Spring Preparation

Dateline: April 1, 2011*

I headed out to my local big-box store yesterday to lay in supplies for the spring season.

I grabbed one of those dolly carts rather than a regular shopping cart so I had enough room for the spreader and other items on my list. I loaded up granular weed killer and the largest bag of 30-10-10 lawn fertilizer that I could find to put in that spreader. The new concentrate of bug killer that attaches to a hose so it can easily be sprayed for great distances and coverage has a good shelf life, so I bought several. I found that there are also fertilizers that come in similar spray form so I added a few of them and a new hose so I can be sure to reach down around my pond area. I am so grateful that you no longer have to mix and pour. Spray and go is quite a handy feature. I got an automatic pump spray of the grass and weed killer to keep the driveway tidy. How cool are these new items?

I headed to the plant section and was awed by the light purple color of Mexican petunias and the fact that they grow and fill in so quickly so I picked up ten 1-gallon containers to cover a blank area of my garden. The Nandina looked so pretty and I’m sure the birds will be thrilled with the berries, so I got five 3-gallon containers to start an informal hedge.

I had a choice of mulches, but I love that pretty red color and since it is the cheapest choice, 20 bags of cypress mulch was carefully squeezed in my small SUV.

Then, I headed home to get started on making my yard beautiful.

April Fool!

If you care about life and the environment, never buy or use what I have listed above. There is rarely a reason to need chemicals in your yard. Consider making compost for your fertilizer needs, avoiding monocultures and providing a balanced habitat so that nature can do the work for you. Don’t rely on the store when it comes to plants…check the plant’s scientific name to ensure that it is not invasive to your area. Avoid exotics that don’t belong in the habitat you are blessed with. Concentrate on working with nature rather than trying to conform to what the purveyors of garden chemicals “think” your landscape should look like. Don’t conform just because that’s what plants are offered at discount nurseries…take the high road and buy quality native plants from a native plant nursery. For your mulching needs, use recycled yard wastes or mulch made from removal of invasive melaleuca or bags from sustainable sources such as pine straw.

Don’t be fooled by the chemical companies who tout unnecessary elements of garden care. They are in business to make money. And we here at Wildlife Garden have no motivation other than trying to promote and protect wildlife for our future generations by offering conversation from our own experiences in providing natural habitat for God’s creatures.

*This tale was originally published by Loret T. Setters on April 1, 2011 at the defunct national blog beautifulwildlifegarden[dot]com. Click the date to view reader comments.

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