Avoiding Cross Pollination, Building Shelves, Roof Cleaning and More Country Lore

Down-home tips on avoiding cross-pollination, DIY shelves, roof cleaning, a DIY greenhouse, DIY door closers, how to clean a burnt pot, how to reuse charcoal, tree stump removal, glass desk covers, old refrigerators as worm beds, and how to make a bread box.

| May/June 1978

  • 051-012-01-boards
    These DIY shelves are easy to make. Just follow the simple instructions in Country Lore.
  • 051-012-01-bread
    Make a simple bread box like this one from an old mailbox.

  • 051-012-01-boards
  • 051-012-01-bread

Seed savers usually face (or avoid, actually) the danger of cross-pollination between different species of squash, pumpkin, cucumber, etc. by resorting to growing a single variety. In McMinnville, Oregon, however, Floyd Moore has devised a better way to deal with the problem of potential mix-ups. A day or so before the female blossom (the one with the little pumpkin or squash or whatever at its base) opens up, just snap a small rubber band around the end of the petals. After a couple of days remove this retainer and — with a cotton swab or a camelhair brush — do your own pollination. Then replace the rubber band and tie an additional color-coded band around the stem so that — when harvest time rolls around — you'll know which plants contain true-to-type seeds, which are also your own hybrids.

Building Shelves

" 'Chris's shelves' (named for the friend who taught me this construction method) require a minimum of materials and only a little labor," says Rich Weinhold of Redding, California. Sound appealing? You bet it does! A hammer, pliers with a wire cutter, a tape measure, and perhaps a stud finder and level are all that you need for the installation of these easy DIY shelves. And the only materials required are the shelf boards of your choice, common or box nails, and some twine or wire. Each shelf (see diagram) is supported at stud intervals (thus the probable need for a stud finder), rests on nails driven into the wall, and hangs at the front by the twine or wire.

The initial step in this construction process is to locate the studs and determine the desired height of each shelf. Leave 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of each nail exposed in order to be able to wrap the twine (or wire) around at points B and C . . . as well as to support the shelf at point A. Front-to-rear leveling is then achieved easily by simply wrapping turns of the twine about the supporting nails to get the desired angle.

And — of particular interest to apartment and home renters (and landlords) — these shelves are inexpensive enough to leave for the next tenant. However, if you do choose to take your shelves with you when you depart the premises, the nail holes can easily be filled with Spackle and will be almost invisible. (To do this properly, though, place a small block of wood beneath the head of the hammer as you "claw" the fasteners out.) Thanks to Rich and Chris for this portable DIY shelf idea.

Cleaning Roof Shingles With Lime

Naturally enough, a clean wood shingle — or any other type for that matter — roof is gonna last longer than a dirty one. The problem is turning the latter into the former . . . preferably without crawling around the top of your house on your hands and knees scraping accumulations of moss and dirt from individual shingles. Tom Zeitler of Suring, Wisconsin handles this usually unpleasant chore with a minimum hassle by sprinkling lime freely along just the peak of the housetop. The enterprising Mr. Zeitler then lets the rain do the work. Which it does by dissolving the lime, spreading it over the other shingles, thereby just about completely removing moss and other accumulated debris.

DIY Greenhouse From a Car

An instant DIY greenhouse can be fashioned from an old car body, suggests Maple Valley, Washington's Blanche Haynes, provided the vehicle's windows are still intact. Just arrange your plant flats, crates, and other containers within the cleaned-out automobile hull in whatever way you think will make for the most convenient watering and tending. Make it easy on yourself. And, for daytime ventilation, just crank open a window or two. Maybe you'll even find a vehicle (planter) with a sun roof!

7/25/2013 10:26:06 AM

goldfish in the water trough?not a good idea.The fish will leave a lot of sewage behind .Enough in just a few days that I wouldn't want anything drinking it.An a ccumulation of fish sewage promotes other nasty things forming like ammonia and botulism

7/25/2013 10:25:48 AM

goldfish in the water trough?not a good idea.The fish will leave a lot of sewage behind .Enough in just a few days that I wouldn't want anything drinking it.An a ccumulation of fish sewage promotes other nasty things forming like ammonia and botulism

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