Handheld seed spreaders are great for small yards!
Step 5: Once your seed is spread you need to cover it with steer manure. Using your hands (you will want a lot of soap and a hot shower after this step) or a shovel spread a thin layer over your yard covering the seed.
Step 6: Water your lawn 5 times a day for 5 minutes. After about 2 weeks you can cut back on the water and enjoy your soft winter lawn. Right now we water for five minutes once a day, three times a week and everything is looking fresh and green. All in all, while it took a little work and a lot of water, leveling our lawn has been one of our favorite home improvements so far–it’s is so gratifying to have soft grass to walk on in the cool weather!
With Arizona fall planting in full swing you can still get your garden up and running! In the past we have always had to grow our veggies in pots on a patio with poor results so this year we decided to build a raised planter bed instead.
There are many advantages to building and growing in a raised bed: it makes it easier to control water drainage, you can customize your soil content, it is space efficient, and you can utilize square foot gardening methods to produce a consistent harvest.
Building a raised bed is easy and can be extremely inexpensive. We adapted the plans provided by Ana White; you can find them HERE.
A few suggestions:
- Always use UNTREATED wood when building raised beds for vegetables/fruits, otherwise the wood can leach chemicals into your food.
- If you don’t have a saw at home most home improvement stores will make up to five cuts for you on their saw. I’ve had them make twice that many cuts without charging me so it never hurts to ask if they can help you.
- Don’t buy compost and soil at the big box stores! We went to our local gravel company to buy a little fill dirt and found out they also sell compost and sandy loam (this is what we ended up buying) and it is a fraction of the cost of the bagged stuff you buy at Home Depot. We bought enough for our whole garden for about $20. If you are in Arizona, look up your localPioneer Landscaping Materials*; this is where we went and we were very happy with the service.
- You can make a smaller version of this bed and by adding a bottom made of the same rot-resistant planks and lining the entire box with landscaping plastic, this could easily be adapted for apartment living. Adding casters to the base would make it easy to move around. Just make sure you get sufficient light for the plants you want to grow.