welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

the transformation

i do the landscaping for the habitat for humanity houses that are built
or redone for the new home owners
the landscaping would always get whats left over at the end
which commonly is nothing
and there was no one volunteering who had an interest in
until i came along

i watched non native trees and shrubs being planted
with no xeric thoughts into doing the landscaping

so i took over since no one else wanted to
heck i even went back one time and dug up a tree that was
planted and replanted it
so the root flare was well exposed

so now i look for things used in the construction that i can use
in the landscaping that use to be just taken to the landfill
cardboard is placed under the mulch or under the soil brought
in to kill the grass
and worms love cardboard and newspapers
i usually bring all my newspapers and use them also

i collect all the rocks that are dug up during construction
you know central texas begets these things like crazy
where they come from i dont know

i also scrounge other construction sites in the area for these
rocks since many of the builders just dump these off site
i use them as borders in the landscaping

i collect wood from the pallets that the tiles come on
they have 4 ft landscape timbers in the pallets
i remove them and use them also in the landscape

so far cost of all this is zero or $0

i use lots and lots of mulch on the sites
at least 4 inches thick
its cheap
cheaper than grass
you dont water it or mow it or fertilize it
you just look at it
you have to replenish it every 4-5 years
and in some of the cities we build it its free

ive found a site that makes the best organic hardwood mulch
thats made and buy it by the truck load
i buy a cubic yard but they usually give me 2 1/2 yards
so it comes out to about $10 a yard
thats my sweety wife she in the far right with the white shirt on
she worked harder than i did
thanks for being a good sport and helping

when i do rock i usually use it in difficult spots like at this last
house near the curb where theres a stop sign fire hydrant street
sign and a gas line marker
i use concrete rock which is cheap and add large stones randomly
collected in central texas to make it look good
sometimes the landscaping place donates the concrete rock since
its a habitat house

the plants ive started buying from a local landscaping place
that allows me to get my plants at wholesale with a discount since its a
habitat house

i try to get native plants that are real xeric that dont require a lot of
maintenance and after they are established will do ok even if

for trees i buy good quality trees that have been well cared for in
the nursery
i plant live oak or cedar elm or monterey or mexican white oak
if you kill these trees you shouldnt have a yard to care for

once established they do quite well
i mulch around them several feet out like in this house below
this adds nutrition to the soil holds in moisture and lowers the
soil temperature in the hot summer
all make the trees grow better

when i finish i give each home owner a handout on how to
care for the landscape and
give them the growing green book that has all the native plants
to plant in this area

if we were in austin or san antonio the home owners would get
some large credits for the xeriscaping

my rainwater brother got a $400 credit for mulching away
400 square feet of grass

i try to encourage them to use organic fertilizers like the ones from
lady bug brand or medina

here above are some before pictures and below some after pictures from
the last house we did
we landscaped away about 40%+ of the grass in the front yard

estimated costs for project was $125
estimated cost if you paid someone to do this $2000+

there is a spineless cactus planted around the three large rocks
it will eventually be 6 ft wide and 4-5 ft tall
donated from my property

along the beds in front of the house are 6 dwarf yaupon hollies 3 on either
side of the sidewalk that will get about 3-4 ft wide
and 5 salvia greggii or autumn sages on the right side of the house
that will be 3 ft wide and will have red flowers form spring until late fall
this area was mulched well since it was on the north side and no grass
would growalong the side of the house

now this is a totally maintenance free corner

i wish i could do more on each house but we are limited on our budget
at least we have done xeriscaping to help the homeowner some

the organicgreen doctor

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