August 23rd, 2003

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A slow Friday night, plans for Saturday

Just a few things to work on tonight. The earliest thing still needing any work at all is not due until Monday morning. I like to leave stuff for the weekend crew because I've worked weekends and know how deathly dull it gets with nothing to do. So I'm killing time on my other recent obsession: landscape plans!

Earlier today, I took a bit of time and moved a flowering plant that I suspect is a phlox of some form from the weed-dominated area in front of my house to the area that I'd previously planted some irises and other flowering plants. I gave it a good soak and covered its base with mulch. It'll get the same treatment as the rest of those plants for the next few weeks, which means it'll get watered at least every couple of days.

Tomorrow begins the big plans for the south side of the house and the prairie garden. I'm planning on tearing out all the big weeds, turning the ground over and covering the area in landscape fabric. If I can did up some cardboard that isn't being used, or some newspaper, I'll toss that in under the landscape fabric as a soil enhancer. I may try to empty part of my compost pile/brush pile into the area too, depending on how bad the soil is.

Once I have that done, if I have energy left, I'll dig up a plot in the front lawn where I plan to put a prairie garden next spring. That will get landscape fabric over it as well, to make sure no weeds get an early start before the prairie plants can get established. I'm thinking I might either add some soil to the area, or otherwise build up a bit of a berm (by tossing some rocks and other fill from the south side of the house in and covering with soil) to set the prairie garden up a bit from the rest of the lawn. That's probably a bit much for tomorrow, though, and not something I need to decide before spring.
  • Current Music
    God Don't Make Lonely Girls--The Wallflowers--BDtH
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Operation Cleanup--Stage 1: Complete!

The big weekend project of cleaning up the south side of my house and prepping areas for more attractive plants next year is under way!

I have just completed the first task of tearing out all the tall weeds along the south side of the house and carting the huge mounds of organic matter to the compost pile. That'll be some tasty stuff in a couple of months. One side effect is that, thanks to the large crop of catnip, I'm now very popular with the cat.

Stage 2 will be removing the volunteer tree that's sprung up behind the shrubbery and transplanting the hostas that were inadvisably placed there. But first! Re-hydrate and cool off a bit.
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Operation Cleanup--Stage 2: Complete!

One volunteer tree removed, or at least cut down to a (bloody) stump.

A larger batch of hostas than they looked are transplanted. Side effect: weeds removed from their new home! Yeah!

Now on to the big project, turning over the land. Cultivating. Digging 'er up. This'll be a bit of work.
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Operation Cleanup--Stage 3: In Progress

Taking a break for water. Have dug up half the sod portion of what lies south of the house and am starting on the rockier portion where the weeds had reigned supreme. Thing learned: When digging up sod, turn your shovel toward the patch you previously dug up. This allows your leverage to tear the root mass from the next piece to be dug and makes turning it over a lot easier.

The weedy portion seems like it will go a bit quicker than the sod as a) there aren't as many plant roots to deal with and b) what there are for roots don't seem to extend as deep. The downside is that this portion of the ground nearest the house is also the rockiest, so maybe it'll be a wash.

For reference, the area I'm planning on digging up is about 600 square feet (60 x 10).
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    working working
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Operation Cleanup--Stage 3: Complete!

It is done. I'd over-estimated the space. Pacing it off, it turns out that it's only 450 square feet (30 x 15). The roll of landscape fabric I purchased says that it's 400 square feet so there are a few patches of earth that aren't covered. I've kept those near the house where possible as that's the part that gets the least water and, hopefully, where things are less inclined to grow.

Used some of the rocks I dug up to help keep the landscape fabric from blowing away in the strong wind that's kicked up. Feels like we might get some rain by morning.

Now, though, I am off to the shower to douse my sweaty, dirty self. Then, relax in front of the Twins game with a cool beverage.
  • Current Mood
    drained drained