Hard to believe we are already halfway through April. People are out planting early cool weather crops and yards are looking healthy. Please keep the environment in mind as you care for your lawn this season, it's not just farmers who are adding harmful chemicals to our water systems. Be careful to not over-fertilize or use more herbicide and insecticide that you absolutely need. Sweep up any pellets on concrete to use next time; if spraying chemicals keep close the ground to avoid drift onto things that will be harmed, like your neighbors' plants; set your sprinklers on low so that water has time to soak in and make sure the water is hitting the grass and not the sidewalks and streets. And see your county Soil & Water Conservation District - they have powerful information that will save you money! You may learn to adore native plants with deep roots and rich flowers, as we have, instead of non-native turf grass. Mow less, grow more food & beauty.
If you are harvesting water, don't forget to clean out your gutters before harvesting. Allow the first rains to help clean out the dirt and residue from the winter, the rain this past weekend was a great one for flushing things out. Having algae problems? Put a piece of silver (spoon, fork...) in the barrel. I have had "how it works" explained twice but if you want to know, ask a chemistry teacher!
As you read this realize I'm still trying to figure this blog thing out. What do you want to know about, besides the rambling of an easily distractable gardener? I'm not an expert but we could easliy make this a dialogue, so sound forth and suggest.
Joel Gettys is the co-founder of Rain Barrels Iowa. He is our resident gardener, product designer, chief of installation at our Rain Barrels Iowa store.