Takling it easy in the garden
In my Hot Home Products column this week, I wrote about EnviroSand, a new product that is supposed to stop weeds from growing up between paving stones. So far, so good, on the test patch I did, but what will happen by September, after weeks of summer sun and rain? I’ll report back. If the worst happens, I’ll return to my old-school practice of using the weed brush I got several years ago from Lee Valley Tools for $10.95 (handle not included). The four-inch long brush, made with 1.5-inch brass-plated steel bristles does a superb job of cleaning out weeds, especially if used after a rain. Or if I’m feeling lazy, I'll use my Ryobi string trimmer to give the weeds a brush-cut, which makes for a tidier look.
For tips on lower maintenance, environmentally friendly planting tips and techniques, check out LEAF, a non profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest.
I also talked about the fact that since organic waste collection has picked up in many municipalities, backyard composters are less productive, since folks direct all their green waste to the curb. That’s too bad, since home-made compost is easy to produce and does wonders for the garden. To keep my backyard bin going, I:
Put in grass clipping from the weekly mowing of the lawn
Add a handful of dry leaves, which I keep in a bin
Once or twice a week, divert vegetable peelings from my kitchen into a bowl and dump it into the bin
Occasionally toss the soil from an old potted plant in there
Turn it with a garden folk when I think of it
For more extensive (and experienced!) advice on composting, check out this article from Canadian Gardening magazine.