One thing I recently purchased that is already making my work in the yard much easier is a simple upright garden cart with a handle and two wheels.  They seem to be widely available in Sioux Falls this season and mine was on sale for around $15, regular price seems closer to $25, although the latter may be a bit larger than the one I found, which is about as big as a kitchen-sized garbage can, lightweight, and a really handy place to toss weeds, or other yard waste.  I even rigged a kind of holder for my clippers and water bottle by tying an old canvas tool holder around the handle (facing it inward so the additional weight doesn’t make it topple backward).  The cart is made of hard plastic–easy to hose down if it gets muddy, and it does.

I have a long sloping yard and much of the landscaping is down hill at the rear perimeter, with a planted area behind the fence.  I’ll readily admit to being a few pounds heavier than I would like to be, and have seasonal asthma, so trekking up to the garage with even a lightweight garbage can or small wheelbarrow–even pulling a child-sized wagon can easily leave me panting.  But the few times I have used this new container, I’ve had no trouble in that way.  It seems to be changing my outdoor life, quite literally, and if you happen to share either of my small afflictions, you may find it so, as well.  Because it is small, it fills fairly quickly, necessitating more frequent trips to the compost pile or waste site in the yard, so I’m getting more exercise.  But because it is so lightweight, I can do this without becoming winded–a huge bonus for someone like me. Even if you are completely fit and find yard work physically easy, why work harder than you have to?  Save that energy for the other tasks we all have this time of year. 

The cart’s uses are multiple and I’ll share here a few that I have already found (or thought of).

  • I plan to keep a bag or two of decorative mulch in the garage, and instead of dragging the heavy bag to the area in need I will fill the cart and wheel it from spot to spot.   
  • As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, as are many urban yards, mine is comprised of hard, compacted soil, and I use a mixture of purchased top soil, peat moss and organic compost as additional “good start” medium for any new plantings (I mix these in a large wheelbarrow that I keep in the garage).  I will fill the cart with the medium and put the potted plants on top to go along. 
  • I will soon be dividing a few perennials and will use this as my collection container.
  •  The cart was utilized this last week to clean up the old daylily debris from last season and it proved a very easy task to simply lift and dump the contents as it became full.   
  • As do many, I seem to have a small collection of those gridded, plastic office containers for storing  this and that, and by securing one to sit atop the cart (a small bungee cord should secure it easily) I will have a handy container for bedding plants with the planting mix in the cart’s bowl. 
  • This also seems a good way to take containers of various bird seed to multiple feeders.   

In fact, I am so happy with this new cart that I may buy a second one just for mulch.    

On an unrelated note, a word of caution is offered to anyone shopping for perennial plants.  I’ve noticed in several local plant shops roses that are not hardy for our area, mostly carpet roses, and this includes some of the Knock Out varieties.  Although one chain store had these clearly labeled, others did not.  One simply has to check the label to see that some are only cold tolerant to -10 below zero.  Given mild winters here, those might survive, but I wouldn’t want to chance it.  I know the roses at the market, as well as other perennials, will be well suited to our colder winters here.  ~Georgia Totten, Sioux Falls


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