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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Leave Swallows' mud nests alone !


Barn Swallows
      Barn Swallows and Cliff Swallows make mud nests each spring in Texas, to lay eggs and raise a family. The nests are probably still in place, and often are used as a “home base” for the active, insect-eating birds. (Purple Martins are a species of swallow, too).  Inconveniently, sometimes the nests are built under the eaves of your house, so rain doesn't wash them away. Wherever they are, it is illegal according to the Migratory Bird Treaty
Cliff Swallow

Act to remove or disturb an active nest by any means - including washing it away with a hose. Best advice:  wait ‘til early September.

 

What to do with old coffee grounds        I recommend used coffee grounds as an organic fertilizer.   Not only are the grounds organic, but usually are free. The diluted coffee itself is an excellent organic fertilizer too, especially for orchids. The grounds also have another important use. Broadcast the grounds around troubled plants to control slugs, snails and pill bugs. To run off these pests, use anywhere from 2 to 5 lbs. of old coffee grounds per 100 square feet.
Coffee grounds contain vital trace minerals and stimulates the growth of beneficial microbes.  At the very least, save your own coffee grounds at home. Or just ask your local restaurants or coffee shops to put them in a container you provide.  

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