Using the clothes line is going pretty well. I use a quarter cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle of the wash as a fabric softener. It really makes a difference. The clothes dry quickly in this dry Texas air and the dryer heat doesn’t wreak havoc on my clothes. Best of all, I don’t have to worry about those “hang dry” clothes being accidentally dried in the dryer. There’s also some therapeutic in those moments outside hanging the clothes on the line.
I’ve also started switching over to greener cleaning products. I’m using up the store brands that I have on hand and then recycling the bottles for my homemade green products. Most of the recipes are pretty simple and use only a handful of ingredients. It’s cheaper in the long run (a gallon of vinegar and a big box of baking soda goes a long way, is far better for our health and the environment than the bottles chemical cleaning agents and costs less than commercial “green” cleaning solutions). There are plenty of recipes on various environmental friendly sites on the internet to try out.
Even though we are in the midst of a very unpleasant drought, I am thinking about the garden I want to plant. I would love to have a yard filled with fruit and vegetable bearing plants. Since there isn’t an established garden plot or flower/herb beds in our yard, I can use this unplantable time to prepare the areas and the soils. We have a location on the north side of the yard that receives plenty of sunlight and has a fairly decent slop toward the center of the yard. With a little work, we can put in a couple of raised terraces for the main garden. I also have some flower beds on the east side and west side of the house that I’d like to fill with Texas hardy plants, flowers and herbs. In the front yard, I’d like to xeriscape as much as possible, installing rock pathways and gardens and replace the current plants with more Texas hardy plants and cacti.
Today, Jon and I visited a local store that specializes in organic garden products including compost, mulch, soil blends, fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and soil amendments. Of course, going green in gardening means not polluting the environment with artificial fertilizers and synthetic toxic pesticides. I think this store has become a new favorite. Organic gardening (and any gardening, I guess) does mean learning, experimenting, trying, failing, assessing, trying again. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of trying again, but that’s part of the fun, right?