DIY

Two Weeks to a Greener Lawn

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

It’s the hottest month of the year and my lawn is brown and yucky!  Or at least it was until I decided to do something about it.  This is that patch of flat lawn in our backyard where the kids kick the soccer ball, play badminton, capture insects, and play with their friends, but it was getting prickly under their feet and becoming such an eyesore.  Our front lawn stays nice and healthy, but this one in the rear yard was looking really sad.

 

I went down to my local True Value to see what I could find in their garden department.  The store manager recommended ammonium sulfate for a quick fix to green it up again, applied in the evening after the hot sun fades and given a healthy watering to dissolve the granules.  Knowing little about lawn fertilizers, I took his advice.

I was surprised how quickly the lawn turned lush and green again, I had it in the back of my mind somehow that these things take a lot of time, but the ammonium sulfate was a great quick fix – here’s the result two weeks later.

  .

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

The Orchid Whisperer

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Wanna know something?  When it comes to indoor plants, I’ve never met an orchid I couldn’t kill.  It isn’t for lack of wanting to keep an orchid alive or an affection for the species.  In fact, I like to buy orchids from time to time and display them in my home, but truth is, I lack both the talent and patience to successfully care for them.  Yes that’s me, I fully admit I am an Orchid Killer.  I should start a new series called “things I suck at” because let me tell you “orchid grower” is super high on that list.

As we all know, orchids are so pretty displayed indoors – some designers label the mass produced Phalaenopsis as “ubiquitous” but I think all varieties are beautiful.  We acquired a few orchids earlier this year, and as with the two dozen other orchids I’ve ever purchased and owned over the course of my life, they look pretty for two weeks, the blooms fall off, and then the stem turns wooden and petrified, death results, and that’s the end of the story.

So here’s how things changed in our house and someone (not me) became The Orchid Whisperer.

Matt was on a real estate inspection a few months ago, and the woman who lived in the home he was appraising had an impressive collection of orchids that had rebloomed year after year.  Knowing his wife to be a notorious Orchid Killer, he inquired how he might take it upon himself to learn a few tricks – perhaps spare the lives of a few of the species – and asked this knowledgeable woman what really was the secret formula for orchids that rebloom?  And she spilled it.

So we he tested out these key pieces of advice over the course of the last few months, and hey guess what, they worked.

Exhibit A:  I brought home a moth Phalaenopsis orchid pictured here at my kids’ public school auction (mixed with curly willow) way back in early March and after the blooms fell off, I pretty much ignored it.  It sat there dormant, but Matt followed all the tips suggested, and look at it now, five months later.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Pin It
Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare