No-Mow Grass

You know I am all about not watering or keeping conventional yards…what a waste of water, energy and time.  I say if it doesn’t feed me I’m not watering it!   Here are some great alternatives to normal grass…

Ive Haugeland and Tyler Manchuck, of Shades of Green Landscape Architecture in Sausalito, Calif., spend many hours researching, debating the pros and cons of different products, asking questions, and working with sustainable manufacturers to provide landscapes that are not a posh-type green project, but rather areas that truly benefit the environment. Shades of Green used a newly completed residence in Sausalito as an experimental project in which to introduce new, sustainable grass seed. “The no-mow lawn uses a blend of fescue. It takes way less water and you only need to cut it once a year,” says Haugeland.

Native Lawns

Read more about Shades of Green Landscape Architecture’s sustainable landscape design concepts.

According to Haugeland, “There are a lot more native lawns available on the market now. For example, Delta Bluegrass is producing several new different types. We started incorporating some of them into our design projects last year. The new grasses haven’t been problem free for us, so we are monitoring the projects to see if they hopefully do well over time.”

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To Read Full Post….


Stop Growing a Lawn…Just STOP IT!!

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Lawns in the U.S. cover more than 50,000 square miles of soil and consume more chemicals than all those used in U.S. food related agriculture combined. Maintaining lawns involves mowing, watering, and often fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides, that contribute to the watershed pollution.

Lawns in the U.S. also consume approximately 270 billion gallons of water a week — enough to water 81 million acres of organic vegetables- and all of this water is expensive.   From TreeHugger.

My motto; If I can’t eat it I’m not watering it.  My dish water and rinse water from washing dishes as well as from the shower (I keep a 5 Gallon bucket in there for the water that runs off of me…just use organic soaps) and then water the flowers…Water from the rain barrels water all the veggies and herbs…


Clean Garden Tools with Wax Paper

Clean Garden Tools with Wax Paper

This Old House’s site recommends using wax paper as a cleaner for garden tools. The rough texture of the paper will loosen grime and the the wax will coat exposed metal surfaces to help prevent rust.

MORE USES FOR WAX PAPER….


Eat Like a Hunter

The fuel we provide to our biological systems has effects that ripple through every aspect of our individual life. From mental acuity to mood to structure to disease, our choice of fuels is crucial. Thinking about food from the angle of a Paleolithic hunter quickly provides answers to questions science is unable to efficiently adjudicate. This is not about pure carnivory, but a nod to optimal foraging theory. Once we understand something about the strategies of a Paleolithic hunter we can begin to merge our ancient food system with our modern food system. If we lose either perspective, we will quickly go astray.

This post is from Evolvify…To Read the whole article….MORE….

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So You Want to Grow Veggies Organically AND Be a Vegan?

What do plants eat? They eat dead animals; that’s the problem. For me that was a horrifying realization. You want to be an organic gardener, of course, so you keep reading ‘Feed the soil, feed the soil, feed the soil…’

Alright. Well what does the soil want to eat? Well, it wants manure, and it wants urine, and it wants blood meal and bone meal. And I…could not face that. I wanted my garden to be pure and death-free. It didn’t matter what I wanted: plants wanted those things; they needed those things to grow…

So, I sort of played a moral hide-and-seek in my mind. I was left with this realization that I could eat an animal directly, or I could pass an animal through a plant and then eat it, but either way there were animals involved in this process. I could not remove animals from the equation.

I had to accept on some level that there was a cycle here, and it was very ancient, and ultimately very spiritual. It was really hard for me to accept the ‘death’ part of that equation. Years. It took me years to finally face it. But there wasn’t any way out of it if I was going to grow things.

Lierre Keith, on gardening as a vegan; October 8, 2009 on Underground Wellness Radio


Vertical garden- DIY

Today I am making a vertical garden planter.  I have a canvas shoe rack and am using burlap to make the inserts.

I got the idea when I saw a website for Wooly Pockets, they are awesome, but pricy.

They have some amazing installations.  Here are the two that inspired me;

Pics from the wooly Pocket Site.

I bought a roll of burlap a few years ago and use it for mulching and for weed control sometimes…when I had a square foot garden it entailed a LOT of weeding.  Since I switched to all container gardening I spend almost NO time weeding!   Hence I have a lot of burlap.

I am using a shoe rack I have an extra of; I have them in all my closets for organization.

Rubbermaid Hanging Canvas 20-Pocket Shoe Organizer

I am cutting 27 inch by 11 inch pieces of burlap to use for each insert.   I am then folding each one over so that each finished insert will be thick enough to stay damp for moisture retention.  I don’t want my plants drying out too much during the day.

Here is what one insert looks like;

Burlap Insert

Here is a pic showing how it will look in the rack;

Vertical Planter

Here’s a few pics I found for inspiration….

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vertical garden

The one I am making right now will have strawberries and herbs in it.  I want to make another one for succulents but will use a pallet to plant in since I will want it to be permanent…


Fences of Fruit Trees

Fences of fruit trees

“Almost anyone who has a backyard or garden would do well to plant fruit trees for the years ahead. Most fruit trees, though, take more years to mature than most of us have to prepare, and take up more space than most of us have in cities or suburbs. Luckily, only a few centuries ago master gardeners developed a way to cultivate fruit in narrow spaces – one that yields more fruit, more quickly, and with a longer growing season.
Espalier is a method of growing a dwarf fruit tree along a wall or fence, binding it for support, and bending the branches to follow certain lines, as Japanese artists do with bonsai trees. Most gardeners started espaliers with a “maiden,” a one-year-old sapling that had not yet forked, and tied it to a staff of wood to keep it straight. Then they tied the desired branches to the fence or wall as they emerged, bending and pruning aggressively as the tree grew.

With the tree’s natural growth concentrated into only two dimensions, it creates many spurs looking for a chance to spread, creating more flowers and fruit than their conventional counterparts, and earlier in the trees’ life. The fruit can be picked casually while standing or sitting, with no need for the ladders or devices needed to pick many other fruit trees, and no risk of injury. Growing a tree against a south-facing wall has another advantage; not only does the tree receive maximum light and heat, but the thermal mass of the wall absorbs the heat and provides shelter from the wind. In this way trees get a longer growing season, and can grow in cooler climates than they would ordinarily tolerate.”

Read more: Fences of fruit trees. Related: Irish hedgerows.