Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grass Grows from Grass Seed

Hello everyone,

How's the weather where you are? We've been having a lot of rain lately, here in London, Ontario. Not so much as caused floods in Manitoba, for which I'm grateful! I've been noticing that even though it's rainy and cooler than normal most everything outside is growing. The pear tree went through its bloom period. The apple trees and crab apple are just about done bloom. Oregano, coreopsis, anthemis, yarrow, kale, comfrey, catmint and catnip, peppermint, lavenders, and maral root are all growing at a great rate.

And the grass is growing, alongside the dandelions, spurge, soapwort and heal-all.

Dandelions! I've heard a lot of complaints about dandelions lately, as in "see what happens when you stop using pesticides ... there's nothing but dandelions."

Well, I'll admit that there are more dandelions on home and business and waste areas, but it's because when people were told they couldn't use pesticides - the easy way out - people were too lazy to take the dandelions out. Neither did they aerate their lawns, put down compost and scatter grass seed. Even people who pay money to the lawn control companies seem to be paying for a package of services that doesn't include putting down grass seed to get more grass. I know this because I watch dozens of locations on my way to work, including one property just across the street from me (and where, when asked, I advised them years ago about how to have a durable lawn with a high percentage of turf grass). But there's not been any grass seed put in in the last three years.

And what it comes down to is that to get grass you have to put down grass seed. Grass grows from grass seed. Most lawns get mowed before the grass naturally goes to seed, so you have to add grass seed to get more grass. Can I be clearer?

Grass grows from grass seed. Only grass seed.

Grass grows from grass seed that has been put into a soil that is ready for it:

- Remove weeds to remove weed seeds, and to give growing room to new grass roots - ‘Soften’ the soil by aeration, hard raking, and/or adding compost

Grass grows from grass seed, in soil that is ready for it, and that is watered properly during the [up to] three week germination time of the grass seeds and for 6-8 weeks of early root development.

Think of the amount of grass that could have grown this rainy season if people had followed that simple advice above!

Why's Woman's 4-L Philosophy says that taking care of your garden requires four actions:

- Learn about the plants you want to grow and how to make healthy soil

- Look around at your plants and soil - observe the plants. Look at your own desires for a garden, and look at the time you have for gardening.

- Labour. Yes, you have to do some work.

- Love. Love your plants, yourself, your loved ones' health, the planet. Love the dandelions as well as the grass.

The most useful book I’ve run across is by Paul Tukey. The Organic Lawn Care Manual: a natural, low-maintenance system for a beautiful, safe lawn. Storey Publishing, 2007. Website: www.safelawns.org [even has videos!] For sale at Lee Valley Tools and book stores [10 copies in London Public Library system: 635.9647 Tuk]

Tomorrow I'll post 10 lawn care tips.

For now, thanks for letting me let off a bit of steam. Turf grass lawns are not simple things. I get tired of listening to people complain, ask my advice and then just want short cuts (oh geez! that's almost punny!)

Night Night!

Why's Woman

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I can change the world - so can you

Hello ... how are you all this late evening?

I have begun re-reading Elizabeth May's book How to Change the World in Your Spare Time. Her encouraging idea, right off the top, is that one person does have the ability to change the world. You may not have started out with a plan, but once you've changed the world you're likely to discover that there were some things you did.

From How to Save the World in Your Spare Time, Ch. 1 - Democracy 101

"There is really no mystery to 'fighting city hall.' ... organizing for change is about putting a case together, getting the word out, persuading the public that your cause has merit and finding ways to translate that public support into pressure on governments."

Elizabeth gives a personal anecdote, telling how her parents began the Connecticut Committee for a Sane Nuclear policy, and ended up working with American and international peace activists.

Her "Lessons Learned at My Mother's Knee"

1. My grandmother always said, "Thought without constructive action is demoralizing."

2. Your can accomplish anything you want if you don't care who gets the credit.

3. Thee is no one so famous or important that you cannot pick up the phone and talk to them. Even famous people need baths.

4. Media coverage is fickle.

5. Sometimes governments lie.

6. No one is powerless without their own permission.

7. Be polite.

8. Thank people for helping.

9 . Changing the world is only matter of time (if you have enough people on your side. Getting them on your side is what takes time!).

10. My mommy changed the world. So can I.

and now the internet goes off for the night, and so do I ... very best to all

Why's Woman

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Votes cast - the real numbers

Hello everyone,

Sorry, but I'm still fixed on the numbers from Monday's election.

According to Wednesday's Toronto Star, only 61.4% of eligible voters voted.

23,971,740 people were eligible to vote.

14,720,580 people voted.

9,257,160 people didn't vote.

Of the 14,720,580 who voted, 39.6% voted Conservative. That's 5,829,350 people.

That means that from those who voted, 61.4% voted other than Conservative.

But, if we take the 5,829,350 people who voted as a percentage of the total number of elilgible voters....

only 24.318% of people voted Conservative.

What? Oh .... sorry, was I shouting?

I may not be quite ready for blogging yet.

Best regards to all anyway.

Why's Woman

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Congratulations Elizabeth May

Congratulations Elizabeth May!

Your hard work and breadth of thinking are always a good example to me. Your ability to bring together complicated ideas into something understandable helps me understand things.

You'll have to find a new balance between riding duties and Ottawa duties and being head of the Green Party of Canada. From hearing you speak, I know that you'll find your way to this, helped by your spiritual faith and by your Canadian and worldwide connections with people who are trying to save the world.

With the change in Canada's dominant government party structure, I need your good example right now. I hope you won't mind if I lean a bit on you while I work through being totally stunned, to developing my own new balance. I need to work on the spiritual part. I need to work on the connections part.

So ... giving my head its first shake ... all the Green supporters are still across Canada, and will continue working. And the NDP is official opposition party; I look upon that as a positive. I think there are probably people like myself all across Canada who will try to pay closer attention to federal politics than they have in the past.

And your book "How to Save the World in Your Spare Time" is moving from the shelf by my computer to my hand to be reread immediately ... so I can clarify what's to be done, and prepare for the victory party.

Thanks Elizabeth. Congratulations.

Best wishes,

Why's Woman