I hope everyone has been enjoying our Pacific Northwest summer! I have been a busy bee out in our yard; trimming, planting, digging. I love walking outside to the chicken coop in the mornings in flip-flops and getting some of the wetness of the grass on my feet. Little things like that make me happy. The temperature is getting up into the 90′s now and I’ve been out doing a rain dance (in my head, because it’s too hot outside). Where are those black clouds I was trying to wish away just a few months ago?! Okay, I’ll enjoy the heat while it’s here. Soon enough I’ll be wishing the clouds away again.
Today I have a few tips to share with you. I hope one (or all of them) can help you out in some way. Enjoy!
~ Killing weeds without harsh chemicals: Did you know that you can use regular ol’ white vinegar to kill weeds?! I have read of people adding a little table salt to the vinegar as well, but I have used plain vinegar myself and it does work. I just used an extra spray bottle I had on hand, but for a lot of weeds it would be beneficial to use a large pressure sprayer. I’ve found the pressurized sprayers range in cost from about $5.00 to $15.00. Keep in mind that vinegar will also kill your flowers, so don’t spray it too close to the plants you want to keep.
~ Make your garden unpleasant to mosquitos: By adding certain plants to your garden you can have mosquito-free summer nights. Mint, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Catnip and Marigold are lovely to us humans but offensive to mosquitos. For an extra punch of protection you can take some of the leaves off of your mint, rosemary, catnip and lemongrass, dry them and leave them open in small containers (mason jars!) around your patio and back porch. Marigold can be irritating to skin, so don’t bother messing with it’s leaves.
~ Do something uplifting to your space: Paint your front door a bold, beautiful color. Plant some pretty flowers around your mailbox. Update your house numbers. Hang new curtains in your kitchen. Small changes such as these are simple, inexpensive and can re-invigorate you in a space that previously felt lacking. Think of how much nicer it will be to pull bills out of your mailbox when you can look down at purple pansies and black-eyed Susans smiling back up at you!
~ Boost your vitamin D: We don’t need to (nor should we) try to replicate the color of a lobster, but giving your skin a little sunshine each day is really good for you. UVB rays from the sun allow your body to produce vitamin D, which is critical to good health. A lot of people have vitamin D levels that are too low, and a simple way to elevate your levels is to be out in the sun without any sunblock on. The amount of time you should remain in the sun depends on the individual. Someone with skin that burns quickly should spend only a few minutes a day in direct sunlight, whereas someone with naturally darker skin can tolerate direct sunlight for a little longer. There is a lot of research being conducted on the benefits of vitamin D. If you’re leery about being in the sun without sunblock you can instead take a supplement of vitamin D-3. Your doctor can check your levels with bloodwork and talk to you about an appropriate daily dose to take.
~ And one last tip that is always worth mentioning: Please don’t leave your pets (or kids!) inside a hot car. The temperature inside a vehicle can raise dramatically in a very short period of time, even with the windows cracked. If your dog stays outside in your yard please make sure they have clean, fresh water, and shade to lay in.