Spring brings great things: sunshine, warmth, and the blooming of flowers and plants in every color of the rainbow. Critters, great and small, come out of hibernation, active and hungry. However, with all this abundance of life, comes a responsibility…
Dare we utter the words spring cleaning?
While scrubbing your baseboards and rotating a mattress or two doesn’t sound like the most exciting afternoon spent, caring for your lawns and gardens after a long winter can be a great way to spend an afternoon working hard, getting dirty, and having fun – especially if you involve the little ones.
So put on your favorite pair of work jeans, gardener’s gloves, and a hat. Go grab a trowel and some clippers, a couple bags of diatomaceous earth (what’s that?) and roll out the lawnmower because your backyard needs some taming and you need a long overdue dose of vitamin D.
Basic Yard Cleanup
Start by picking up debris and set the kids to pulling weeds before you start mowing. The kids will especially enjoy scouting the area looking for rocks, large sticks and branches, and anything else you don’t want to run over with the lawnmower. Have them collect the objects in buckets.
Using compost material as an organic fertilizer is not only great for the environment, but it will also save you money. To start with, you’ll need these three categories of ingredients:
- Dead leaves, twigs, and branches (brown waste).
- Grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, and coffee grounds (green waste).
Choose a dry spot that gets a lot of shade during the day and is next to a water source. Add equal parts brown and green waste. Add just enough water to moisten the mixture. After a few days, add alternate piles of brown and green waste. Keep your compost pile covered with a tarp to ensure it says nice and moist. Your compost should be ready to use in just a few months.
By spreading mulch around your planters and flower beds, you’ll help keep pests and weeds at bay. To make your own organic mulch, start in the fall. Rake and gather fallen leaves – before they become wet and soggy – into a mulch pile. Dump wood chips on top of the leaves and then leave the pile alone all winter. Come spring, apply this organic mulch to your gardens. It’s that simple!
Go green in your backyard by using honey bee friendly diatomaceous earth to get rid of pests, rather than using a harmful pesticide. This clay-like dirt is special because of the way it’s shaped. It has sharp edges that cut up the pests who invade your lawns and gardens. You can apply either a wet spray or dry dust your lawns. Be sure to follow instructions on the package and always wear protective gear before applying.