Everyone knows the dreaded crankless yank of a neglected lawn-mower cord. You reach down for the handle, brace your legs, and pull the cord with all your might, only to be rewarded with a coughing, sputtering engine, or worse, one that won't crank at all. Add in a thrown-out lower back, and you could be forgiven for never wanting to go near a lawn mower again.
But it doesn't have to be that way! You could join ranks of men and women whose mowers start on the first pull! People whose backs remain un-thrown-out, and whose lawns are oft-trimmed, instead of weeks-overdue. Here are some simple steps you should take every spring to maintain
Spring seems to have arrived overnight, and with it comes the explosion of green as everything wakes up from its winter nap. First up? Time to fend off the weeds. . . and please don’t reach for that toxic stuff. It’s nasty for you, your yard, and everything around it. Instead, try this safer and super effective recipe.
I grew up in the shadow of some major recycling nuts so it actually took awhile for me to get my rebellious nature out of my system and come back to the recycling fold. I now recycle as meticulously as I can and composting organic waste is just one more great way to do that. Stored correctly, it can be a blessing -- stored poorly, not so much.
Dads sure do seem to have a love/hate relationship with their yard work. If you find yourself falling further on the 'hate' end of the spectrum with how much effort you're having to put in, check out these 17 Ideas to save you time and keep you enjoying your yard instead of working for it.
There's nothing like being able to walk out your own door and grab a big handful of fresh vegetables and herbs and make a tasty meal. This vertical planter project allows you to grow a lot of produce in a small amount of space, so there's always a fresh batch of lettuce or mint ready to go when you need it.
My family loves honey. The natural sweetener is either on or in just about everything we eat, so it was just a matter of time before we started looking into "making" it ourselves. This basic bee hive is the perfect start to getting natural honey right from the source.
Don't let the back-to-school sales fool you, there's still plenty of summer left. And campfire season lasts well into the autumn, and weather permitting, can make cool winter nights bearable, allowing you to hang out outside even when it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon.
There's no doubt about the cheer. Beside your fire you live in a private, glowing little world. All around you, fire shapes dance across rocks and bushes and tree trunks...Most of the time, you just sit and gaze at the caverns that form and crumble and then form again and gaze into the caverns that form and crumble and then form again between the incandescent logs. You build fantastic worlds among those pulsating walls and arches and colonnades. You sit, in other words, and dream. The East African has an almost limitless capacity for this masterly and delightful form of inactivity, and when his friends see him squatting there, lost, they understand and say in Swahili, poetically, Anahota moto - "He is dreaming the fire."
- Colin Fletcher, "The Complete Walker IV" (Knopf, NY: p. 288)
This summer, move beyond cans and a cooler of ice, and create a sturdy, portable bar cart for your outdoor cocktail parties and grill-filled get-togethers. This option is made from cedar dimensional lumber, so it can not only stand up to the elements, but it's a great project for those without a table saw and a bunch of fancy woodworking tools.
A part of me retches at the very word 'landscaping', as if the 1/4-acre parcel I inhabit on the vast surface of our billions-of-years-old planet somehow requires a few hours per weekend of my inexpert, indifferent care. Come on; any scaping we do to the land will be obliterated by the pitiless passing of time. We might as well lie under our beds 'scaping' dust into piles.
Still, that's a tough argument to make to your neighbors when they walk past your overgrown garden, over the shin-high weeds in the sidewalk cracks, and through the 'native habitat restoration' area you call your front lawn. They don't have to say much, but even at a distance you can see the raising of eyebrows.
Not that I care that much what they think; horticultural conformism be damned. But seriously, this summer the front of our house was getting to a point that would make even the most hardened iconoclast a little embarassed.
So, with a shrug of my shoulders and a roll of the eyes, we decided to finally do a little landscaping. It's been at least five years since we've done so much as weeding in the front, so things were a little, um, hairy. Read on to see how we improved it, and watch a video of the whole process...
Even the humble garden gnome has the potential for a full-on, justice-inducing, evil-butt-kicking alter ego.
Clever guy Kris came up with a fun and easy way to transform everyday Winklebottoms and Figgleforths into slug-stomping, possum-punishing superheroes!
He used bit of Sculpey clay, autobody filler, and some clever painting techniques for a very funny, very creative result.
File under "why didn't I think of that?!"
At first, this may seem a little superfluous. But then, one of your buddies gets out the frisbee. And then the neighbor's dog comes to say hello, or someone stumbles in your direction, and your ice cold beverage is all over the ground. Honestly, I think of three times I could/would have used one of these in the last week, even though it's been raining like crazy.
Spring keeps hinting it's going to show up around my house: the sun will say hello for a hour or two, the birds will test out their morning songs before disappearing, and I haven't seen one of those awful, gross and gray snow piles in the last few days. I'm looking out the window, and I can almost hear that suite from Peer Gynt that they always played in Bugs Bunny cartoons.
Sounds likes it to drop a bomb.