I gave some spring garden tips a few weeks ago, but I forgot to mention these posts. I’ve shared a few of them in the past, but I thought they were worth revisiting.
We love our reel mower because it’s quiet, smells good, and I can actually use it. We have a nice sized yard, but I can’t work a regular lawn mower – it’s too hard to start! Our reel mower is light, and so easy to use. The whirring sound of the blades is kind of hypnotic. I saw two last year at yard sales, or you could get one at your local hardware store.
Pop Bottle Irrigation
To provide a good flow of water to your plants, you can set up pop bottle irrigation. I’m sure most of us have stopped drinking bottled water by now, after learning how bad it is for our health and the planet (not to mention it costs more than gas!). If you don’t have a pop bottle, just head down to your local park or river. Water bottles are everywhere!
Instead of starting your seed with peat pellets, find a renewable source, like compost or odor-free manure. Ancient peat bogs are mined to make peat, and the process is destroying this old habitat. The good news is that peat isn’t necessary, and it’s often not the best choice anyway. Look for
tree bark, cocoa shells, shredded prunings, straw, and mushroom compost serve the same purpose, without drying out and blowing away, which peat often does. In terms of soil improvement, animal manure, leaf mold, and compost are just as effective, if not better, since peat has little nutrient value.
Once again, composting is a great alternative, and the best way to get happy, healthy plants.
Rain gardens are a fantastic way to absorb rain water and have a beautiful garden at the same time. Wikipedia offers a great definition. Remember to use native plants for the most benefit. Rain Gardens of West Michigan is a wonderful resource for how to start your rain garden, suggestions for what to plant and other valuable ideas.
Have I mentioned rain barrels? There are a few workshops at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, or you could buy one online. You could even make it yourself with this fantastic Instructable! Michelle at Instructables shows us how to stack two barrels, wrap some chicken wire around them, and plant vines for a beautiful Green Rainwater system.