Having a lush, thick green lawn requires watering it from time to time. But that can also lead to outrageous water bills. So, managing that bill becomes a priority for most homeowners.
In the U.S., we use more than 7 billion gallons of water a day for landscape irrigation. The best way to control that is reduce the need for water.
To do that, cover the topsoil with 3 to 5 inches of mulch to help prevent evaporation and retain moisture around the roots of the plants. Mulch also chokes weeds that can threaten plants.
Next, when you mow your lawn, raise the blades. Shorter grass requires much more watering.
While you’re at it, use a mulching mower to redistribute the grass clippings to the lawn, which slows evaporation and saves mowing time.
Also, don’t apply fertilizer when the weather is really hot and dry. In these conditions, fertilizer will aggravate the issues associated with drought and stress your plants.
Finally, when you add new plants, choose those that are native to your region because they require less watering.
Nontoxic Ant Trap — Here’s a safe, non-toxic way to get rid of ants. Get a small plastic tub with a lid, like an empty sour cream or cream cheese container. Drill four evenly spaced 3/16-inch-diameter holes through the sides of the tub, about ½ inch up from the bottom.
Next, in a small bowl mix three teaspoons of sugar, one teaspoon of borax, and ¼ cup of warm water. Mix well to dissolve sugar. Put a piece of bread (or waffle) into the bottom of the tub.
Pour into the tub enough of the sugar/borax water to completely soak the bread. Snap on the lid and set the tub wherever you see ants. The trap will start attracting ants within a day or so.
The ants will eat the borax-soaked bread, and carry bits of it back to the colony to feed other ants, where it will kill the ants. Check the tub every couple of days, adding more sugar/borax water, and bread, as needed.
Tub-Stain Remover — Mix equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Let sit for a half-hour, then rinse with water. This is great for removing stains from tubs, sinks and toilets.