Tend to Your Heart While Tending Your Yard
This has been a tough year for all of us. No doubt, you readers have had your share of struggles great and small. But think of how far we’ve come in the last 12 months. Think of how far we’ll be a year from now. That’s a great thought, and one that fills us with hope.
The beautiful spring weather we’re experiencing is nothing less than a symbol of that hope. As wonderful as the warmer weather is, sometimes it’s not enough to simply bask in it. It’s a much more fulfilling and therapeutic experience to get your hands dirty and interact with nature on a visceral level. What better way to do this than gardening and tending your lawn?
If this activity appeals to you—and we know it does—you should consider ordering a free copy of Take Care of Texas “Guide to Yard Care.” If you don’t want to wait for it to arrive in your mailbox, you can download a copy.
In it you’ll find environmentally friendly, easy to follow steps on how to landscape, irrigate, compost, harvest rainwater, manage pests, and more. This guide helps you maintain a healthy yard, save money, and take care of our state's varied landscapes.
Here are some practical tips you’ll find in “Guide to Yard Care”:
• Group together plants that have similar watering needs to prevent overwatering and excessive plant growth.
• Avoid narrow strips or odd shapes of turf grass that will be difficult to irrigate without wasting time and water.
• Composting works best when you combine equal amounts (by weight) of “green” and “brown” materials in the mixture.
• The compost pile should remain moist throughout, like a wrung-out sponge, but not soaked.
• Prevent your rain barrel from serving as a mosquito breeding ground. A well-sealed screen will help keep mosquitoes from getting into your barrel.
• Any standing water will begin to smell after a while, especially if it contains organic matter, such as leaves. Smelly water won’t hurt your plants, but it can be a nuisance. To avoid it, use all the water in the barrel within a month of collecting it.
Managing Yard Pests
• Check for chinch bug infestation on the grass blades at the edges of affected areas. To test, cut the bottom out of a coffee can, push the can one inch into your turf near the edge of a dead patch, and fill the can with water. If chinch bugs are present, they will float to the surface.
• Avoid systemic pesticides on vegetables and other edible plants. Systemic pesticides are taken up by the plant, making its tissues and fluids toxic to feeding pests, and unsafe for human consumption.
When it comes to the basics of caring for your lawn and garden, the “Guide to Yard Care“ is a valuable tool. After the year we’ve all experienced, you deserve the peace and therapeutic healing that successful gardening brings. Happy gardening!