Free Mulch, Bird Deterrent, and Other Country Lore

An Ohio man who gathers rain-soaked hay for use as free mulch and a Missouri man who uses toy snakes as a bird deterrent are among the country lore tips submitted to this continuing feature.

| July/August 1979

  • 058 country lore - bird deterrent
    Country lore for fruit tree growers: a toy snake propped in the branches works very well as a bird deterrent.
  • 058 country lore - wasp catcher.jpg
    Scented fly strips also do well as wasp catchers.
  • 058 country lore - homemade baby clothes.jpg
    You can easily turn bandanas into homemade baby clothes.

  • 058 country lore - bird deterrent
  • 058 country lore - wasp catcher.jpg
  • 058 country lore - homemade baby clothes.jpg

The following housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were suggested by readers. 

Free Mulch

"Want some excellent—and free—garden mulch?" asks Jackson, Ohio's George W. Clark. "Then keep your eye on the weather during haying season. A good rainstorm will probably ruin any bales that unfortunate farmers leave in their fields. And chances are that the weather-cursed folks will give the drenched hay to you just for the effort of hauling it away."

Bird Deterrent

Birds won't snatch all the goodies out of your fruit tree if you try this arboreal "scarecrow" idea from Steve Phipps of DeSoto, Missouri.

Just drape a toy rubber snake from a likely limb of your apple, cherry, or whatever, and those flying fruitpickers will stay far, far away. "It really works!" Steve says.

Wash Water Recycling

Jan and Gary Worthington have that all-too-common summer problem: a reservoir that occasionally runs dry. To help conserve the scarce liquid, the Fayetteville, West Virginians run their clothes washer on half its normal supply of water!

The Worthingtons set a large washtub on a high platform next to the mechanical cleaner. Then—right at the end of each rinse cycle—they stop the washer, unhook the far clamp on the machine's drain hose, and place the tube's end in their elevated container. When the machine is turned back on, the washer promptly pumps the used rinse water into their tin tub.

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