Making Bird Houses With Gourds and Make Them Last Longer With Copper Sulfate.
Gourds should be painted before using for housing. But before painting, they should be treated with a preservative. Do so with a good dunking in a copper sulfate solution. This will help preserve them and make them last much longer.
As for Copper Sulfate, it is a much quicker preservation process than other methods. Use a large plastic container and mix one pound of copper sulfate for every 5 gallons of water (be sure your container is large enough that when you soak the gourds the solution does not flow over the sides). Submerge each gourd for 10-20 minutes, holding them down with something heavy like a brick. You can use a long heavy stick and stick it into the entrance hole to hold them down. Gourds are very porous and tend to want to float.
If your can is big enough, you may be able to get two or three in depending on the size of the gourds. Remove and drip dry, then let the gourds sit for about a day to make sure they are fully dried on the outside. Good airflow expedites this.
The gourds are now ready to be painted. We strongly suggest painting them, because it will also help make them last longer. The outside should be painted either white or a very light pastel. Again two things. The light color will help repel heat in the summer time and it will also help attract the birds. They seem to look for the light colored gourds and are drawn to the dark entrance holes.
First, a good coat of a good latex primer to seal the gourd and allow the paint to stick. Then, at least two coats of a good quality latex paint.
Make Pine Cones That Burn Green
1/2 Gallons Hot Water
1/2 Pound Copper Sulfate (green flame)
3 Plastic Containers
Bushel of Pine Cones
Wear rubber gloves when preparing these. Also use plastic or paper to cover working surface areas.
Pour 1/2 gallon of water into plastic container
Add copper sulfate to container. Mix well until thoroughly dissolved.
Totally immerse the cones into the liquid and soak them for 24 hours.
Remove the pine cones and let them dry in the sun or set aside somewhere warm and dry. Don’t burn for at least three days.