River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Garden Talk

April 2002

Scarecrows and tips for beginners

A homemade scarecrow will look really good in your garden, it might even keep the birds away from your newly planted seeds and young plants, and it can be fun to make. If you want you could decrease the measurements and make a kiddie size scarecrow. Here is what you will need

1 piece of wood about 2m (6 feet) long

1 piece of wood about 1m (3 feet) long

1 piece of wood about 30cm (12 inches) long

Old clothes (shirt or jumper, trousers, skirt or dress and a cap or hat)

An old pair of tights

Some straw/hay


First of all tie or nail (adult's job) the 1m piece of wood to the 2m piece of wood, about 15cm from one end, in a cross shape and then tie or nail (adults job again) the 30cm piece in the same way about half way down. This is the frame for your scarecrow.

You are now ready to make a head. Cut one leg from the tights and fill with some straw. Push the straw firmly to the end and make it into a ball. Tie a piece of string around the end to stop the straw from falling out. Now tie the head to the top of the frame (you could paint a face or put a scary mask on it!)

You can now dress your scarecrow by placing the shirt on the top crossbar and the trousers on the smaller bar or hang a dress from the top bar, allowing the bottom to flap in the breeze (very effective). Push straw or hay inside the clothes to fill them out and place the hat on his/her head. If you want you can push some straw under the hat to look like hair.

Your scarecrow is now ready for putting in the garden to keep the birds of your seeds and young plants.

5 Top Tips for Beginners to Gardening

  1. Get good tools - don't be tempted to buy economy ones. A few good quality tools will last you for years.

  2. Ask someone who know about gardening to advise you on selecting plants - or go to your local nursery where experts are on hand.

  3. Don't be afraid to have a go. Get out there and sow some seeds and see what happens. Go for things like hardy annual, they're really easy to grow; just throw them on the ground and they'll grow. If you're not sure what to put in your garden long term, annuals are a good way of trying things out as they only last one year.

  4. Go round the Garden Centres. Have a look at what is there. You'll get plenty of ideas from all the plants on offer.

  5. When you buy your plants make sure you plant them at the same depth they were in the pots at the garden Centre. Don't put them too deep - and remember to water and feed them. Don't water shrubs too regularly - a good soaking once a week will do.

Martin Davey

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