Smell Like Dirt

In Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood

Archive for March, 2008

Gardening for bugs

Louise, a friend of Smell Like Dirt, alerted us to this recent article in the NY Times about the importance of gardening with native plants that will feed the native insects, who will then attract the native birds. Doug Tallamy has written Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens which does a great job of explaining the importance of gardening with the entire food chain in mind. And, planting with native plants is a great way to cut down on the amount of water, chemicals and maintenance that a garden full of non-native species requires. Read the article and get inspired to attract more bugs!


Want an (almost) guaranteed way to get bluebirds to nest in your yard? Watch this video we just completed and discover the secret weapon. If you live in a condo in Manhattan, this probably won’t work, but if you are in a typical suburban neighborhood, and have seen some bluebirds around, use this technique to get them to pick your yard as the place to raise their family. It won’t matter if you don’t have all the “ingredients” the books say you have to have in order to attract bluebirds. The secret weapon will make them ignore all the rules!

Need another reason to save water?

This video is not a “Smell Like Dirt” production, but its definitely worth watching. I expect the sales of rain barrels to spike!

Save That Rain!

Rain Barrel

Here in the drought stricken Piedmont Area of North Carolina, its raining! And if you live in the Charlotte/Matthews, NC areas, you can order a rain barrel now for pickup at the Matthews Earth Day Festival on April 26 10a-2pm. 60 gallon rain barrels (like the one shown in the video) are $85 and the 80 gallons are $100. If you would like to order your rain barrel and start saving water, send an email to with your name, address, phone and indicating how many and what size rain barrels you want.   And then I’ll look forward to meeting you at the Earth Day Festival on April 26th.

Global Worming

I’ve got a dirty little secret! Actually a bunch of them. I have worms. I’m a huge fan of vermicomposting, or using worms to process my kitchen scraps. Its very easy to do and can be done cheaply as well. Its a great way for people who live in apartments or condos who can’t build a compost pile, to recycle their kitchen scraps. Done right, your vermicompost bin will not smell at all. There’s a great book by Mary Appelhof called Worms Eat My Garbage, and she has plans for a coffee table that opens up to a worm composter. Ok, I’m not that nuts, but its proof that you can do it indoors and your guests would never know. Worm poop, or castings, is a great organic fertilizer that helps the plants grow while keeping pests and diseases at bay. I hope you’ll watch the video and be inspired to start your own can-o-worms. Pls feel free to email me if you have any questions.