Thursday, August 25, 2011

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - Lawn Care and Gardening.

Remember the 4 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair

LAWN-CARE & GARDENING: Because of the high cost of gasoline and people feeling the drastic affects of the economy, many families are electing to stay at home during vacation time. This is a good time to concentrate more time on your gardens. As an avid gardener I find working outside to be good for the mind, body and spirit. It is good exercise and gives me peace of mind as I tend to Mother Nature’s gifts to us.

When you plan your garden try to use plants and flowers that are native to your area because they are already adapted to the soil and water conditions, you won't have to use as much fertilizer and water to get them to grow. Also, try to select drought-tolerant plants. Together, these varieties can help you limit the amount of watering you’ll do this summer. For more information and lists of regional plants, go to

Don’t forget to support the local farmers and buy local gardening products if you can. Plants sold in large chain stores are not tended by loving hands and have usually been neglected. Go to a local nursery where the plants did not travel thousands of miles in trucks to get to you.

No Pesticide Pest Prevention - Interplant flowers and herbs for a chemical free organic garden that reduces insects.

THE MINT FAMILY: helps to keep the bugs away with a pleasant, yet bug reducing aroma.GARLIC: offends Japanese beetles, vegetable weevils and spider mites. CELERY: deters the white moth that lays the eggs that become caterpillars, and then eat your cabbage and broccoli.MARIGOLDS: with their strong scent, are a great deterrent to damaging pests. Plant marigold near vegetables like tomatoes, and bugs will go elsewhere. NASTURTIUMS: repel whiteflies and squash bugs and will protect your sage from the whiteflies if you plant some nearby. NICOTINA: is also known as flowering tobacco and is useful in keeping the pests away from not the garden, but the gardener. These plants repel mosquitoes.

In addition, some of the herbs and flowers that deter the pests will also encourage the beneficial insects that plants need to thrive and pollinate. Your garden will have a pleasing, natural look.

There’s no need to resort to commercial herbicides to get rid of weeds awakened by warmer weather. Squirt them with lemon juice or vinegar, or scald them with boiling water. (The toughest ones may need two applications.)

One way to reduce the amount of water you give to your lawn is to adjust your lawnmower to cut grass no shorter than three inches. Taller grass encourages deeper roots and shades the soil to reduce moisture loss.

It’s best to water your lawn or garden before 8 a.m. Doing so at midday sacrifices as much as 30 percent of your water to evaporation. Watering at night can promote mold and disease. Avoid watering on windy days, and break your watering into short segments. Try for one inch of water (including rainfall) per week in the growing season. Lawns absorb water better in three ten-minute spells than in one half-hour stretch. Use an empty tuna can to track volume.

A manual reel mower saves your share of the fuel Americans consume each year in cutting their lawns. It provides a little workout every time you use it, and reduces neighborhood noise pollution as well.

Fifty-four million Americans mow their lawns each weekend. They use 800 million gallons of gasoline annually, producing 5 percent of the nation’s air pollution. With your reel mower, you can keep 80 pounds of CO2 out of the air each year.

If you follow some of these suggestions you will be helping to reduce gas consumption, conserve water, and prevent harmful chemicals from entering the environment while improving the quality of life for yourself and the community.

Don’t forget, together we can make a difference.

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