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    Yard Notes: How to Soak Up The Sunniest Sun This Week

    Need a landscaper this season? Grounding your kids might literally inspire them to take to it.  Exhibit A: adolescent rage coupled with a pickaxe inspired this Spanish teen to dig himself a mancave:

    It has wifi!

    Maybe the news above ground is a little sunnier. At least this week: Sunday, June 20th was literally a sun day (for anyone in the Northern Hemisphere). What’s that mean, exactly? The sun took its longest trip across the sky. For those who made a pilgrimage to Stonehenge, it used to mean gathering Cochella-style for sunrise, when the solar path aligns with the monument. Though Covid killing the gathering this year, you can still stream it for free

    History.com notes that Greeks, not just lithic-loving Brits, used the solstice as a 30-day countdown to the Olympics. But who’s to say that those are still happening this year. Tokyo’s Parks and Rec seems to be operating as if they are by cutting down precious oaks and cedars to make room for a socially distanced “Olympics Live” zone. The irony is that “The trees currently being cut back are among the 1,100 that were planted, as seedlings, by the departing athletes [at the 1964 Games].”

    Sometimes reading about everyone else’s landscaping woes just makes us want to lose ourselves in our own plot. There’s plenty to do, anyhow. Got cinnamon, oatmeal, and vinegar in your pantry? Try some of these garden hacks and let us know if they work. A great trick from that article: scratch a bar of soap before you garden, so there’s no room for dirt under your fingernails. 

    According to the EPA, nine billion gallons of water a day are used for landscaping, not including what washes your dirty hands after a day of gardening. If you have the resources to construct a rain barrel, here’s an easy way to set one up. Got gutters? You’re even closer to sustainable lawn-quenching. EpicGardening makes an even stronger case for precipitation conservation: 

    The forecast is still looking sunny, though, so thin out perennials that are taking over your beds. Maybe to make more room for heat-loving annuals such as zinnias, petunias, and annual salvia. Don’t mow over spring flowering bulbs yet. They need foliage to make energy for next year’s display

    Then, everyone’s favorite: weeding (which this week means something different in Washington, where getting the jab means a free joint.) Weeding is actually easier to do sooner rather than later: roots aren’t as deep, and if the plants go to flower, you’ll have an even bigger patch to contend with. Unless an engineer reading this prototypes a home-gardener’s version of this robo-weed zapper for next year.

    Remember your sunscreen,

    Aerate

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