Landscape Fabric: A Chemical-Free Alternative

There are few jobs as monotonous, back breaking and unfulfilling as digging out weeds. If you’re providing landscape maintenance services, cutting down the amount of time you spend nurturing a virtually weed-free area should be a priority. In times like these, finding ways to eliminate unsightly weeds without intensive labor will help you meet your objective to provide your clients with the best service and at a competitive price.

The economic climate over the past few years has wreaked havoc in the pricing structure of lawn maintenance services. Ways have to be found to generate more productivity. In the case of perpetual weeding, maybe it’s time to think about using landscape fabrics. Though there is an upfront cost to install a weed barrier, the benefits will far outweigh the cost.

We know why we should use weed barriers, but what exactly is a weed barrier and how does it work? To begin with, landscape fabrics— like geotextiles—are used as weed barriers. Weed barriers work by creating a subsurface that prevents weeds from growing and inhibits weed seeds from penetrating the ground, sprouting and taking hold. Many landscape contractors now rely on these fabrics to suppress weeds in commercial and residential landscape applications.

“Weed barriers reduce the amount of weeds that can grow in a yard, particularly invasive plant species that tend to crowd out and cut off nutrients to desired plants,” says Sandi Monson, owner of The Dirty Hoe in Trenton, Michigan.

“It provides plants, particularly perennials, a clean growing area, which is especially important because perennials will often compete for resources with weeds; barriers help the plants flourish,” says Yvonne Stanek, owner of Wisconsin Landscaping Company in Lake Delton, Wisconsin.

Reduction or elimination?

According to Andy Blanchford, owner of Blanchford Landscape Contractors, Inc., Bozeman, Montana, contractors need to educate their clients about maintenance rather than “telling them weed barriers will solve the problem. Weeds are a fact of life and they are geographically specific. It is important to know the characteristics of the weeds and invasive species in your area, and know what tools you need to kill them.”

“Weed barriers protect your plant investment, which is generally your biggest cost. Fabric is one step in an o v e r a l l weed reduction strategy,” says Steve Gambla, owner of Ground Cover Industries, Chicago, Illinois . “ People shouldn’t confuse weed barriers with a lack of maintenance. Just like you have to change the oil in your car, you have to do some maintenance in your beds. Fabric will help reduce and even eliminate some of your weeds, but it can’t get them all . . . because nature doesn’t work that way.”

Monson adds, “We have obnoxious weeds here in Michigan, including Canadian thistle. Many of my clients are older, and or elderly, they just can’t do the weeding the way they used to, so I explain to them that there’s no such thing as a maintenance-free landscape, but weed barriers keep future weeding to a minimum. It reduces, it doesn’t eliminate,” says Monson.

Landscape fabric benefits the landscape in a number of other ways. First, it allows air and water to flow directly to the plant. Weed barriers also provide a barrier against evaporation, thereby decreasing nutrient leaching, and reducing the duration and frequency of waterings.

The barriers don’t wick water from the soil, so the fabric creates a musty habitat perfect for soil fermentation, which helps beneficial microbes and microhizal fungi grow. Microhizal fungi benefit the landscape by developing symbiotic relationships with plants, providing mineral nutrients the plants cannot produce themselves in exchange for carbohydrates the fungi need.

“Customers want relief from weeds, so that’s why we developed our Weed-Barrier Pro, a product made of spunbond polypropylene, that is guaranteed to provide 100% weed control without chemicals,” says Larry DeWitt, founder and CEO of the DeWitt Company.

He not only stands behind his product, he put it to the test in his yard against nutsedge. “Nutsedge develops a needle-like tap root and you can imagine how most fabrics, even our earlier products, wouldn’t provide much resistance to that needle. Nutsedge thrives under most weed barriers, but not Weed- Barrier Pro,” according to DeWitt.

Choosing a product

Weed barrier comes in three basic forms: woven, needlepunched and heat-bonded, with hundreds of varieties possessing their own properties and applications. Learning how each of the fabrics can be used benefits your customer and business.

“Different fabrics have different water flow characteristics—from plastic with zero water flow to polyesters that have water flow characteristics of more than 200 gallons per square foot. For most applications, landscapers work with fabrics that are in the 15 to 20 gallons per square foot range,” says Gambla.


Weed barriers can be installed any time of the year, either prior to initial installation of the plant material, or as a retrofit. If you lay the geotextile on the ground around the plants, it will keep the weeds from sprouting. Weed seed will germinate under the surface of the soil. As it begins its upward climb, it will hit this barrier of geotextile. As long as no holes are punched in the landscape fabric, the weed will not penetrate it, therefore suppressing the weed from growing.

Site prep is crucial when installing landscape fabrics. For weed barriers, it is important to pre-weed and level out the ground’s surface, removing any debris that could puncture the fabric. Use a pre-emergent pesticide to kill any residual weeds.

Install your weed barrier “nice and tight and use longer pieces so you don’t have to worry about snagging it with your rake later on,” says Stanek. To insert plants, simply slice an “X,” folding back the corners to make the hole, insert plants and then tuck the fabric close to the plants, and secure with a pin.

Careful planning is necessary when applying a barrier to preexisting beds. “You want to plot out your holes and cut them small enough so that you can get the fabric over the plant and still maintain the fabric’s integrity,” says Blanchford.

Once the fabric is installed, you want to get it covered up. The biggest enemy to landscape fabric is ultraviolet rays. Some fabrics contain UV properties and are designed to handle a limited amount of sunlight but the more sunlight a weed barrier is exposed to, the sooner it will need to be replaced. “Weed barriers also reflect sunlight; the glare can burn some plants,” says Blanchford.

Use exceptions

While weed barriers can be used in hundreds of applications, there are a few situations where it shouldn’t be used or where additional prep is required: establishing English gardens, which require reseeding, or if you plant lots of annuals that require frequent replacing.

“We discourage the use of weed barriers for frequently-replaced small annuals, because it requires too many holes and reduces the effectiveness of the fabric,” says Monson. “It’s easier to just heavily mulch areas like that and save the barrier for larger areas with plants that are replaced less frequently,” she adds.


Landscape Fabric: A Chemical-Free Alternative” is now available in Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine’s April 2011 issue.

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Maximize Your Deductions

Do you have a closet of ‘keepers?’ You know, financial records—invoices, receipts, revenue and expense reports. Are they categorized and filed? If asked, could you produce an accurate profit or loss report?

Do you know whether your company is in the green, the black or precariously close to being in the red? Are your records accurate and will they enable you to get all the available deductions come tax time?

Surprisingly, many small businesses put off record-keeping and tax duties in favor of seemingly more rewarding activities, such as installing an irrigation system or designing a new landscape. But building a beautiful landscape and preparing for April’s “tax season” have something very important in common; they are year-round pursuits. Just as you can’t just drop a few bushes into a yard and expect to satisfy your client, you can’t hand a box of crumpled receipts and disorganized files to the IRS and expect a refund.

DIY or professional assistance?

Yes, you can do your taxes yourself, but just as your clients hire you instead of trying to do a project themselves, you might be better served by hiring a tax professional. They should, whether they are an enrolled agent, a certified public accountant (CPA) or a tax attorney, be able to ensure that you get the maximum tax benefits allowed.

Filing and understanding taxes used to be simpler, but now there are books dedicated to explaining each tax rule and how it should be applied. It is the job of tax professionals—particularly CPAs—to “stay on top of tax rules and regulations and utilize them to benefit your business,” says Jonathan Winterkorn, a CPA with Plante & Moran, PLLC in Cincinnati, Ohio. “As a business owner, your time is best used developing and growing your business. It is unrealistic to expect that most small business owners can develop and run their business, while also knowing, understanding and taking advantage of all the tax laws, deductions and credits.”

“Small business owners can either learn through the school of hard knocks or they can find an accountant who will work with them as a partner and advisor,” says Brian Setzler, MBA, CPA and owner of TriLibrium, a firm offering accounting and business advisement services in Portland, Oregon.

“The mindset is often that a CPA is just another cost, but your CPA should be adding value to your business by helping you with your record keeping, financial and tax-related issues and finding remedies for them,” says Setzler.

“You want to look for an advisor who is going to work hand-in-hand with you on making your business grow. A good CPA is going to help you capture the value of your sales and help ensure that you are following good business practices, like keeping proper records, customer lists, etc.,” he says.

Whether you seek professional help or choose to do it yourself, keeping good records will make your business life easier at tax time and on a daily basis. Messy books “drive up the cost of tax preparation,” says Robert Tobey, a CPA and Tax Principal at Keiter Stephens in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Use a spreadsheet, a ledger, a program—whatever helps you keep your business finances organized. Quickbooks is a great place to start; many local accounting firms, including mine, offer training. The training is important because you need to know how to set it up and use it properly so that you have orderly records for you or your accountant to use at tax time.”

Getting all the deductions and credits

Every year, the IRS makes changes in the type and amount of deductions businesses are eligible to take. Below are just some of the deductions your business may be eligible for this year. For more information on these and other possible deductions, see our resource list below and/or consult a tax professional.

Charitable donations: According to Tobey, you can deduct the value of any supplies, plant materials, etc., that you donate to charity.

However, for tax purposes you cannot deduct the value of any time donated by you or your employees.

Section 179: This allows you to expense any purchases of fixed capital assets, such as lawn mowers, tractors and even computer software, in the year they are placed in service. This deduction was once limited to $100,000 worth of assets but, according to Winterkorn, the IRS has “sweetened the deal so that a company can purchase more than two million dollars in deductable assets, providing an immediate benefit, because businesses no longer have to take those costs over a number of years through depreciation.” Note: this deduction is only applicable to businesses that have turned a profit.

Bonus depreciation: If you are operating at a loss, under Section 179, you can apply 100% of equipment depreciation costs this year.

However, only new equipment qualifies.

Green Credits: A 30% credit/grant is available for installing a geothermal heat pump for heating and cooling your business, or credits for purchasing an alternative fuel vehicle for company use and even credits are also available for companies manufacturing and selling alternative fuels such as biodiesel.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: It provides a nice tax credit of up to 35 percent of the health care premiums paid by employers, says Setzler. The maximum credits are for small employers (less than 25 full-time equivalents) paying an average wage of less than $50,000 per year. Reduced credits are still available for organizations outside these ranges.

HIRE ACT, social security tax exemption: Effective from March 19 – Dec. 31, 2010, employers were eligible for a payroll tax exemption that exempted employers from paying their 6.2% share of social security tax on wages paid to previously unemployed employees. In order to be eligible, newly hired employees had to meet specific criteria in terms of the duration and quality of their unemployment period.

HIRE ACT, the retained worker credit: In addition, for each of these qualified employees retained for 52 consecutive weeks, businesses will be eligible for a general business tax credit in 2011.

The retention credit is the lesser of $1000 or 6.2% of the wages paid by the employer. Note: the qualifying employees’ wages during the last 26 weeks of the period must equal 80% of the wages during the first half of the period.

Mileage: Mileage is currently 51 cents per mile and is adjusted every December. Occasionally, if the prices go up significantly over the summer, the IRS may adjust the rate in September. Remember, the mileage deduction reflects what the IRS thinks it costs to operate a vehicle and in order to take it, you need to keep a dedicated log that reflects your business driving, every day on a notepad in your vehicle or a spreadsheet log.

Net Operating Loss: If your business lost money in 2010, you may generate a Net Operating Loss (NOL). Special rules allow you to apply the NOL to either past or future years, so a 2010 NOL could be carried back to a profitable year to offset the earnings and taxes paid in that year, resulting in an immediate refund this year,” says Setzler.

Note: NOL rules are pretty complex so it is wise to seek a tax specialist on this topic.

Preparing for 2011 and beyond: While the cost of hiring an accountant can seem expensive, the cost of doing your taxes incorrectly can be far more costly. “Business owners should see CPAs and accountants as an insurance policy,” says Tobey. “A CPA will make sure you comply with the law and meet all of the rules and regulations.” But if you insist on doing your taxes yourself, here are some tips to consider so you can avoid receiving a day-ruining audit letter from the IRS.

Properly document employees: According to Setzler, misclassification of employees exposes business owners to huge liabilities and aren’t worth the risk. “Say you hire a temp employee and pay him as an independent contractor, at $15 per hour and then write him a check at the end of the job. If that person is injured on the job, he is not covered by workman’s comp. However, depending on the state, if an employee gets injured operating a piece of heavy equipment and has no worker’s comp, you could be looking at medical bills, back taxes, interest and penalties.”

Employee or independent contractor? Businesses like to hire independent contractors so they don’t have to pay the labor burden, i.e., social security, Medicare, unemployment taxes and such on the wages. But it is crucial that employers make sure that their independent contractors meet the 20 points which classify whether you are hiring an employee or independent contractor. Make sure subcontractors give you a W-9 form so you can send them a 1099 form at the end of the year. Willful failure to file 1099s can result in a penalty of $250 per 1099 form.

I-9 workers: All employees should be documented to ensure that they can work legally in the U.S. If a worker is undocumented, employers are still supposed to pay social security, Medicare, and employment taxes on them. Workers can and are encouraged to apply for a tax ID number rather than using fake documents.

Company Set Up : To b e y encourages sole proprietors to set themselves up as a single member limited liability company. The same holds true for business partnerships. “You are still filing your taxes the same way, but you’re limiting your liability. You’re protecting yourself against mishaps that might happen in the course of business or your personal life. Without the limited liability protection, if you hit a pedestrian in a company vehicle after work, you might have to pay for the pedestrian’s injuries and medical bills personally. Becoming a limited liability company is just good business and it is not expensive to do. In most states, you can set one up for $1,000 or less, including filling fees. Think of it as an inexpensive insurance policy.”

Avoid red flags In addition to documenting employees correctly, the IRS will be curious if you do things such as purchase a luxury car and claim it as a business vehicle or funnel all your meals and entertainment through the company credit card.

Beware of tricky deductions:

In order to claim deductions for items such as a home office, telephone, computers, etc., you have to pass the IRS’s exclusive use test and other qualifications. In the case of a home office, you have to be a sole proprietor filing a schedule C. “Say you are using a bedroom in your house as the office for your business, but your Aunt Tilly happens to sleep in there when she comes visiting, even if she only comes once a year. You can’t claim it as a deduction because it fails the exclusivity test,” says Tobey. Same holds true for computers; you may use it for work but if the kids are using it to check their Facebook page or your spouse is playing World of Warcraft on it, you can’t claim it. Setzler notes that “the IRS has been pretty aggressive about people claiming deductions that don’t meet the exclusivity test. It isn’t worth the risk of an audit when there are other deductions available.”

2012 and beyond: Next year, 2012, will be the last year that we have our current tax rates, which were set in December 2009. At the end of 2012, barring any new legislation, we revert back to Clintonera tax rates. According to Winterkorn, “business owners will have to think a little counter-intuitively and may want to accelerate their income into 2012 rather than deferring income into 2013. Say you have an outstanding bill at the end of the year. Normally, if you pay that invoice before the end of the year, you get to take that expense deduction at tax time. But at the end of 2012, business owners might not want to pay that invoice until after the start of 2013, because it will allow them to take that deduction in the year where their income will possibly be taxed at a higher rate. The same holds true for the income side deductions.”

Plastic, Banks and Programs: Setzler, Winterkorn and Tobey all agree that keeping good records includes establishing a bank account and credit card for business use. “Credit cards are great because you have a concrete record of your purchases,” says Winterkorn. Using software will allow you to transfer information to your accountant quickly and easily. The software makes tracking and categorizing expenses easy and enables business owners to create complex expense, profit and loss and other reports with a touch of a button. There is also a Premier Contractor program that is specialized towards helping contractors specifically.

So, how will your tax garden grow? Will it be filled with crumpled and lost receipts and blossoming anxiety, or will it mature and grow because you took the time to apply the right tools and experts to help your business succeed?

Additional tax help resources:

Section 179:; html.

Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act: room/article/0,,id=220809,00.html.

General Tax Assistance: IRS Helpline 800-829-4933 or visit,,id=199 973,00.html.

Tax Payer Identification Numbers: i n t e r n a t i o n a l / a r t i c l e / 0 , , i d =96696,00.html.

Business Tax Credits: www .irs.govbusinesses/small/article/0,,id =99839,00.html.

Taxes: How to Maximize Your Deductions” is now available at Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine online.

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Harvesting Rainwater

Water harvesting isn’t a new idea. For centuries, it has been relied upon to supply water for households and other uses. As far back as Roman times, large cisterns were built to hold rainwater. In fact, under the city of Rome an enormous cistern still exists. In the U.S., one of the earliest water harvesting systems can be seen at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

Jefferson was interested in learning how to “shelter oneself effectively and economically from the weather,” so he designed and installed extensive gutters and four rainwater cisterns to contain 15,000 gallons of water. He used the harvested water in his home for drinking, brewing ale and watering the surrounding gardens.

Today, the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District notes that rainwater harvesting continues to offer a, “simple, sustainable, alternative water supply for indoor and outdoor use, and it protects waterways from the detrimental impact of stormwater runoff.”

Although rainwater capture has been around for centuries, it hasn’t become mainstream in the U.S. because water is still very inexpensive and is perceived to be in abundance. However, there are signs that we are beginning to run out of water.

As our population continues to grow, more people are using the same sources for water. We’re depleting potable water at an ever faster rate, and water purveyors are getting concerned. When water supplies are low, one of the first items to be regulated is landscape watering.

As keepers of the land, we should bear in mind that property owners have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in plant material, and that now we need to protect their plants from the stress, wilt and death associated with a lack of water.

“Progressive contractors have a unique opportunity to help their current and future customers become ‘more sustainable’ while increasing revenue opportunities for themselves,” said Mike Ray of Bushman Water Harvesting Systems. “The formula is really simple; it provides a turnkey system to harvest and store rainwater, incorporated with an ET-based controller and rain gauge.”

Many landscape contractors began offering rainwater harvesting into their landscaping services.

Buz Ireland of Aqua Features in Tallahassee has been designing and installing ornamental water features in Florida for more than twelve years. “Initially, I learned how to install a water harvesting system because I was interested in water conservation and was building my own backyard sanctuary.”

“I installed my system and it enabled me to water my plants, wash my car, save money and educate my neighbors,” says Ireland, who frequently teaches water conservation techniques to high school students and residents in Tallahassee, Florida. “With water prices starting to rise and weather patterns changing, I tell my clients that they need to pay attention to conservation and protect themselves from future cost increases, droughts and supply demands.”

In addition to helping clients and students realize how much water they are using, Ireland will be helping Tallahassee’s Sail High School install a rainwater harvesting system this spring. The system will be used to water the school’s agricultural practice gardens and landscaping.

As water supplies become more precarious, “counties across the United States are enacting new legislation encouraging water conservation,” says Ron Harris, owner of Darco Sales LLC & Free Water Systems. “Some drier regions are exploring rainwater to be recaptured for use in watering the landscape.”

Santa Fe County, New Mexico, now requires that a water harvesting system be installed in any new home construction. Homeowners of existing structures must retrofit according to the home’s square footage.

EcoScapes Landscaping is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When Michael Nelson started EcoScapes, it was a full-service landscape company. Building landscapes, designing them and maintaining them were the focus.

Working in Santa Fe proves to be an exciting challenge. “The city is very progressive and on the cutting edge of ‘green,’ ” says Chris Hollis, an irrigation technician with EcoScapes. “A couple of years ago, the county introduced an ordinance that requires all new homes to recapture their rainwater. The way the company was headed, it made sense to get into rainwater harvesting as well.”

As more municipalities mandate harvesting rainwater, there’s an opportunity to offer these services to your clients. It puts you on the cutting edge and adds to the list of services your company offers.

“We’re seeing a tremendous growth in our business in regions like New Mexico, from clients who are looking for ways to live ‘off the grid,’ ” says Harris. In states where homeowners own their water rights, “clients can have total control over where their water comes from, the quality, how much they harvest and use . . . something that can’t be said for well and city water, which are highly regulated,” Harris added.

But legislation and conservation are just two of the reasons people are installing rainwater harvesting systems. Water quality, sustainability and individual style preferences are also coming into play.

“Because of the vast array of sizes and styles available, I can customize a client’s system to meet their unique water and budget needs,” says Ireland, who notes that rainwater harvesting “actually enhances most landscaping designs, as you can readily incorporate a waterfall, add an urn on top, or have it feed into an ornamental stream or pond.”

There are a number of options when it comes to installing rainwater harvesting equipment. It all depends on the size of the structure, and how much water you want to recapture. From underground tanks that can hold as much as tens of thousands of gallons to 50-gallon rain barrels, the concept is the same.

One of the easiest ways to begin is to check the roofs of your clients’ buildings. Many people don’t realize that their roof is a watershed. Most have rain gutters already installed on their roofs, so the beginning of rainwater recapture is in place. The next move is to retrofit the downspout so that it will funnel the water into a tank, wherever that tank is— underground, aboveground or into a rain barrel.

“The way to measure the amount of water an end-user can collect is easy. Calculate by measuring the footprint of the structure to estimate the square footage (multiple stories or pitch have no bearing on the calculation),” says Ray. “The quick formula for contractors to use is: Every one inch of rain on 1,000 square feet of roof yields approximately 600 gallons.”

A 2,000-square-foot building in San Diego, California, can capture 1,200 gallons for every inch of precipitation. On average, San Diego gets about 10 inches per year, and that 2,000-square-foot building could harvest 12,000 gallons annually. This water can go a long way, and be used multiple times, when drip, micro or subsurface methods are used.

After calculating the potential yield, you will need to determine the number of downspouts to be used as collection points. “Downspouts can be directed to tanks or holding units using standard PVC pipe,” Ray said. “Many people think they are limited to having tanks next to the building, but you can redirect multiple downspouts underground and offer the property owner the option to place tanks yards away from the building. Fill pipes are then run to a strategically hidden tank system behind landscape or a structure.”

Usually, a pump is installed within the tank to pump water out on demand; there are also filtration options available. Filtration is important, so drip or micro irrigation systems don’t plug up. Proper precautions early on can reduce costly callbacks.

“We began looking at rainwater recapture a few years ago,” said Brian Quill, district operations manager for John Deere’s Green- Tech. “Since then, we’ve installed quite a few systems and they’ve proven to be very effective.”

Every day in regions around the world, people survive on less water than you’ll use taking a shower or flushing your toilet. “Water in the U.S. seems endless,” notes Harris. “After all, you turn on the tap and it just flows and flows.” But in reality, there isn’t an endless supply.

Population growth and usage demands mean that water is becoming a scarce commodity.

Collecting rainwater also reduces stormwater runoff. So your rainwater harvesting system should incorporate overflow methods that direct stormwater to rain gardens or bioswales on the property. This allows nature to clean the water and redirect it back to the subsurface aquifer, where it was originally intended. Adding rain gardens and bioswales also provide unique design opportunities, and cities like Seattle, Washington, are offering incentives to residents who choose to redirect stormwater through these systems.

Rainwater harvesting has also become an integral part of designing buildings—like the Richmond Olympic Oval, a venue of the 2010 Winter Olympics—that meet LEED and other green building certification requirements.

“Thanks to permeable pavers and advanced collections systems, not only roofs but an entire corporate parking lot can be utilized for water harvesting, leading to incredible water and financial savings,” notes Quill.

According to the people we spoke with, harvested water is superior to city tap water for watering plants. “Rainwater is full of nitrogen and minerals that plants love. It’s like free fertilizer,” says Hollis, who

notes that even the smallest project can incorporate aboveground cisterns for collecting rainwater. “But the nice thing about underground collection systems is that they can be added into almost any existing building and landscaping project, regardless of size, budget or the site. Say your client wants to put a water feature in their backyard— it’s only a few more steps and some planning to have the water in that pond come from the home’s roof and be re-circulated with a pump,” Hollis adds.

Since water harvesting is a longterm investment, it pays to incorporate the service into your daily operations rather than try to sell it as a singular service, according to Hollis. “I don’t have to sell it, because it’s an integral part of how we approach landscape design. We don’t just put in a tank. It is part of a comprehensive design that includes xeric plants, irrigation, and swales and berms that mimic the natural contouring found in nature. You have to design these systems so that they not only cater to what your clients want to do with the water, but do it naturally, in a way that all the workings and natural elements work together.”

“We’ve been designing water harvesting systems for seven years.

There are hiccups and details that you have to work out, because it’s such a new idea, but it’s gaining in popularity with people who are looking for ways to save water or are more mindful of what they use,” says Hollis.

“The cost effectiveness of these systems is similar to solar. There is a payoff period that customers have to be willing to accept, but in the future, I expect to be installing a lot more of these systems,” says Ireland.

“In the future, it’s very likely that the use of potable water will be banned for outdoor landscape irrigation, so water harvesting will become an incredible opportunity to grow your business,” says Quill. “People are starting to seek out these systems and so for the right contractor, water harvesting will be the best thing since the introduction of landscape lighting. It’s a service that can be easily added on to current offerings.”

Remember that rainwater harvesting can be a win-win situation for all involved.

The planet has a finite amount of water, only three percent of which is drinkable fresh water, and we keep adding people. Something has to give. Harvesting and recycling water will have to become a way of life in the U.S. or, in the words of Mark Twain, “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.”

My article “Harvesting Rainwater” is now available in the January 2011 issue of Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine.

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C.M. Mayo’s Politics of Love

C.M. Mayo

What would you do for love, power and success? Would you accept a job and travel to a distant land? What would you be willing to give up to secure your place in history? These are just some of the questions author C.M. Mayo considers in the novel, “The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire,” which was named one of the best books of 2009 by Library Journal. Based on the true story of half-American toddler Agustín de Iturbide y Green (a great grandson of Maryland’s Governor Plater and grandson of revolutionary war hero General Uriah Forrest), the novel recounts the political tumult and heartbreak surrounding the arrangement in which the child was made Heir Presumptive to the throne of Mexico by the recently installed Emperor Maximilian von Hapsburg, the former Archduke of Austria.

Read Mary J. Lohnes’ Interview w/ C.M. Mayo

Posted in Author Interviews, College of Southern Maryland | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment Featured in Today’s Oregonian!

My client Joslin Larson’s business is featured in today’s Oregonian, How We Live section.

See, to read more

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Whew! The first phase of construction is complete. We have a new theme and backdrops for some seriously good content.

Pssst, poetry is coming.

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Dust Bowls and Hammers

Change is coming…as a result of my new work related website, this site will be undergoing some serious edits, revisions and re-envisioning.

I have been wanting to dedicate this site to my literary work for awhile and the new website gives me the opportunity to do just that. So in the coming weeks you will be seeing more essays, fiction, poetry and of course, interviews!

In the meantime, enjoy the hammering and dust bowls!

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