EPA puts ITS stamp
on greener mower
The 19-inch rechargeable mulching mower from Black & Decker is the first mower to carry the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star mark. That indicates the cordless rechargeable mower meets guidelines for energy efficiency. It costs less than $10 a year to operate the mower, which makes only half the noise of a gas-powered lawn mower. It has enough run time to cut a third of an acre on a single charge. Suggested retail: $400.
Lawn mowers will go
to 15 military families
Do you know a military family with a loved one serving in the Middle East that needs a new lawn mower? Nominate them in the Mowers for Military Families program. Lawn-Boy and nonprofit Project EverGreen are partnering to give new Lawn-Boy Insight walk-behind mowers to 15 military families. Submit a form, with a 150-word statement, at www.lawn-boy.com/military
families or www.projectevergreen.com. Videos are welcome. Deadline: May 14.
Paradise hasn't yet
been totally paved
As you plant your spring garden, ponder these facts, from the University of Florida: Statewide there are more than a million vegetable gardens. They average 300 square feet, and each garden represents a retail value of $300.
Straw plant pot turns into soil-enriching compost
New at Home Depot: flowers planted in straw pots, made from rice straw, coconut husks and a natural latex adhesive. Plant pot and all in the ground, and the straw pot starts to biodegrade, forming a soil-enriching compost over the next three to six months. An eight-pack — impatiens, marigolds or petunias — is $9.99.
Help for house-hunting hummingbirds
Hummingbirds need help finding appropriate materials to build their nests. You can give them a hand and attract more of them to your yard by hanging a Hummer Helper in your garden or near a window. It's a metal grid that holds a pad of natural fibers hummingbirds love to use to build their nests, which are the size of a quarter. The helper is 6 by 10 1/2 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Price: $11.99 for the holder and one pad of fibers; refill pads are $5.99. Order from Songbird Essentials toll-free at 1-800-269-4450, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find a retailer.
Compiled by Times homes and garden editor Judy Stark