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Garden experiments: breaking up red-lave rocks, getting rid of pests

strawchicago z5
8 years ago

We have 22 large windows, so when birds peck on the screen, it's costly to replace. I got tired of birds pecking ugly holes in my screen, allowing bugs to fly through ... so I smeared petroleum jelly on the outside of hole, and scotch-tape the inside. Birds hate that grease on their beaks, and stopped pecking.

My garden experiment was easier: I soaked 2" diameter HUGE red-lava rocks for 24 hours in 3 different solutions: Vinegar, tap water (pH over 8.6), and rain water (pH at 6 in my Chicagoland, but 5.6 in the east coast). Here are the results:

  1. I used a large hammer and pounded on the stones. For the stone soaked in vinegar, it was easy: 2 light hits and it crumbled into 0.3" to 0.2" pieces.

  2. Then I used a dry-stone, zero soaking. It was a real pain, after 10 hard pounding, it refused to break. I was cursing, pounding, and it refused to break. I DON'T RECOMMEND SMASHING DRY STONE WITH A HAMMER.

  3. Next was the stone soaked in alkaline tap water. I hit on it hard. Only 2 hits, and it crumbled into 0.4" pieces, bigger chunks than the one in vinegar.

  4. Last was the stone soaked in rain water. This surprised me greatly. Only 2 hits, and it crumbled into tiny pieces. This yielded the best result, much better than the one in vinegar.

What are your experiments in your garden? I would love to learn. Thanks.

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