email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Friday, February 3, 2017

Yard Work

I've been busy outside in the unusually decent January weather.  We went 10 days here without it getting below freezing and THAT is a rare event.  The average low temp is 26F here now.

So I took advantage of the weather and got a trailer-load of compost from a local nursery.  I load the stuff into buckets in a yard cart and use the riding mower to haul it to the destination.  Buckets are easier to dump than shovelfuls...

And spread it out.  There are some weeds poking up, but most will be smothered.
This is where I planted annuals for several years, but this year it will be for heirloom tomatoes.  Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and a few new ones.  The cages are ready to use.

I have been meaning to set up an island planting are in the front yard for 20 years.  I planted that saucer magnolia tree and the big rock there years ago with the island idea in mind.  I FINALLY got around to doing the island edging. 
 I was amazed at how well digging the slot for the edging went.  When I moved here 30 years ago, the soil was all clayish.  Planting crocuses 3" deep in the lawn was a struggle.  But I have been leaving the lawn clippings stay on the lawn all those years.  It really matters!  My edging spade went down 6"with almost no effort.  30 years, 6" of good soil!
The neighbor has a maple tree planted between our houses.  Maples are nice trees, but not next to houses.  They have surface roots and are famously foundation-breakers.   I mentioned that to the previous neighbor and they cut the tree down.  But maples are hard to kill and it came back with multiple trunks.  I should have poured Roundup on it when first cut down to kill it, but I assumed it would die on its own.

Bitter laughter...  It came back as a multiple-trunked tree.  I am going to use my "Saws-All" to cut the roots at the property line this Spring, pour in some Roundup hoping to kill the tree, and put cuttings of leftover edging against the roots hoping to keep then from regrowing to the existing roots in my yard.

But meanwhile, the tree dropped all its leaves.  I had 2 thoughts.  First, the heavy layer of leaves would kill all the grass on my side yard and the neighbors.  The neighbor abandoned the house in foreclosure, BTW...

Second, I would have to look at all the dead grass on the neighbor's lawn (I raked all the leaves from my lawn).  So, I raked up all his leaves too.  He doesn't care; he is gone.  And I could use them...

I filled up the edged area around the Saucer Magnolia after I set in the edging, and I will move the leaves I raked up from my yard to add to that. 
And then I will add 3" of compost from the nursery on top.  Compost on top of decomposing leaves; the worms will love it!

I'll plant some deer-resistant annuals there this Spring, but the main plan is to fill the bed with daffodils, ivy, and any perennials that deer don't like.

And anything that means less mowing is always good!

1 comment:

Megan said...

Looking good Mark.

Did you ever get to find out who actually owns the neighbour's vacant house?

Sydney, Australia