Sunday, March 1, 2009

Green Your Yard Care

It may be a chilly 16 degrees at the moment, but we Wisconsin natives know that spring is just around the corner. Now is the time to start planning yard care and gardening for the upcoming warm weather.

Taking some small steps in your yard care this year can have a big payoff for nature. Standard yard care in the US dumps chemicals into our soil and spews pollutants into the air.

Mowing a yard with a gas powered lawn mower or using a gas powered leaf blower produces a lot of hydrocarbons. Do it the old fashioned way instead. Take the kids outside, get out the rakes and spend some fun family time raking up winter's debris instead of blowing it. If you have an average city or suburban yard, consider a reel lawn mower. These are quiet, good exercise and easy enough that we let the kids use ours to mow the lawn. It takes about the same amount of time as using a gas mower.

Another thing to consider this year is a rain barrel. Depending on the type of yard and garden you have, you will probably need to water somethings this summer. Sprinklers are convenient, but they end up watering a lot more than just the vegetables I want them to soak. A rain barrel is an easy way to capture the drops from summer storms and funnel them to the garden later. They are available commercially for about $100 and up. It is quite easy to build your own. Here is a video on doing it yourself:

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