Archive for the ‘Landscaping’ Category

Making your own mulch from recycled yard waste, etc.

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, July 8, 2017

Today’s Daily Inter Lake featured an article, How do  you make your own mulch? by Paul Pogue for Angie’s list (1). He breaks it down to 5 steps:

  1. Choose your mulch source from: leaves, pine or fir needles, yard clippings, bark, and branches or other wood trimmings, straw, shredded newspaper, and compost. pay attention to the season: B yard trimmings and compost are excellent for summer mulch; bark is especially nutrient-rich, and along with pine needles and straw are best for winter. pCat’s note: I save the composted fir needles from my gutters to mulch my raspberry bed; raspberries like a slightly acidic soil and fir needles are acidic.]
  2. Collect your materials into piles; if using a compost pile, maintain it by keeping it relatively moist. He also advises turning it regularly, but that is a highly debated issue. When it’s ready, it should be humbly and dark brown with an earthy odor. [Cat’s note: See my 2009 posting: What makes your compost tick?]
  3. Convert the materials: use your lawnmower to cut up a pile of leaves; use a small wood chipper to turn bark, branches and other wood trimmings into tiny pieces.[Cat’s note: shred newspapers with your paper shredder, or tear them into shreds manually.]
  4. Prepare the ground: remove old mulch to your compost pile. Weed the area carefully (mulch will help existing weeds to grow – just what you don’t want).
  5. Spread the mulch: generally about 2″ thick works well. Even it out with a rake, leaving a small ‘well’ of shallower mulch around the base of plants.

Read on for more about mulching. (more…)

Help protect wildlife and their habitat – in your yard and community

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Soapberry Shrub

By Catherine Haug, June 14, 1017 (Photo, right, of a native shrub in my yard, is by Catherine)

We all love our wildlife, and there are lots of things you can do to help protect them, right in your yard. The following recommendations come from the Wildlife Land Trust (1) [with comments by me or other members of our team in square brackets]. Note that some of the recommendations also help you, like bat houses.

In your home and yard:

  • Seek humane solutions when a conflict arises with wildlife in your home or yard.
  • Support migratory birds and other wildlife by replacing unused areas of lawn with native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses that provide food and cover. [This is especially important if your ‘yard’ covers more than a couple acres. For more about Montana Native trees and other plants, the Montana Native Plant Society (2), Montana NativePlants for Pollinator-Friendly Plantings (3), Native Yards (4)].
  • [Don’t feed deer, but plant some native shrubs that deer like to graze].
  • Maintain a birdbath with clean, fresh water to help your backyard birds and migrating birds needing a rest stop.
  • Install bat houses — happy bats, fewer bugs! [See National Wildlife Federation for how to build your own bat house (5)].

Read on for more recommendations.

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A healthy – and healthful – garden/landscape

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Veggie Landscape Garden

By Catherine Haug, Jan 21, 2017 (photo, right, from Mercola (2))

I am viewing the online docu-series: The Truth About Cancer, by Ty Bollinger, and I’m picking up on a few of garden/landscape tips that yield healthy plants and a healthier you when you eat them.

One of the things I’ve learned from this series is that cancer cells have more insulin receptors (that initiate take-up of sugar from the blood) than normal cells, and that cancer cells get their energy (life) from only two sources: sugar and glutamine (amino acid). So if you want to protect yourself from cancer or slow tumor growth, avoid sugar.

However, that doesn’t mean to avoid whole-food sources of sugar such as fruits and vegetables, because in whole-food form, the sugar is part of a larger matrix of fiber, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals that protect you. (Caveat #1: fruit juices don’t provide this protection because the matrix is broken, so eat your fruits whole; caveat #2: those fruits and veggies should be organically grown for maximum benefit).

But I digress. The purpose of this posting is to collect gardening and landscaping tips. I will update this posting as I learn more. (more…)

Trees make a big difference in home heating/cooling costs

Monday, May 4th, 2015
Willow shade trees, Bayside Cabins in Bigfork

Willow shade trees, Bayside Cabins in Bigfork

By Catherine Haug, May, 2015, in honor of Arbor Day (Photo, right, by C. Haug)

Here in the green Flathead, we perhaps take our trees for granted, and forget that they provide many other benefits besides beauty. Here’s just a short list:

  • Shade;
  • Windbreak;
  • Carbon sink (store carbon in the ground rather than as particulates and CO2 in the air);
  • Ground water filter;
  • Erosion prevention;
  • Food (as fruit, nuts); and
  • Medicine.

Trees for shade and windbreaks is the topic of this posting. (more…)

2014: International Year of Family Farming (& Gardening)

Monday, April 7th, 2014
Veggie Landscape Garden

Veggie Landscape Garden

by Catherine Haug, April 2014 (Photo, right, from Mercola: Who Knew Vegetable Gardens Could Be So Revolutionary?)

Did you know the UN has designated this year, 2014, and the International Year of Family Farming, to bring attention and recognition to the family farmers that are helping to nourish the world? This includes all of us who have gardens in our front or back yards.

Read on for:

  • You can garden ‘even if’;
  • Food for your garden

(more…)

Gathering Notice: Getting More out of your Garden, Farm and Homestead through Permaculture Techniques with Kelly Ware, April 17 2014

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

by Catherine Haug, April 2, 2014

ESP and BERT (Bigfork Emergency Resource Team) are co-hosting this event:

  • What: Getting more out of your garden, Farm and Homestead Through Permaculture Techniques, with Kelly Ware; hosted by Essential Stuff Project (ESP) and Bigfork Emergency Resource Team (BERT)
  • When: Thursday evening, April 17, 2014, 7 – 8 PM
  • Where: Bigfork Middle School Cafeteria (600 Commerce St, Bigfork MT)
  • Who: Free and open to the public; no preregistration required.
  • Contact: Catherine at 837-4577 (Cat@essentialstuff.org), or Bruce at 837-0923

Additional Information: read on for more info about the event, and a link to a flyer.. (more…)