Going Organic? How To Plant Your Own Vegetable Garden

Going Organic? How To Plant Your Own Vegetable GardenThere has been a lot of talk in the past few years about going organic. It has become increasingly clear that pesticides and some chemical fertilizers are really not good for us or the environment! When you visit your grocery store, you are likely to find an entire section dedicated to organic foods. There are even grocery stores that only sell organic foods and fresh produce. You will also discover the prices tend to be much higher for organic items than the standard fare. You don’t have to pay high prices to enjoy organic vegetables. You can grow your own in your backyard garden. You will find everything you need to get your organic garden started at Greenwood Hardware.

What You Will Need

Organic gardening is not much different than traditional gardening. The main difference is the lack of chemicals. You still want your garden to grow, and you still want to eliminate as many pests and weeds as possible. The following list includes everything you need to get started with organic gardening.

  • Organic compost—this will act as a natural fertilizer for your plants and soil
  • Organic pest control options—there are many!
  • Organic seeds—you want to give your organic garden the proper start
  • Organic plant starts—if you don’t want to wait for seeds, go for plant starts
  • Mulch
  • Ingredients for natural weed killer (vinegar, soap)

Getting Started

Use a hoe, rake or tiller to work the compost into the ground. You want to give the compost some time to work its magic in your soil. After you have worked the compost in, thoroughly water the area for a few days. It is helpful to use an organic pest control method at this point. You want to make sure your soil is pest-free before you start planting.

Plant your seeds or plant starts in the garden. It is a good idea to add mulch around starts to help the roots maintain the moisture and reduce the amount of watering you need. Mulch can also cut down on the weed population. With an organic garden, you don’t want to use any chemical weed killer.

Growing and Harvesting

Once your plants are in, you will want to visit your garden daily. Physically remove any pests you see on your plants and pull weeds before they have a chance to really take off. Organic gardening does require a little more hands-on labor, but it is well worth it. Organic produce tends to taste much better than the stuff that has been sprayed with various chemicals.

You will find everything you need to get your organic garden off to a good start at Greenwood Hardware. Once you have tried organic gardening, you will never want to go back to spraying your soil with chemicals. Do something good for yourself and the environment—go organic! Come on in, or contact us today.

10 Ways to Conserve Water Inside and Outside Your Seattle Home

10 Ways to Conserve Water Inside and Outside Your Seattle HomeWith all the talk about drought lately, it is understandable and quite prudent that water conservation be discussed. We can all do a little something to help conserve one of the most precious resources we have—water. Every single person can participate in water conservation, without going to extremes. Greenwood Hardware cares about our local community and the beautiful environment we are all lucky to live in. The following tips can help you conserve water, inside and out.

  1. Use an egg timer and time your showers. Set a goal to shave off at least 2 minutes from your shower time. Ideally, you should be under 10 minutes.
  2. Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth.
  3. Only wash full loads of laundry in the wash. Investing in high-efficiency washers can also reduce the amount of water you use.
  4. Use mulch around your plants outdoors to help keep the ground moist, lessening the water you need to keep your plants green.
  5. Only water your lawn in the early morning and late night hours to prevent the water from evaporating in the heat of the sun.
  6. Use a timer when you are watering the lawn. These are easily attached at the faucet and will ensure you don’t waste water when you forget about it.
  7. Take care of any leaky faucets. A steadily dripping faucet adds up to several gallons of water wasted.
  8. Install a water-saving shower head to reduce the amount of water you use in the shower.
  9. Fill a pitcher of water and put it in the fridge, so you don’t have to let the water run when you want a cold glass of tap water.
  10.  When you need to wash your car, fill a bucket and wash the car. Only use the hose to quickly rinse the car off.

These ten, quick and easy ways to conserve water will help you save several gallons of water every single day. Imagine 100 people saving 5 gallons of water a day. It adds up! Head into Greenwood Hardware to pick up what you need to meet your own water conservation goals. Come on in, or contact us today.

Four Common Pacific Northwest Garden Problems and How to Fix Them

Four Common Pacific Northwest Garden Problems and How to Fix ThemIf you have gotten your garden in and are patiently waiting for your plants to sprout or bloom, you are like so many others of us in the Pacific Northwest. This is the time of year many of us cherish! We get to work in the garden with dreams of harvesting fruits and veggies in a few short months. Serving your family a meal with items you have grown yourself is exciting. Unfortunately, some gardens are not quite as prolific as we all hope. Our team at Greenwood Hardware understands your frustration and has some pointers on dealing with some of the most common garden problems in the Pacific Northwest.

  1. Soil isn’t draining properly. Soil that is saturated and not draining can breed disease and something known as root rot. You can opt to build a raised garden bed or fill the area with lots of organic matter (compost) to improve the quality of the soil.
  2. Slugs and aphids are destroying your plants. There are plenty of remedies to eliminate these garden pests. You can try earth-friendly options or some old-fashioned options. Ladybugs feed on aphids. You can buy ladybugs or plant flowers that attract the little beauties. Filling an old lid with beer or salt water and placing it in an area where slugs tend to be will attract them and ultimately kill them.
  3. Short growing season. The Seattle area isn’t known for its long, hot growing season. It is best to stick with plants that love the cool weather and will thrive. Things like peas, garlic, potatoes, lettuce, onions and cherry tomatoes will all do well in your garden.
  4. Rain damages fragile plant starts. Consider using a row cover on days when you know there is going to be a lot of rain. Sometimes the strength of the rain can pound your sprouts and kill them. Giving them a little protection is pretty easy and will save you a lot of aggravation.

You can circumvent the short growing season by starting plants indoors at least six weeks before the last frost date. The last frost date tends to be in early May. You can also do yourself a favor and buy plant starts from reputable nurseries and sellers to ensure your plants have plenty of time to grow. Head into Greenwood Hardware and pick up the things you need to control pests, fix your soil or even start some of your own plants inside a sunny window. Come on in, or contact us today.

5 Tasks to Do This Spring and Summer to Renew Your Yard and Home

5 Tasks to Do This Spring and Summer to Renew Your Yard and HomeOur recent beautiful weather (don’t worry, it’s coming back as of tomorrow!) has probably driven you outdoors and into your yard. As you look around your yard, you have probably noticed it could use a little update to get it ready for another season of summer fun outdoors. No matter if you are completely overhauling the yard or just adding some new flowers and tidying up, you will find what you need at Greenwood Hardware.

Check out some of the tasks you can do around your home and yard to make it ready for another summer:

Pavers

If you have pavers in place, you may have some cracked stones or possibly missing stone. Replacing the pavers is an option and can help revamp the look of your pathway. You could also pour some paving sand onto the stone and use a brush to push it into the cracks to make it look new again. The additional sand will also reduce weed growth that tends to pop up between the stones.

Hoses

It is time to hook up your hoses and turn on the water for the first time this season. Spend a few minutes inspecting your hoses and repairing any ends that may be bent or have missing washers. The connectors are fairly inexpensive and can make your hose like new again for just a couple of dollars. Tighten down any faucets that may be loose to prevent water from leaking from around the spigot.

Refinish the Deck

Adding a fresh coat of stain or wood sealer to your deck can make it look new while protecting it from the spring rains. The job is fairly easy and can be done in a single weekend. You will be amazed at the transformation. While you are adding new stain, check for any wood that needs to be repaired or nails that are popping up.

Screens

With the warmer air, it is time to open the windows and let the fresh air in, but you don’t want the bugs! Check your screens to make sure there are no holes. If there are, a rescreening kit is available and is fairly simple to do. If your screens are in good shape, use a hose to spray them off and put them back in place.

Window Seams

Inspect the seals around your windows. If you notice any cracks in the seam, use a caulking gun to fill in the area. This will prevent cool air from leaking outside when you are running your air conditioner. There are different colors of caulk that can be used to match your exterior.

Taking care of these minor details will make your home look and feel fresh and new! You will know you are not wasting money on water leaking out of a leaky spigot or your cool air rushing outside. Head into Greenwood Hardware and pick up the tools you need to fix up your yard and home this spring and summer. Come on in, or contact us today.