Scarecrows and Compost

Justin Beiber CDs work exceptionally well

I have tried a lot of different ways to scare away birds from the garden. The most effective and cheapest has been hanging old beat up CDs. Sunlight reflects off them and they blow with the wind creating an ever changing scarecrow. After a year or two they fade and need to be replaced, but I have noticed a significant difference in the amount of pecked fruit and missing seeds.

When it comes to fertilizing, I like to lay a heavy layer of compost in the fall over the garden. I find this helps build up the nutrients in the soil over winter while the compost continues to break down. When spring comes I can quickly decide if more dirt is needed by the level of the soil.

Pile it high because it shrinks over winter

I have a large compost pile that sits over the year in the backyard. It is mainly made up of grass clippings, leaves, barbecue ash and leftover raw vegetable matter that I constantly add to. Some people like to use a two-pile system , letting the newer pile decompose at least a year while using the older up first. If you have the space and time this works well too. It usually takes about 10 wheelbarrow loads of compost, but I have a small garden at 4’x20′.

An important side note. Anyone interested in growing garlic needs to plant before the first frost. Check out my earlier post for more information. The weather has been erratic here, as always, but our first frost could come this week, luckily I got it in the ground over the weekend when temperatures were around 90.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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60 Responses to Scarecrows and Compost

  1. Joanne says:

    LMAO at the Justin Bieber caption…hahahahaha. I can’t wait until I can start growing. Pete and I rent right now, so we just have a small potted herb garden outside, but I want to plant trees and pepper and zucchinis and…..a million other things, once we get our own house!

  2. Brilliant idea with the CD’s! I just noticed your caption too, Bieber CD’s. Thanks for the tip on garlic, I better get to work then. Temps are in the mid 50’s in MI!

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    You sure have been hard at work clearing your garden and spreading compost now helps to explain why your garden does so well, aside from the TLC. Thanks for the lesson on garlic growing; I’d no idea.

  4. JamieAnne says:

    Thank goodness Justin Bieber is good for something.

  5. That is a brilliant idea!
    a garden is a lot of work but it sure pays off

  6. I recognise those CD’s – nice one!

  7. What a great idea with using CD’s as scarecrows – we have plenty old used ones which I am going to test in my fig tree to try and keep the birds away from MY figs.
    Have a happy day.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy

  8. Zo Zhou says:

    Justin Bieber will ward off any birds for sure πŸ˜› Also foodies. Awesome idea! Have a bunch of CDs I need to get rid of (why do they include software with mice?! It’s totes unnecessary. Speaking of the electronic mice btw).

  9. Tandy says:

    I could not do the compost thing – I have a fear of mice!

    • Hmm, with two dogs we’ve never worried about that. We keep the pile behind our backyard fence. We know the deer get to them. If we compost flowers or really good stuff they’ll pick it out. We probably have possums back there, but I’ve never seen them in the yard.

      • Tandy says:

        we have Jack Russell terriers who love to kill mice! But the thought of them there would creep me out! Have a great day πŸ™‚

  10. crustabakes says:

    what a great idea on using cd as a scarecrow! who would have thought? lol

  11. Great idea to use old CDs!

  12. See, there is a time and a place for Justin everywhere.
    Now really, could you be getting a frost in this week with temps still around 90 some days?
    I’ve got litres of excess worm wee at the moment and no place for it to go, too bad your garden isn’t a tad closer.

  13. Cool tips! My Mum will love the CD scare crows although she feeds many of local birds including pheasants with seeds and pork fat!

  14. Another plus to topping the beds with rough compost in the fall is that it keeps the soil underneath looser – most of the freeze-thaw will be in that top layer…

    If you DO get a frost before you get your garlic in the ground, don’t panic. As long as it’s not frozen solid – does that even happen in Arkansas? – you can still plant. I’ve put mine in as late as the first week of December and still gotten excellent crops.

    Happy planting!

    • I’d be surprised if we get a frost this week, but the garlic is in. The ground does not get really hard until much later if at all. The high was 91 Sunday and is 58 today. But by this weekend could be back up in the 70s. It’s really all over the place.

  15. Regarding compost: We have a barrel at the furthest end of the yard at the farm. Since we’re on a well and a septic tank, we don’t have a garbage disposal. Sooo…I keep a colander under the faucet when I scrape plates, discard fat, stems, anything organic around the sink. After dinner I simply empty it into the compost bin. I’m amazed that it never gets full. I use that to place around the rose bushes, althea and the sometimes garden which occupies a spot outside the fence.

  16. BrainRants says:

    I compost also and like the thick, black stuff from the bottom of the pile. Makes plants grow like the weeds that the compost used to be.

  17. egg me on says:

    Haha, Justin Bieber! Love it. What a smart idea. I bet the music would scare the crows away, too.

  18. Sissi says:

    I have seen CDs hanging on some balconies in the city, so they probably scare also pigeons (although I think I will try them against sparrows next Spring; since they anti-pigeons system was installed, sparrows have a big party on my young plants, they love parsley and mitsuba and sometimes even big wooden skewers don’t help).
    I will remember the Justin Bieber advice πŸ™‚

  19. Judy says:

    My fallow garden is jealous.

  20. Uh, you had Justin Bieber CDs? :-0

  21. Love the fact you had a justin bieber cd?It just made my day! On another note the idea of using Cd’s is fantastic! So funny how it reflects the age we live in- no more scarcrows just cd’s!

  22. Kelly says:

    Isn’t that brilliant. I particularly like the Bieber tip. Can you come grow a garden for me? I promise you’ll never run out of challenges πŸ™‚

  23. Ginger says:

    Hilarious! Baby, baby, babay ohhh!

  24. Great use of all the CDs I have piling up in my basement (I definitely no longer need Brandy & Monica or Ace of Base :)).

  25. Kristy says:

    I love the use of CDs. That’s awesome! There’s a few I’d like to stick outside….most of them involve terrible renditions of nursery rhymes that have been played over and over and over and over again in the car. πŸ˜‰ And 90’s last weekend…I need to move south.

  26. SoupAddict says:

    No comment on the fact that you have Biebs CDs. πŸ˜‰ Just got my garlic (and shallots) in the ground, including a new variety (for me) – Red Chesnok. Now it’s just the long wait until June…. (sigh)

  27. Great. Now I can recycle all the CDs in the office and at home. (I work for a record label. ^^)

  28. nrhatch says:

    LOL at Justin Beiber. . . Celine Dion CD’s (or photos) are equally scary. πŸ˜†

  29. niasunset says:

    Justin Bieber!!!!!! You made me laugh too dear Greg, You are giving so nice notes for gardening but I don’t have a garden… How I wished to plant garlic, etc. This should be so exciting to find the first garlics or tomatos, etc. In my childhood days, my Mom was calling me to pick up some vegetables from our garden! This was one of the best work for me. Just I didn’t like to take eggs from the poultry house, they always attacked me… πŸ™‚ Good Luck for your garden, And Thank you for all these sharings, with my love, nia

  30. Colline says:

    I like your scarecrows πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the tips on composting.

  31. CD’s?? Really? I’ve never heard of that before. I have to call my great uncle this evening and tell him about this tip. Hey.. whatever works. I don’t blame you

  32. Caroline says:

    I’ve actually seen people use this method before, but have never had a garden so I haven’t had to do it. Definitely makes sense. Thanks for the tips. And hey nowwww, easy on the Biebs. OK, I admit, I’m a fan. Figured I’d share one embarrassing fact about myself today.

  33. Courtney says:

    JB’s gotta be good for something, right? We always lay down some compost, then top with newspapers or cardboard. That usually prevents weeds, and it breaks down into a great starter for next season.

  34. Eva Taylor says:

    I love the idea of using JB CDs! I planted my garlic too early and they are sprouting…hope I haven’t killed them 😦

  35. Charles says:

    LOL, love your captions! I’ve seen people in the UK string together a load of small foil cake cases, like the type individual apple pies come in (about fist-sized). They seem to work – shiny, and they rustle in the wind too. My farmer friend preferred a 12-gauge, but that’s a different story :p

  36. I have been told coffee works really well in compost. Somehow plants like that stuff.
    So does vodka. Not in composts but On orchids. You wipe the (green) leaves once a week with vodka and it will just bloom! Have tried it- its true!

  37. I love the CD idea! I’m not sure my neighbors would love it so much. Guess that’s another excuse to install a fence- ha! πŸ™‚

  38. I think my 12 year old niece would literally freak the something out if I hung her dear Justin Beiber’s cd anywhere besides the shrine she has creepily growing in her closet – kids are so weird.

  39. spicegirlfla says:

    How more appropriate than my father stringing foil pie pans!! You’re definitely laying the groundwork for some good soil and gardening next year!

  40. nancyc says:

    I miss having a compost pile now that I’m in an apartment with no yard. The compost material is so great for plants!

  41. Stef says:

    I’ve heard lots of people swear by the CD-as-scarecrow option. Pretty nifty.

  42. Really great tips! Thanks!!

  43. Great post and it gave me a good chuckle! Tradition here in Andalucia is that we should plant our garlic on New yearΒ΄s Eve!

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