The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Advent Services - 7 PM Central Time in December.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Garden Equipment for the Creation Gardener

A patch of feverfew will harbor beneficial bugs,
which are the free alternative to insecticides.

Garden Equipment

          I am going to assume starting with lawn, so people can adjust accordingly. These items do not need to be bought all at once, and some will be best bought at the end of the season, when the clearance prices come out.

Soaker hose and faucet splitters
          Soaker hoses are the best to use for watering the garden. A faucet can be split three or four ways, with a valve for each one, for very little. This way the left side can be soaked for a time, then the right side. Depending on water pressure, both could be running. I take my hoses out 100 feet, and they do not deliver water past that point. A slow soak is the best way to use water, but standing there and spraying the plants is also good. I normally give my roses a good bath and shower once a week, and the crepe myrtle bush gets the same treatment.

Toad Pans Under the Soaker Hose
          Creation gardeners plan for all the beneficial effects of their decisions. Toads are harmless to everything except pests, which they devour by the thousands each summer. They hydrate by sitting in shallow pools and rest and feed under logs places on the soil.

          Shallow ceramic pans, often used under flower pots, are ideal as toad pans under the soaker hoses or any other source of water. No one wants to have mosquito farms, so the pans should be washed or dumped out regularly.

Bird and Creature Baths
          A bird bath is going to cost $100 and up, but a children’s swimming pool can cost $10, or as little as $3 at the end of the season. Birds and other creatures need shallow water, so I cut down the swimming pool walls to encourage everyone to use the ones I have in the backyard. A cement bird bath cost me $7 at the end of the season at Walmart, and I could have used more than one.

          Some shallow bowls are also good bird baths. If possible a source above the bath should drip into it. Once I used brand new darkroom bottles with the valves slightly open. Now I am using the roof to feed the birdbath and drip onto it. Birds memorize water locations and all creatures listen for that enchanting dripping sound.

          I imitate that dripping by elevating the soaker hose on one fence, so it waters the vines, the plants below, serving as a sprayer for the humming birds, who like to get sprays and tiny amounts of water.

Basic Gardening Tools
One plastic leaf rake and one metal tine rake are enough for most tasks. I have a small digging tool for bulbs and a pointed shovel for digging roses in.
Some pruning tools are:

·       A tree saw, with large, sharp teeth, for cutting small branches and weedy bushes.
·       Pruning shears with a scissors edge – they are going to cut rose branches and roses better than the anvil-headed shears.

·       Various cutting tools that seem good on the Net or in the store, but do not become useful until later. One terrible branch pruner had good reach but weak cutting power – ideal for reaching young weeds and junk bushes. I bought enormous scissors that also help accomplish some tasks, such as snipping log grass.

·       Fiskars is a good brand with sharp cutting edges.

A rain barrel costs $50 but an inexpensive waste basket is only $10. A barrel can be placed under the eaves to catch rainwater, which is always the best way to hydrate plants.

Wheelbarrow
A new, small wheelbarrow is about $40 at Lowe’s. Hauling soil is not a good practice, but the wheelbarrow is good for bags of mulch and mushroom compost.  I leave mine out to measure on how much rain has fallen. Secondlly, several inches of rain in the wheelbarrow are handy for soaking any plants bought on the Net or at the store. Watering before planting is always going to be beneficial.

Mushroom compost is leftover after raising mushrooms on manure. It is a handy way to have bags of soil rather than digging some up and hauling it a distance over wet ground, uphill. Bags of topsoil also work.  

Stores sell mulch in various combinations and colors. I like shredded cyprus, which looks and smells good. A sale is a good chance to buy a few dozen bags.

Plants and Seeds
I buy most roses bare root from various vendors, including the large companies like Jackson and Perkins, Edmunds. But there are many other companies selling roses. I have a complete list in the appendices.

Local stores sell potted roses, which is handy for many people. I would never buy a wrapped rose, because one is betting it will live and thrive. Roses on sale are a good investment, a great way to try new, overlooked types, such as Antigua, which we enjoyed for years.

The most desired roses should be ordered early, because they sell out early. Peace is often sold out, and Double Delight is always sold out early.

Gurney’s has a great website for seeds and plants, with an explanation and planting instructions for each one. They also have tempting sales for early birds, such as 50% off and free shipping for anything bought.


Amazon is good for exotic purchases, such herbs, rare plants, and beneficial bugs. The bugs, like the praying mantis egg cases, have to be bought early. Amazon is good for comparing prices.

Bee balm is a clumping mint that will attract
hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.