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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



In Iowa any time the temperature rises above forty degrees, it makes those of us whom have lived here for our entire lives begin to think about spring. It makes me wonder if we aren’t a little like an old sugar maple tree and the little bit of sunshine that we feel makes the sap within us begin to run. With warm days ahead and the chance of a little bit of rain coming through now and then, it is a good time to take a look at some simple things you could be doing around the house.

  1. The first thing you need to do is to open the widows and let a little fresh air into your home. Think of your house as a pair of socks that have been stuck in a work boot for the last fourteen hours at work. Open the windows and let the house breathe a little.

  2. Rake away the leaves and trash. The flower gardens we enjoy so much are now covered in leaves. A little removal of the leaves will help those new tulips and iris plants get some warmth.

  3. Trim up the dead stems of peony plants. This will keep you from sticking your hand on them.

  4. Take a look at what you are doing with your yard trash. Yes, leaves, sticks and decaying vegetation will smoke and burn if you get it warm enough, but maybe look into starting a compost pile in a corner of your yard. Your neighbors will appreciate this.

  5. Get a good heavy garden rake and some grass seed and seed those dead spots in the yard. Rake the soil up and find a good grass seed. Remember to keep your soil and seed moist but don’t drown them. Also remember to look at the place you are seeding. Does it get full sun all day? Or are there trees around? Most of the time I find a sun/shade mix works best, and a little turf fertilizer mixed with the seed doesn’t hurt.

  6. Get out the garden hose and wash off the siding of your house, your sidewalk and driveway. If your driveway is gravel think about adding a little to those nasty pot holes. And while you are at it this is a good time to get that garden rake out and rake all the gravel the snow plow has pushed into the yard.

  7. Make sure you drain the garden hose and unhook it at night. Although it might be warm enough to run around in short sleeves during the day, nighttime temps are still plenty cold and can freeze your hose.

  8. It is a good time to check the bird bath and make sure it is full.

  9. Remove the screens from your windows and make sure the drain holes at the base of your windows are clean. And while you are at it, it is time to clean all the gunk out of the gutters.

  10. Don’t get into a hurry to mow. Give the grass a little more time to green up. I know your edgy and want to hack off the brown parts but give it just a bit more growing time before you fire up the push mower.

  11. Finally, enjoy the spring and start thinking about how nice it will be to see lush green grass, and beautiful flowers come summer.

See you next week. Remember, we’re all in this together.