Saturday, February 9, 2008

Organic Lawn Care: Part 1

One of the big things we wanted to do was transition our lawn to an all organic care lawn. Why? Because there is just something wrong with using chemicals that go directly into your soil and indirectly into our water. Why use a chemical that is bad enough that you are not supposed to walk on the grass for a day or two? Luckily enough, there are a lot of options now to keep an organic lawn looking great.

First we bought this excellent book, The Organic Lawn Care Manual. It explains a lot about specific programs depending on your grass and area of the country. It's first recommendation is that you get a soil sample analysis. All you need is something to dig into your soil, and a plastic bag for each area of your lawn. For $20 per sample, Texas A&M Soil Laboratory will analyze your soil chemicals and give information on organic matter in your lawn. If you don't want the organic composition, it's only $10. Take a trowel and get some dirt about 4-6 inches deep, take about 5 samples in each area and combine the soil in a baggie. Send it off and await the results. When we get them back, we'll explain what we will do with the results.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Modern House Numbers

We looked high and low for some good looking house numbers to put up. Neutra font numbers are pretty good looking, and are commonly used in Eichler houses. However, DWR wants $75 for EACH LETTER! So much for the whole Within Reach part of their name.

Lo and behold, I heard people talking online about some modern looking numbers you could find at Home Depot. For $7. Well that was an easy decision.

I figured I would throw something together that would make a pleasing, modern backdrop for the letters. Plus it would reduce the number of holes I'd have to make in the mortar. So while I was as Home Depot, I picked up a 11"x14" sheet of Lexan plastic. I used some 220 grit sandpaper on both sides only swiping in 1 direction. This not only makes the letters stand out, but it back lights the numbers very well when the porch light is on. For less than $50 total, I'd say it made a good difference. You can check out more picts at our Picasa page.