Cheryl Caldwell - William Raveis - The Dolores Person Group



Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 1/5/2018

If you keep a garden but find yourself throwing away leftover food, you're probably missing out on the opportunity to reclaim the nutrients of that food through composting. When you compost, you're essentially speeding up nature's process of breaking down organic matter into fertile soil. The compost can then be used to nourish the soil of your garden or lawn. Today you'll learn how to make a compost bin, mix the compost, and then spread it into your lawn and garden so you can make the most of the extra waste you have at home.

Making a compost bin

There are endless ways to make a compost bin. In fact, a bin isn't even necessary to make good compost, and some people choose to just keep a pile that they turn throughout the year. Making a bin has many advantages, however: it keeps the compost pile warm and moist (two essential elements that speed up decomposition), it keeps pests out of your compost, and it keeps your neighbors happy who might not want to smell decomposing food when they go outside. Compost bins are commonly made from wood, chicken wire or plastic. Some towns even subsidize compost bins to encourage people to compost rather than throwing their compostable waste in the trash. Old wooden pallets are a great product to build compost bins from.

Adding compost to your bin

People who are new to composting often worry about what can be composted. Once you get started, though, you'll soon realize that almost any organic matter will break down in a compost bin. Beginners often stick to vegetables, coffee grounds, grains, and materials from your yard. Greens and Browns Compostable materials are often broken down into greens (nitrogen-based materials) and browns (carbon-based materials). Your compost bin doesn't need a perfect balance to be effective, but using some of each type of organic matter will produce the best results. Too much brown matter in your bin will be hard to decompose. Too much green matter will make the compost slimy. Here are some examples of great carbon and nitrogenous materials to put in your bin: Brown:
  • dry leaves
  • straw
  • newspaper
  • sawdust
  • wood chips
Green:
  • fruits and vegetables
  • weeds from the yard
  • fresh grass clippings
  • flowers
  • coffee grounds

Maintaining the compost pile

To create a good environment for decomposition you'll need three things: heat, moisture, and air. This makes compost bins relatively low-maintenance, but here are some tips to speed up the decomposition process: Heat In the spring and summer, nature will provide this for you, but having an enclosed bin that receives plenty of sunlight will help you out. Moisture The bacteria that are doing the composting in your bin require water to live. But too much water will make your bin a slimy mess. Shoot for moist, not wet. Air A compost bin needs to be aerated to blend the ingredients together. You don't need to turn it often; once every two to three weeks is fine.   Now that you know all you need to about making great compost for the lawn and garden, it's just a matter of mixing it in and reaping the rewards. Mix compost into garden soil and lawns early in the spring and in the fall after harvest to keep the soil healthy year-round.





Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 5/26/2017

More areas are struggling with droughts today. Conserving water has become a necessity. Even if the area you live in isn’t drought-stricken, cutting back on water use has many benefits for you and the environment. You’ll have a lower utility bill for one. You’ll also help to conserve the most precious resource on the planet. There’s plenty of ways that you can conserve water. You’ll be happy that you implemented some of these tips into your daily routine. Small changes in your life can make a big impact on your water bill and the environment. 


Turn Off Water While You Brush Your Teeth Or Wash Your Hands


Did you know that water comes out of the faucet at an average of 2.5 gallons per minute? That’s quite a lot of water to waste while you’re merely brushing your teeth or washing your hands. Turn off the tap while you brush (you’re supposed to brush for 2 full minutes!) or scrub your hands. Think of how many gallons of water you’ll save over a week’s time if you shut the water off even for those few seconds! Water is a precious resource and we should use it wisely. 


Put A Bucket In The Shower


This sounds like kind of a crazy idea. You know how long it takes the shower to heat up every morning, and now you can save that water which normally heads down the drain. Place a bucket in the tub while the water heats up. You can use that water later for watering plant or keeping the lawn fresh. This way, nothing will go to waste! 


Take A Shorter Shower


We all love to hang out in the shower for a bit, but taking a shower is one of the biggest uses of water in our homes. A shower uses about 2.1 gallons of water per minute. That means the typical 8 minute shower consumes somewhere around 16 gallons of water. If you cut your showers by even one minute, you’d save 14 gallons of water a week! That’s nothing to sneeze at! 


Flush Less


You know the old saying, “If it’s yellow let it mellow.” Maybe this tip isn’t for everyone, but your toilet is the fixture that uses the most water in your home. Higher efficiency toilets use about 1.5 gallons per flush, but older toilets can use anywhere between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water per flush! Consider flushing the toilet a bit less for the sake of water conservation! 


Load The Dishwasher Fully


The dishwasher is a fantastic invention and a necessity in our homes. Every time you run the dishwasher, it uses between 4 and 6 gallons of water. When you run the machine, be sure that it’s full of dirty dishes to avoid putting it on too often. 





Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 3/4/2016

Everyone loves a green and gorgeous lawn. When it is time to either start or fix your lawn you have lots of decisions to make. One major option to consider is if you should choose seed or sod?  There are a few factors you will want to consider before making the choice. There are advantages and disadvantages to both seed and sod. Here are some of the advantages of grass seed: -less expensive than sod - installs much quicker -may be more viable option in shady areas -seed blends may be better for difficult to grow areas Here are some of the disadvantages of grass seed: -seed cannot be used immediately -requires attention while growing -can develop weeds and patchy bare areas -can be difficult to grow in areas where erosion is a problem -can only be planted at certain times of the year Here are some of the advantages of sod: -usable lawn much quicker -few if any weeds -no risk of erosion -wider range of appropriate planting times Here are some of the disadvantages of sod: -more expensive to buy and install -must be ordered through a local sod farm or professional landscaper -can be difficult to grow in very shady areas. Proper preparation and care is important whether you choose grass seed or sod. If you are unsure the best option for your yard consult a professional landscaper.  




Categories: Uncategorized  




Tags