preserves 
  • 2-3 Tbsp. water 
  • decorating sprinkles 

Mix together flour, 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar, vanilla sugar (if using), and baking powder.Add the butter into the flour mixture, and beaten egg to form a soft dough. Divide dough into two halves, cover each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour. (over night is best)

Preheat oven to 375º. Using a rolling pin roll out each half of the chilled dough into an 8" x 12" rectangle. Trim the edges to make them square, then carefully roll the dough around your pin and transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Divide your cookie sheet by 4 length wise and score each piece. This will make it easier to move the cookies after they have been baked. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  (Leave them on the baking sheet next step can get messy)

Spread raspberry jam on bottom layer and cover with top layer. Combine 1 cup confectioner's sugar with 2-3 Tbsp. water to form a thick glaze. Spread on top layer of cookie and sprinkle with sprinkles.   Once the glaze has "set" (about 10 minutes), cut into bars.

After baking you can see how they where scored and now can be moved easily.

Put raspberry jelly on 2 of your pieces.

Place unjellied pieces on top of the pieces with jelly to make little sandwich.

Warming up the confectioners sugar with a little water in a pan will make it easier to spread.

Pore the sugar glaze on top of your cookies.

Before the glaze cools add colored sprinkles.

Cut them into smaller pieces and enjoy

Friday, September 6, 2013

Hungry Bees

Well after my issues with new bee keepers make mistakes. I gave them each a little pancake of Fonda made by rolling out about a kilogram of Fonda between two pieces of wax paper.    I figured the wax paper was a good idea it makes it more manageable,  its much easier to place it on top of the frames and it keeps the sticky mess from getting all over the frames.    But I had no idea they would able to eat though that and about 2 liters of sugar syrup in 5 days.

Yesterday after work I went over to the hives and to fill up the feeders.  I had checked the day before and found that they where both empty so I went a head and made them some more sugar syrup.

Sugar syrup recipe

  • 3 kilograms sugar
  • 2 liters of water. 
I bring it to a boil stirring it constantly.  I have read that if you burn it you cant feed it to the bees it changes something and its bad for them.  Once the solution starts to boil it turns clear and you know its done.

I was unable to lift out the feeder frames because there where still bees in them and I don't think I would be all that popular at home if I brought a bunch of frames in the house with bees.     So I filled up a couple of 2 liter soda bottles (After i rinsed out all the coke) with my sugar concoction, and brought that over to the hives to fill up.    I thought I would check on the Fonda pancakes while I was there and they where gone.  Not just a little gone I mean totally gone.  I looked on the grass in fount of the hives and there's wax paper every where.  LOL OK I guess they don't want that in there house,  wish I could get my teenage daughter to clean up her room like that.    

After filling up the feeder frames I went into the house to make up some more Fonda pancakes.  This time I decided to give them twice as much.   The larger of the two hives Heathrow always goes crazy when I give them sugar syrup I don't know why but they where flying all over the place.   I really should have taken this as a hint and put on my bee jacket and gloves ......... but no did I do that?  of course not!

As I lifted up the plastic to lay down there new Fonda pancake a bee fly's up lands on my hand and WAM!   Dam that hurt and it was in deep this time.  I guess that will teach me!  In the house I went leaving the hive open bees flying every where.  Put on my Bee Jacket and gloves went back out and sorted them out right.  I took the plastic all the way off laid the pancake down nice in the middle bees head butting me all the way.  Fixed the blankets I have laying over the plastic to keep things warm.  And closed them up.

From now on I'm not opening Heathrow for any reason with out having my bee Jacket and gloves on.  Probably smoke to they are just way to mean.  JFK is fine they don't care one bit when I go in there.  Maybe I should try and make a queen from JFK next year and replace Heathrow's,  there's another project to consider.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Little visitor.

Sunday we found this little bird on the ground in Hals.  His nest had fallen off of the wall and he was just siting there on the ground.    He was very tame I put him up in a near buy plant and waited.   After 4 hours he was still there and very hungry.   We feed him some bugs, but he wasn't inclined to fly off.    I could tell he was a juvenile common house martin he still had some of his baby fluff and not all of his feathers where out yet.   I decided to bring him home with me.  His nest was on the ground there was no sign of mom.   There wasn't much else I could do.

Saturday and Sunday we feed him up on crickets and bugs.  He wasn't interested in eating the caned dog food I normally feed baby birds.     Unless of course I added some legs and things to the food then he would eat it.  Silly bird,  it must be bugs.   It's a good thing the local pet store sells live crickets  he loved those.   He was very lively and started flying around on Sunday he kept going to the window so I knew he wanted to go out.

This morning before work I feed him as many bugs as he would take then I put the cage out on the porch.    He can fly off now and start to find his own bugs.   My garden is surrounded for the most part by high trees and there are no cats in the area.   I'm hoping he wont go far as he learns to fly and hunt for himself.  When I get home if I can find him I will feed him a few more crickets.     There is a little flock of house martins not far from where I live hope he will go find them in the next few days.   They tend to like to live in flocks so he needs friends.

Update: Little bird was gone when I got home last night.  He must be able to fly well because my garden is surrounded by high trees and a hedge that is about 2 meters high.  I couldn't find him, I left his little cage on the table.  I hope he has luck finding his own bugs.

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