Monday, May 27, 2013

Free Life Giving Water!

Free life giving water!

A few weeks ago I found a bleeding heart plant in full bloom. That is not unusual, but where I found it was. It was on the north side of a foreclosed house with no artificial irrigation. In the wetter areas of the country this is still not unusual, but in a valley of the second driest state in the nation?

Given the basics of climate the plant shouldn't be there. But when I took a closer look at where it was planted, there was a rain gutter drain right next to it. The melting water from the snow covered roof drained into the soil under the bleeding heart and was stored until the plant needed it.

I don't think you can store enough water for thirsty plant for a whole year from the roof. But you can make a big difference early on. And cut your total water bill.

All it takes is just a little planning ahead!

Friday, May 17, 2013

You are Killing Your Garden...

The sodium in these products makes them toxic for your garden.

About forty miles north of here is a desert where little to no life can grown and even the weeds are overcome by toxic chemicals in the soil. If you scratch the white surface of the soil you will find a black goo that binds water to the soil in such a way that the water it contains can not be used by plants or even evaporated. The most surprising thing about this desert is that hundreds of home gardeners are trying to create the same landscape in their own back yards.

The desert is the Utah Salt Flats and the chemical that makes it toxic is sodium. You if you remember high school chemistry you know that sodium is contained in table salt and baking soda. And that is where the gardens come in.

There are now many recipes for weed and bug killers that contain one or both of these common substances. Home owner's look at either of these chemicals on their kitchen shelf and say, "These are familier and don't hurt me. They must be safe for my garden." And they are right about how safe they are in the kitchen. But they were meant for the kitchen and not the garden.

So do your garden and plants a favor, if you absolutely think you need to use a chemical, use one that is made for the job. And, that will break down into something that won't kill your entire garden.