Sow Spinach in Autumn for a Spring Crop, Keep Jeans Dark with Cold Water and Salt, and More Country Lore

Keep transplants moist with potatoes, save halloween masks for scarecrows, machine oil keeps mites out of rabbits’ ears, flavor popcorn with salt-free butter and peanut butter, convert a dog house into a woodbox, gum color indicates animal health, don't precook lasagna noodles, make seasoning salts at home, use damaged doors as storage shelves, line trash cans with kitty litter to avoid garbage odors, bake cupcakes in ice cream cones, improve am radio reception, bait mice with cotton soaked in lard or bacon grease, bond fabric with a plastic bag, and more tips from MOTHER’s readers.

| September/October 1983

  • blue-jeans-stacked
    To keep your jeans from fading, soak them in a mixture of cold water and table salt.

  • blue-jeans-stacked

Sow Spinach in Autumn for a Spring Crop

"To have beautiful and delicious greens early in the year, when nothing else is available (except maybe wild dandelions), try sowing spinach in the middle of autumn," writes Lance Mellon of Woodward, Pennsylvania. "The plants will grow to medium size before winter sets in, and they'll burst forth in the early spring with loads of greens, while your other spring-planted veggies are just sprouting."

Keep Transplants Moist With Potatoes

Gary Coffey has a tip for those of you who are attempting to plant (or transplant) evergreens and other shrubbery at this often dry time of the year. The Mount Juliet, Tennessee reader lines holes with potatoes before setting the plants in place. He claims the spuds provide moisture until the plant is adjusted and can better survive on its own.

Save Halloween Masks for Scarecrows

Charlotte Pierce of Greensburg, Kentucky saves her child's Halloween mask each fall and uses it in the following spring's garden to scare away birds and other small pests.

Machine Oil Keeps Mites out of Rabbits’ Ears

A few squirts of light machine oil in your rabbits' ears every two months or so will keep mites away, writes bunny-raiser B. Alice Shipley of Jordan, Arkansas. (Alice also advises against doing this during the coldest winter months, because damp-eared rabbits are susceptible to colds.)

Keep Jeans Dark with Cold Water and Salt

Barry Raygor, a serviceman in the U.S. Air Force who's stationed in Britain, sent this tip from across the "big pond." "Faded blue jeans are fashionable, but the denim seems to wear out faster as its dye is lost. To prevent this, soak your new dungarees in a tub of cold, clear water. Then mix in one cup of ordinary table salt per pair of jeans." Barry reports that this "recipe" has added years to the look, and wear, of his blue jeans.

Flavor Popcorn with Salt-Free Butter and Peanut Butter

Instead of sprinkling salt on your popcorn, try flavoring the snack by melting salt-free butter and peanut butter together, and pouring the mix over the popped kernels. Dave and Julie Plourde of Rochelle, Illinois do, and find it produces a good-tasting, healthful treat, particularly for folks who must restrict their salt intake (and we all probably should), or those who need extra protein in their diet.

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