For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Mar 11

Your Questions About Gardening

James asks…

What is the best way to tame guinea pigs?

Yesterday I bought 3 male guinea pigs (9 weeks old). They’ve made themselves quite comfortable in their new hutch overnight and have eaten loads already. Naturally, they are still very skittish and nervous of people walking up to the hutch, but I am keen to get them hand tame as soon as possible. What is the quickest and easiest way (and most stress free for the guineas) of doing this? I’ve read conflicting info online.

GardenersCardiff answers:

There are two main factors in taming any small animal. The first is not doing anything unpleasant to them when they are being brave, and the second is naked bribery. Because there are lots of foods that guinea pigs really like that they can have quite a bit of they are actually quite easy to tame. I use dark green salad leaves for treats, but also nice fresh grass and dandelions from the garden in the summer (don’t overdo dandelions as they are diuretic). If you don’t have access to a garden why not grow some nice fresh grass or greens on the window ledge!!

When you first get your guinea pigs it is best to leave them alone as much as possible for the first couple of days. It is very tempting to keep picking them up and showing them to people but this is very stressful for them when they are in a new environment so please resist this until they have settled in.

Make sure that each guinea pig has a nice house to hide in. Otherwise when they are startled the more dominant piggie will kick the other one out of the box and this can cause fights particularly amongst males. If possible don’t disturb your pet when he is in his box as this will make them feel more secure. It is sometimes necessary to catch them by tipping over the box but do this as little as possible in the early days.

Feed your guinea pigs at the same time every day. They will soon learn to assoicate the sounds of feeding with something nice happening. Ours squeak when they hear rustling and/or the frige opening. Also have times a couple of times a day when you give them treats.

At first you may have to just put a treat outside the door of the nest box and move away but over time you should be able to get a guinea pig to take it from your hand. This is the most difficult part of the process and it is worth persevering. I had to have a rule that if he didn’t come and get it in a reasonable period of time I take it away again. This is because he had learnt that I would eventually give up and leave it and wouldn’t take it.

Once you have a guinea pig feeding from your hand it is often quite a quick process to get them to come further and further out of the box and eventually come to the edge of the cage to be fed. Before long your guinea pig will be standing ready for a treat. It is absolutely essential that you don’t use a treat to catch the guinea pig at this point as it will stop them trusting you. Once they get to trust you really well you will be able to pick them up.

Thomas asks…

College student with more fridge space then freezer space, meal ideas?

Our pod has a tiny little freezer thats always full but oodles of refridgerator space (not including my empty minifridge). I normally like just buying costco frozen meals and throwing those in the oven, but with our limited space im looking for ideas for easy meals that will keep well in the fridge. Any help greatly appreciated, Thanks
Also if possible looking for high calorie high protein meals (athlete looking to gain weight)

GardenersCardiff answers:

Here some ideas

also if you want a home-made veggie beef soup here is one that is soo easy you can make it fast

1/2 lb of ground beef
1 can of tomato soup
1 can of diced tomatoes (italian or regular)
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
a small/ med onion diced
1 can of corn
2 cans of beans (whatever you like)
1 can of mixed veggies
1 cup of rice
salt & pepper
2 tsp. Sugar

Brown Beef til no longer pink, add onion and cook for 3 – 5 min. Add rice, tomato soup,diced tomatoes, worchestershire sauce, corn, beans, and mixed veggies. Stir together. Salt & pepper and add the sugar (if ya want). Bring to a boil. Once to a boil turn down to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until rice is tender and soup is hot.

This is great with some crackers, grilled cheese or toast

Cherry Brownies (soo good)

1 box of brownie mix
(whatever ingredients needed for brownie mix)
1 can of cherry pie filling

Prepare brownie mix as directed on box and pour into greased baking pan. Pour pie filling in and mix up. Bake as directed on box.

They are oh so good and guys love them! Add some vanilla ice cream for an even better dessert.

Hope this helps! ENJOY

Susan asks…

What are some ideas for recyclable crafts?

What are some ideas for easy, medium, or hard crafts made out of recyclable crafts? For example, I once made a snow globe out of a baby food jar, a small object, water, and glitter. I don’t want to have to buy anything such as those Crayola Crayon Makers. Ideas?

GardenersCardiff answers:

The first link is a baby food jar garden,this can also be done in other jars tall short,you could do a scene of woods or garden or any other view you like.

I like shadow box’s myself for some reason doing miniatures relaxing to me so i might do this above in some fashion using a large pickle jar.

Second link is a Time capsule idea..I am thinking you could do this short term or long term.
I have one I open about every few years. However was thinking of doing one for just the time between now and the end of summer. Most likely it will my writing and a few photos of my yard now.

Third one is decorating a bottle I have done this myself since I was around 6yrs old..My first one was using food coloring or shoe polish anyway I took some masking tape and covered the bottle in the tape then went over it with stain(color) looked interesting after I was done. Sat on my Granny’s shelves for 20yrs along with other children’s art pieces.

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