Chances are good that if you own a home, you also have some land to take care of. Whether it’s a sprawling back yard or just that little strip of ground between the sidewalk and the street, the earth outside your home presents some work … and some opportunities.
Tip #1: Trees Get Thirsty, Too
Most boulevard and yard trees in Minneapolis need an inch of water per week throughout the spring, summer and fall, and drought conditions in recent years have made them even more likely to suffer without it. What’s an inch of water? It’s roughly equivalent to a nice big thunderstorm, or a whole day of drippy rain. In weeks without that much rain, water each tree by letting the hose trickle water at its base for a few hours. This should only increase your water bill by about $3 for the entire season, and the tree will pay you back with its shade and beauty over a long and healthy life. (This tip comes from this City of Minneapolis web page, which also has a link to a list of licensed tree care companies.)
Tip #2: Your Yard Can Make Food
There’s no free lunch, but you can grow some food of your own—and it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Check out the Local Food Resource Hubs coordinated by the non-profit Gardening Matters. Yearly memberships start at $10 (with scholarships available), and members get free seeds and seedlings in the spring, plus access to discounted/shared tools and gardening classes.
Want to use your land well but don’t like digging in the dirt? Yards 2 Gardens connects people who want to garden (apartment dwellers, for example), with unused yard space. Check out the stories about homeowners trading gardening space for a share of the harvest! And if you want to grow veggies yourself, you can also use Yards 2 Gardens to find tools, compost, soil, plants, expert neighbors, and more.