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A brief explanation…

I’m sure you all think I’m nuts, all the time I’m spending on the garden. Unfortunately, once we decided to take out the lawn in front and then buy the plants, certain things became absolutely top priority.Β  The big problem isΒ  I’ve only got this brief period between too cold and WAY too hot to do the heavy labor. I really don’t have a lot of options, because that grass has to come out or get mowed and the little shrubberies need someplace where their little roots can begin to stretch. Their eventual “home” is currently under construction.

The side of the house was a bit more of a problem than I anticipated, but once it’s done, it’s done and I can take my time with the front. Or so I thought. Areas out front were beginning to sprout grass, so I had to leave the side to attack the front with the tiller and my trusty rake today because rain is coming this week. ARGH. Once I’ve gotten the expletive deleted grass out, I can take my time landscaping, but getting that grass out is a lotta work! I’m not sure the crew we hired to get it out really would have made much difference. The root mat is really deep.

But I got a start on the water feature today. We laid out the plastic and figured where it’s going to go and what direction it’s going to face! Mostly, I just did lotsa raking. But if the rain comes, there’s no more work outside for a while…other than getting a few more plants in.

I don’t do mud!

I didn’t like mud pies as a kid…I like them even less as an adult. Bleh! Have I mentioned I learned the efficacy of four letter words trying to push a loaded wheelbarrow through wet-side mud?

I was cleaning stables. I leave it to your imagination what that wheelbarrow was loaded with!

14 comments to A brief explanation…

  • :biggrin: Hello, fellow mud hater. :biggrin:

    Did you guys have clay in Oklahoma? A person has to be crazy to attempt anything out of doors in clay mud. It will pull the boots right off you if you try to walk in it. Then when it dries it’s harder than concrete. Poor plants. How they ever learned to adapt to that, I’ll never know.

    • Oh…yeah. RED clay. Great on a grey carpet! Spot Shot is your friend.

      Gardening in OKC was WEIRD. I come from the land of ice flows and rocks. Lots of rocks. We GROW rocks in the PNW. We also produce great quantities of mud, particularly around the barn.

      But it was so weird to push a shovel into (dampened) OKC red and have it go all the way in! :w00t: Here…you jump on the shovel, hit a rock, work past the rock, jump again, work past another rock…you get the idea. Stirring the soil up with the mantis tiller and raking the rocks out is a time honored. talent in my family! πŸ˜† :biggrin: πŸ˜†

      (Right, Sis?)

  • Iphinome

    The saying goes if wishes were horses I’d have a pony… At least that’s how I always say it so was it a wheelbarrow full of ponies?

    • Worse. Pony by-product! We’d set boards across the worst of the mud, but sometimes, the boards just aren’t where you need to go! There’s nothing like taking a run at a mud hole and going arse over teakettle when the whole blame thing tips halfway through.

      And of course you ALWAYS overload the wheelbarrow.

      Always.

  • skitterling

    Nothing like working your way across a pig sty, ankle deep, and having your foot come out of the boot which promptly falls over. Standing there balancing on one leg, trying to delay the moment your other foot has to come down… :cwy:

  • smartcat

    The first spring after we moved to the woods our half mile long driveway turned to mud….my car got stuck so badly it had to be winched out with a come-along. In the process I walked out of my Wellies and we lost two twelve ft. long 4×6 planks…swallowed never to be seen again……mud season is a definite season here….only now it seems to have combined with march monsoons.

    Many times gardening can’t wait….we have trees that have to come down before we continue work on the pond….which has meant moving many large planters…..so this is turning into a new landscaping project…..but I enjoy messing around in clay, dirt and water πŸ˜‰

    • We had a mud season in the Seattle area, too. January to January, with a brief month off in August!

      I love messing in dirt. I love messing in water. It’s the mix I can do without! πŸ˜† I try to do most of the dirt work with nice powder dry stuff and just add the water as I plant things. It’s one reason to get this work done out front before turning on the sprinklers. But the other day, putting in the plants on the side “nursery” I had to run the sprinklers to see where the good spots were for the plants.

      Bleh!

  • Stephen

    Why not spray the grass with grass/weed killer, then wait? Probably not an option.

    • I’m just stupid stubborn, I suppose.

      Eventually, I will spray my piles, but it seems to me that if I just kill the grass, it still has this thick mat of roots that, if you’re going to shape the yard into hillocks and dry stream bed as we plan to do, it still needs to be tilled. If I get it ground up a bit with the tiller while it’s dry, I can “sift out” the roots and end up with a nice workable soil, that gives me a nice smooth surface.

      It’s also a pretty large lawn. To spray it all effectively with a meaningful killer would be a couple of hundred dollars at least, and then I just have no confidence that it w/b dead. (I’ve never used a grass killer but it seems to me the weed killers I’ve used have been pretty wienie. Plus, with my luck, I’d get half my neighbors lawn! :cwy: ) Anyway, I’m piling the grass and roots thus separated around the edge and when all’s said and done, I’ll spray it and let it decompose under weed cloth. No sense wasting all the nutrients we’ve poured onto the useless stuff! πŸ˜†

  • smartcat

    Wellllllll….you could use Roundup….which will kill anything it touches…but I wouldn’t…..too much risk of it getting into your pond. We used to use it in the spring when we were prepping the field for chrysanthemums…..but you need to wear protective gear. I only use it now with a wick sprayer I made.

    Speaking of mums, did yours ever sprout? You should have small green shoots forming by now. :whistle:

  • It got roots and we put it outside, but I haven’t seen any life yet. Which reminds me…Pictures! gotta go see if I got an answer on my plugin yet.

  • smartcat

    Have you used any fert? If it is still in a pot you could try a high phosphate liquid product. If it’s in the ground some fert plus superphospate might help….or bone meal if there are no rodents and moles around. This is a puzzle to me. :unsure: It could be that they just need a bit more warm weather. Mine are in the bed on the south side of the house next to the slab. It’s warm enough for daffodils to bloom almost a month ahead of those out in the yard. I’m sure with books, lawn and bathroom you have far more important things in your life. πŸ˜‰

    • I know there was root stimulator in the sand originally. I’ve put some generic fertilizer on them, but I don’t know if Carolyn used bone meal when she put them out or not. I’ll ask. Thanks!

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