Here’s an Afternoon Snack to Share with Your Yard!

Ah, the wisdom of youth. And my 3-year-old neighbor Gracie is the smartest of the bunch, no question. Why, just the other day, we were sharing a snack of peanut butter muffins and apple juice, and she said, “I love peanut butter! I love apple juice!” I assured Gracie that I did too, and then I realized: My yard and garden love Gracie’s favorite things as well. Here’s why:

Apple juice makes a marvelous mix. If your lawn suddenly becomes spotty or lighter in color, pay attention—it’s begging for food! So give it a hearty meal of this down-home fertilizer, then stand back and watch it grow.

Mix 1 can of beer, 1 can of cola (not diet), 1 cup of apple juice, 1 cup of lemon-scented dishwashing liquid, 1 cup of ammonia, and 1 cup of all-purpose plant food (15-30-15 is good) in a large bucket, then pour 1 quart of the mix into a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer. Apply it to everything in your yard to the point of runoff every three weeks during the growing season, and you’ll see fantastic growing results!

Peanut butter is for the birds. You’ll have a ball making these treats for our fine-feathered friends. Here’s all there is to it: Mix peanut butter with enough whole-wheat flour to form a dough. Shape the dough into baseball-sized balls, and pop them into the freezer. When you want to serve one up, cut a section from a mesh produce bag, and wrap it around the ball. Tie the wrapping closed with twine or wire, and hang it from a sturdy tree branch.

Muffin cups make marvelous mulch. Even after you’ve used paper muffin cups for their intended purpose (like baking peanut butter muffins—yum!), you can still put them to work in your garden. How? Just toss ‘em into the compost bin, or simply bury them in the soil, clinging crumbs and all. The whole shebang will quickly decompose into plant-pleasing humus.