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.
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.
Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can make you really sick.
We want you to harvest rain, to save money as well as to use all the free soft rain water you can Using rain water can take a load off the shrinking drinking water supply in addition to a load off your wallet. Rain is free and should not be wasted.
Today our focus is on safety. As rain water harvesters, let's be mindful of the hazard mosquitoes can bring -- not just you and your family but also nearby people and pets. Mosquitoes carry an increasing number of nasty diseases, so let's look at how to harvest rain while eliminating mosquito habitat.
New Orleans has actively and successfully battled mosquitoes for 50 years with a 2 million dollar budget and a highly effective team. So let's take a look at what works. New Orleans' new 50-page Zika Control Plan focuses first on eliminating habitat needed to grow more mosquitoes. You may have heard that the most dangerous mosquitoes can reproduce in water-holding containers as small as a bottle cap, and take only a week to hatch. Yep. That means we have a really good reason to clean up thoroughly, and to clean up everywhere, every week.
Other "small containers" mentioned by New Orleans Entomologist Sarah Michaels: "Pet food bowls, cans and glasses, the lids on ice chests and even the cup holders on the top of ice chests."
She said property owners should follow the same routine the city workers use when making regular neighborhood inspections:
Welcome to Rain Barrels Iowa. Harvesting the rain is a wonderful way to save money, conserve a valuable resource, and live more sustainably. Here we can exchange tips and discuss how to improve our rain harvest practices, tools, and learn what works best!
Now is the time of year to be getting your dreaming and planning done. Lay out your beds, order seeds, determine where to put a rain barrel or three, clean tools you forgot about last fall and generally get in the mood for winter to be finished, if you're not already there. Feel free to contact us anytime now with questions you may have. Spring really is getting closer.