You've seen scarecrows in the garden, often with pumpkins and bales of hay as part of an autumn display. Garden scarecrows may look happy, sad, or ugly, or may appear just as a decorative element. Perhaps you've wondered what purpose they serve and how to make a scarecrow for your own garden.
Scarecrows in the Garden
Garden scarecrows are not a new idea; they've been used in gardens for centuries. The original purpose of scarecrows in the garden was to frighten away birds, particularly crows, which caused damage to crops. The creators of scarecrows didn't give the birds credit for soon realizing that scarecrows in the garden would not harm them. Today's scarecrows utilize many features that can keep pesky flying fiends away. Making a scarecrow for the garden, or as part of a whimsical display, is a fun project and one that you can do with your kids or grandkids. Creating crafts for the garden with children is also a great way to interest them in the growing garden. A scarecrow for the garden can be a simple project that can be completed in a couple of hours or a long-term endeavor to include in a holiday display. Learning how to make a scarecrow can challenge your child to come up with interesting ideas. For instance, you can use a theme in scarecrow gardens. Make a pair of scarecrows for the garden, emulating your child and yourself, your child and a friend, or even the grandparents.
How to Make a Scarecrow
Materials for scarecrows in the garden can be simple yet should be sturdy. Remember that garden scarecrows must stand up to wind, rain, and scorching heat, so make everything strong enough to last for several months. Begin with a strong frame—a simple cross of bamboo poles can hold your scarecrow for the garden. Use your imagination and your recyclables, such as PVC pipe for the frame and an empty milk jug for an interesting head on the garden scarecrow. Add a fun outfit and an unusual hat for your scarecrow gardens. Fill a shirt and pants, or a colorful old dress with hay, straw, or grass clippings and staple the edges once the clothes are filled. Colorful duct tape can secure your painted milk jug to the top of the pole. Attach a straw hat, baseball cap, or even an old, colorful wig from Halloween past on top of the milk jug. Attach noise makers, such as disposable aluminum pie pans, to further frighten crop-nibbling crows. Let your imagination soar when making garden scarecrows with your kids. You may find they soon become interested in what's growing in the garden.
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Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.
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