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.
Proper water drainage for your property is one of the most important long-term preventative measures you can implement. Water build up due to insufficient drainage can cause significant damage to basements, garages and building foundations. If there is a lack of proper drainage, water can build up near or under the foundation of your property, which causes the soil to swell. This can lead to the foundation cracking or buckling under the extra pressure, or flooding in your basement. All of which will require costly and time-consuming repairs.
Knowing this information, I decided it was necessary to take the preventative measures and add
This year we teamed up with Lowe's to throw an early Father's Day lawn party for our friends and family. Today I'll share the nitty gritty details, all the pretty pictures, and (hopefully) inspire you to pull together a few last minute DIYs for this weekend's Father's Day celebrations. Read on to find out what we did, and download everything you'll need to throw a party of your own.
Gordy the Goat was going for the ride of his life. It was 1:00 a.m., and Gordy was in the back of a white Yukon Denali blowing through a stop sign at Earl Street and Mounds Boulevard in St. Paul, MN. Just minutes earlier, the brown-and-white splotched ruminant had been quietly at work in a nearby park, doing what he does best: grounds maintenance.
See, Gordy, and a herd of thirty others, are charged with removing invasive species, unwanted grass and vegetation in the city parks... by eating it. But on this night, Gordy fell victim to goat theft, though whether he viewed it as
I've always been a big fan of eating good food. But I also can't leave well enough alone, so eating led me to cooking, and cooking led me to gardening.
Originally a means to an end, now there are few things that give me greater happiness than stepping out the back door in the middle of summer and walking across my backyard to the roughly 20' x 30' patch of dirt full of rows of tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, squash, and greens.
When I first bought my house and decided to transform the patch of grass into our home garden, I didn't own a rototiller, but I did have a $20 shovel, an internet connection, and a spare can of elbow grease. After compiling the ideas from several gardening sites and testing it out on my half-acre slice of North Carolina, I had myself a beautifully productive vegetable garden.
Here's a brief primer on how you can hand-dig your own patch using the time-honored technique of "double digging."
I thought I knew all the best backyard games, until I found out about kubb (pronounced 'koob'). It was like nothing I'd ever seen, but once I understood the rules and played a game, I was completely sold?
Also known as Viking chess, it's one part strategy, one part skill, and the rest is just plenty of luck. With a standard 4x4 and a few lengths of dowel you can make your own set in an afternoon, and enjoy it for the rest of your life.
Deciding when to start your end of year yard work is a delicate decision: too early and likely you'll have to keep reworking until the snow comes, too late and your yard will be a mess come spring. Or you can take my father's route which seemed to be just working on it all the time. The best path however would be to listen to the advice of professional landscapers about how they prepare their personal lawns for winter.
Last summer, I shared this cool photo from Sonoma winery Medlock Ames, which featured an old picnic table, into which a recess had been cut to accept a cooler to keep drinks cold. A great idea, but know what's even cooler?
Building the table from scratch without a bunch of fancy woodworking tools, and incorporating the built-in cooler from the beginning.
My brother-in-law, Nathan, is a self-proclaimed, um, minimalist lawn care guy. He grew up in a house with a steep, turf-covered backyard hill, and as the youngest son, was the mower of choice as soon as he was big enough until he graduated from college.
And now, in his own house, with the scars of his Sisyphean task of pushmowering up the world's steepest backyard, he's not the hugest fan of taking care of his turf. I mean, who would be, when you're an awesome dad and you're faced with the choice of hanging out with your totally rad kids or mowing the grass?
But, after nearly ten years in this house, with plenty of patches and a healthy collection of dandelions, crabgrass, thistles, and all sorts of other weeds, even Nathan realized his yard could use a season of TLC.
Why Grass Seed is Way More Interesting than You'd Think: Reports from the Pennington Seed "Seed for Yourself" Summit
Over the past weekend, I was fortunate to be invited as a guest of Pennington Seed to attend the Seed for Yourself Summit near Albany, Oregon. As someone who lives in the city and is thankful I haven't had to care for a green lawn since I gave the responsibility back to my dad when I left for college, I admit I knew very little nothing about grass seed, how to grow it, or why some is better than others.
But now, I've been schooled, and I'm popping around the neighborhood goin' "See that? That's tall fescue, it goes dormant in the winter, which is why it looks like straw;" and, "Perennial rye grass right there, cause it has untoothed parallel sides and prominent parallel veins on the upper surface."
See? I learned something. And...grass seed is pretty fascinating stuff.
Something very strange has happened to me last week. I - one who came to fore in the oh-so-green and manicured lawns of the suburbs, who daily cut lawns in order to finance bicycle and first guitar purchases, who is deathly allergic to grass, and hates the idea of using all that gasoline to keep a non-native plant from growing - got an urge to mow the grass. As an urban apartment dweller, I don't have a plot of land to take care of, and what little space I do have is filled with veggies.
But, I just felt a brief, passing twinge to welcome summer with a Walkman-serenaded stroll up and down rows and rows of green, staining my shoes in the process.