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In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
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Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat.
It may be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can just forget about your garden in winter.
Keep all of your tools performing at their best.
For example, weeds can provide habitats for beneficial insects, pollen and nectar sources for bees and hummingbirds, prevent or reduce erosion and runoff, cultivate soil and some even provide a natural (and free) source of fertilizer. Even the ubiquitous dandelion is worthy of its place. Its cheery yellow flowers brighten up otherwise monotonous fields of green while providing a food source for pollinators. And it’s pretty darn tasty to humans as well since all parts of this plant, err…weed are edible.
Yet we’re a tidy bunch for the most part and at some point we decided weeds had no place in our landscapes. Decades ago, we decided it was better to eliminate certain types of ‘green vegetation’ that didn’t quite meet our standards for appropriate lawns or garden worthy plants. Collectively, we call them weeds, even when some are merely plants out of place, as defined by many.
Take clover for example. Ironically, until a few decades ago, grass seed came with clover mixed in because of its many desirable traits, including the ability of the roots to fix nitrogen in the soil. That gave the clover and the grass around it the nutrients needed to green up naturally.
Unfortunately, clover was reclassified from lawn-worthy to weed when it could not be selectively excluded when herbicides were applied to grass. Consider it a case of guilt by association or just hanging out with the wrong crowd. But no matter how you look at it, clover is now considered an undesirable thug, even though its flowers are a favorite source of pollen for bees, stays green all year, provides valuable nitrogen and organic material to the soil, and its hardiness is sufficient to crowd out more detrimental lawn weeds. But instead of growing it, we now spend millions of dollars and hours every year killing it. Did the clover change? No, we did.
In an effort to get and keep our beloved lawns looking green and lush, we carpet them with pre-emergent and post-emergement herbicides and multiple applications of fertilizers (which also provide nutrients to the very weeds we just tried to abolish). However, we all know, those weeds won’t be gone for long, no matter how hard we try.
Have you ever wondered if this never-ending battle we’re fighting is against the wrong enemy? Consider our war on weeds. Why are so many forces working against our desire to eliminate them permanently? Some weed seeds are viable for thousands of years. They’ll remain dormant below the soil surface, patiently waiting for just the right opportunity to spring to life. Others can travel thousands of miles by air or sea or even hitchhiking. Many pass through animals, gaining new ground and reclaiming old territory. Even global warming is empowering weeds to kick it up a notch. New studies show that increased levels of carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures are giving an increased potency to plants like poison ivy and allowing others (like kudzu) to spread more rapidly than ever before.
To be clear, exercising tolerance in gardens and landscapes is virtuous for dealing with pests of all types, especially weeds. As for me, although I still see weeds the way most of you view them, I am now content to allow them to coexist with the grass. I still spend hours each year manually extracting some, and do everything I can to naturally prevent their growth. But I’ve given up chemical herbicides years ago and I’m happy for the tradeoff.