Monthly Archives: April 2014

Q & A for New Gardeners – What is Vole Damage?

Now that the snow has melted, it looks like there are little paths, or tunnels through my grass.  What IS this? What can I do?

If you see what looks like tunnels throughout your lawn, its likely vole damage that you are seeing.  Voles typically move in in the fall, and frolic under the snow all winter. Repairing the damage, is fortunately not that difficult or time consuming.  Take some soil, and spread it over the entire lawn, re-levelling any trenched areas.  Sprinkle some fresh grass seed, and water away!

If you’re feeling compassionate, and don’t want to worry about exterminating little creatures (they are kind of cute, in a mouse-y way), you’re in luck.  By the time the snow melts, they’ll have migrated somewhere else.  Next fall, to avoid the same problem, spray around your yard with Plantskydd, and they will be repelled by the scent, and choose a different playground for the winter!

How to Naturally Dye Easter Eggs

Easter is a time of traditions; those traditions could be midnight mass, hunting for chocolate bunnies, or making the perfect frosting for your Paska-bread. One of the most fun things to do at any age is dyeing Easter eggs.  I’m not sure where the tradition started, or why, but I’ve done it since I was a small child, as have most of my contemporaries.  As a kid, I can remember melting plastic decorated rings onto the eggs with boiling water.  We used white crayons to draw designs on other eggs before dyeing them. One year a friend and I even attempted Ukrainian Pysanka.

I’ve already dyed a dozen this year with my daughter, and we used a kit from the grocery store, with dye pellets, and sticker faces.  However, this is a garden blog, and so for those of you looking to do things a little more naturally, I did a bit of searching both my memory, and the internet, and found a list of how to dye eggs using natural, kitchen ingredients!

I haven’t tried any of these yet, I might before the weekend is out, but if YOU have, I’d love to know what worked for you!

 

Bluish-Gray

Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water, bring to room temperature, and remove blueberries.

Blue

Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and remove cabbage with a slotted spoon.

Jade Green

Peel the skin from 6 red onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Orange

Take the skin of 6 yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Yellow

Rich yellow: Simmer 4 oz. chopped carrot tops in 1-1/2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Mustard-yellow: Stir 2 Tbsp. turmeric into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Various shades: Steep 4 bags of chamomile or green tea in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes.

Faint yellow: Simmer the peels of 6 oranges in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. vinegar.

Brown-Gold

Simmer 2 Tbsp. dill seed in 1 cup water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Brown

Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.

Pink

Cut 1 medium beet into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar and let cool to room temperature; remove beets.

Lavender

Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.

 

Happy Easter!

http://www.bhg.com/holidays/easter/eggs/natural-easter-egg-dyes/?socsrc=bhgpin041114naturaleastereggdye&crlt.pid=camp.KjU41GrppHjJ