Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting the garden ready by Shift Gears

Soil is never used in hydroponic growing. Some systems have the ability to support the growing plants, allowing the bare roots to have maximum exposure to the nutrient solution. In other systems, the roots are supported by a growing medium. Some types of media also aid in moisture and nutrient retention. Before growing your plants just read this article;

Time To Shift Gears
By Lill Hawkins

Even though there's still snow on the ground up here in the frozen North, many parts of the US are getting green and warm. Green is what I always think of when I think of spring, a soothing, natural color that spreads over lawns and through tree branches, covering the browns and grays and off-white winter colors and lifting our spirits. Even if you love winter, by the time it's gone on for several months, it's nice to see some fresh color in the landscape.

Hydroponics Guide

I don't know about you, but when the sun rises higher in the sky and birds start pairing off and waking me up at 4 in the morning, I just have to get outside. Even now, in mud season, when walking down the driveway to get the mail can mean losing a boot in a soft spot, I still try to get out every day and do something. Gardening is out until the ground thaws and then dries out, which may not be until the end of June this year, thanks to the almost-record snow we had.

Instead of getting the garden ready, the kids and I have made canals in the driveway to channel the water so that it wouldn't go under the garage door. Daughter was delighted to discover that her Fairy House, made of stones, bark, moss and seashells, made it through the winter and she spent a couple of afternoons refurbishing it for any fairies cold-blooded enough to brave the freezing nights.

Maybe, where you live, it's time to plant a garden or - if you live in the Deep South - even time to harvest your first vegetables. If so, I'm sure you're appreciating spring after supermarket tomatoes all winter. Even the hydroponic ones just don't have the taste of the sun in them, do they?

Perhaps where you live, the ground is still "too wet to plow" as the farmers say, but you're able to get out for your daily walk again, after the ice storms and slippery sidewalks of winter. So you're shifting into exercise and maybe your dog is too, if you're lucky enough to have a walking companion.

Many of us are joyfully ogling gardening catalogues and web sites and seeking out just a few new plants to add to the usual veggies and flowers. Maybe some ornamental grass would look nice next to the little pond we're going to put in near the deck, so we can watch the grass wave in the breeze while we sip our iced tea. (Of course, we'll make sure that it's environmentally appropriate grass for our area.)

We're opening windows to air out the rooms and the fresh air smell lingers even when we have to close them against the chill of afternoon. The furnace isn't running during the day and that really bucks us up when we consider the high price of fuel. Maybe this summer we'll actually save up enough to install those solar panels we can never seem to afford. (Can't afford the oil either, come to think of it, so why not go solar?)

We're all turning our faces to the sun, literally and figuratively, this time of year and it's good to feel its warmth again. Even in places where winter is just cool, not cold, the angle of the sun, the new plant growth and the babies that appear behind their parents flying, swimming, waddling, running and frolicking tell us that change is in the air. Change is in us too during this season.

If you're concerned about the environment, global warming and rising fuel prices, maybe spring is a good time to start doing something about it. Start small, if you like, by adopting the Three R's: Reducing consumption, Reusing instead of throwing away and Recycling everything possible. Just those three things makes an enormous difference to our planet.

From there, read more about going green on this site and others. There are directories that can steer you to information and resources that will help. Sign up for online newsletters. Find a local volunteer organization and get involved in environmental improvement projects. Have fun and make friends, while you do good.

Shifting gears. Moving into the promise of new beginnings. To me, that's the whole idea of spring. We get to start over again with new energy and new ideas. What better time is there to help Mother Nature than spring when she gives us a chance, once again, to save the Earth.

Looking for Natural, Organic and Green information? Find info, resources and products for your green lifestyle. Lill's List for everything that's good for you.

Make a Free Website with Yola.