Thursday, May 9, 2013

Another DIY day! Wipes, Mosquito Trap, & Manure Tea (a nice summer drink for your plants)

 Years ago, when we had much less money and several children under the age of 10, I used to make these. I used Bounty paper towels and instead of baby shampoo I used Dawn dish soap.  We used them for just about every need from head to toe!  I also used them when I milked the goats to clean their udders, I never had a problem with chapping or other sensitivity issues.
 
Homemade Diaper Wipes!

Supplies:- Tall, round 3 Quart container with a lid
- Better quality paper towels (the cheap paper towels don't work well on a dirty bottom)
- Knife to cut the paper towel roll in two
- Baby shampoo
- Baby oil

Directions:
1. Cut a paper towel roll in half so you have two short rolls. (BOUNTY works best)

2. Set one roll inside the canister. Set the other half aside for next time.

3. Combine and stir together:
1 1/2 cup hot tap water
2 Tablespoon baby shampoo
2 Tablespoon baby oil

4. Pour the liquid mixture over the top of the paper towel roll. As the liquid soaks through, the moisture will loosen the cardboard center making it easy to pull out. If you get lucky, it will bring with it the end of the paper towel roll. If not, carefully pull on the wipes in the center to get the sequence going.

5. Pull out the amount of paper towels (from the center) that are needed. Reseal after each use.

6. If the wipes are not wet enough or the lid doesn't get put back on, just add more water. If the wipes are too moist, leave the lid off for a little while.

**If you are out of the diaper stage, these work great for cleaning up messy hands and faces when you are on the go. You can also use this mixture to re-wet purchased baby wipes!

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I have not tried these yet but with all the rain we've had and a problem with standing water, I'm thinking it will be worth a try!
 
HOMEMADE MOSQUITO TRAP:
Items needed:
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle

HOW:
1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)

Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control. Or put out new one.

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 I use 2, 5 gallon buckets. 1 has holes drilled in the bottom and an old dish towel laid over them as a filter. I set the bucket with holes inside the other bucket, fill with rabbit (or other manure) then fill with water.  Let set for 5 - 7 days. Pull buckets apart and let water drain into bucket #1.  Use on garden plants, flowers and fruit trees as a natural fertilizer.

Question: What is Manure Tea? And How Do I Use it in My Garden?
Manure tea is a nutrient-rich concoction for your garden that is easy to make and apply. A bit of manure, some brewing time, and you have a great source of organic nitrogen fertilizer for your gardens and container plantings. Here's how to make and use it in your garden.
Answer: Manure tea is exactly what it sounds like: manure steeped in water. Once it steeps, the resulting liquid is rich in nutrients and can easily be diluted and applied to your garden plants.
How to Make Manure Tea
What Kind of Manure to Use
Horse, cow, poultry, or goat manure are all appropriate for making manure tea. You can also make a decent manure tea from rabbit droppings as well. Avoid manure from carnivores such as cats and dogs -- these contain harmful pathogens that could make you sick if they come into contact with your food. Either find a fresh source of manure from a local farmer, or purchase bagged manure at your local nursery or garden center.
There are two ways to make manure tea, and both are quite simple.
1. Throw Everything in a Bucket Method
Fill a five gallon plastic bucket or other container two-thirds of the way full with water. Add enough manure to fill the bucket the rest of the way. Let this steep for a day or two, stirring once or twice a day. When you're done steeping it, leave it alone for an hour or so so the solids settle to the bottom, then simply pour the liquid into another container. You could also just dip into the bucket to use what you need as you need it.
2. Make a Manure Tea Bag Method
If you don't want to worry about having to pour off the liquid and try to keep the solids separate, consider making a simple "tea bag" for your manure. You can use an old cotton pillowcase for this, or a few layers of cheesecloth, which you gather and tie around the manure. Use the same proportions as mentioned above (1/3 manure to 2/3 water) and let it steep for a day or two. When you're ready to use your manure tea, just lift the bag out of the bucket, wring it out to ensure that all of that manure-y goodness ends up in your tea, and add the used manure to your compost pile.Diluting Manure Tea
Whichever method you use, you'll want to dilute your manure tea before using it on your garden plants. Use water to dilute the manure tea; it should ideally be the color of weak tea -- pale brownish-yellow.How to Apply Manure Tea
Manure tea can be applied as a foliar feed or directly to the soil around the plants. To use it as a manure tea, strain it well to remove solids, dilute it to the color of weak tea, and add it to a sprayer. Then just apply it to the top and undersides of the foliage on your garden plants.
To apply directly to the soil, pour about one pint of diluted manure tea around the base of each plant. Apply manure tea weekly throughout the growing season.
What Plants to Fertilize with Manure Tea
Just about any plant in your garden or container plantings will benefit from manure tea. The only plants I would recommend not fertilizing with manure tea are root crops, such as carrots, radishes, turnips, potatoes, and beets. These plants need more potassium than nitrogen -- excess nitrogen (which manure tea would provide) would result in pretty, healthy top growth but not much root growth.
A regimen of applying manure tea will definitely result in healthier, happier plants. Consider brewing some for your garden this season.

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