Monday, August 16, 2010

I Overdid It

Yesterday was our first cool, dry day in months, so I decided to get a little work done outside.

First, I moved my highly effective squirrel cage and pulled out my dead tomato plants, and R helped me pick up the rocks I had put around the bottom and put them in a bucket. (This was fun to him, I suppose, because afterwards he threw many of them back out so he could pick them all up again!) Then I trimmed/pulled the weeds, grass and ivy growing through the fence next to the tomato bed.

I also raked the paths back into some semblance of order, and mulched them. This sounds simple, but my mulch bin was completely buried behind the remains of a 10-foot volunteer tree I hacked down by my back fence. It was time to take care of that anyway, so I cut all the branches off, bundled them, and set them out front for public works to take away. (I'm a bit concerned, though, after looking at some of the branch piles around my neighborhood this past week, that I may be low on their priority list after these big storms we've been having.)

Then, since I was having such a good time, I moved about four full wheelbarrows of mulch and distributed them around my yard. I didn't quite need all of it, but I wanted to use the rest of that bin up so I could pick it up. The bin I removed was about twice the size of the one you see in the background, partly because the chicken wire had started to give in and the whole pile was falling off the platform N. built for it to rest on.

That bin had been there for more than a year and a massive system of tree roots had grown in and was consuming the chicken wire. This tree and I have done battle before, but never quite like this. One of the root segments I pulled out was taller than I am! Here's a picture of the pile of roots I left behind.

I didn't quite need all the mulch from the bin, so I decided to finish moving my compost pile and get a new one started with the grass/weed clippings from my garden. I mixed the leftover mulch into the old compost, heavily laced with coffee grounds from this past week.

Some of you will have long since figured out that I am procrastinating finishing chapter four of my thesis.... thank goodness it was rainy today!

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