Friday, September 5, 2014

What I Did This Summer

Once the rains petered out, I damn near killed myself arduously marched back and forth with the little Honda mower, lugging countless bags of clippings to be piled on the garden beds becoming. Here's the joke:

See, I have "dandelawn", not grass like most folk. Mowing it is a race between the dainty little yellow blooms and the fuzzy puffballs of dandelion seeds just waiting to go forth and multiply.

Here's the look in mid-mow:
And this is just the front lawn. Somewhere along here, I heard a voice saying "Why won't you just get a rider mower?" I stopped the mower, took off the ear protectors, and turned around to find my wife holding a big cold glass of water. Of course, I said, "What? I didn't hear you. What didja say?" (Code for message acknowledged. Roger that.)

Got this little beauty, on sale as a store return at the Sears Homeboy Hometown store the next day, with all of 0.6 hours on the meter, because the original buyer found it was too hard to drive. I drove a heck of a bargain, taking a fat slice off the price. They delivered it 3 days later, complete with a full tank of gas, all nice and shiny:

With a 54-inch deck, mowing has become fun again. I am saving up for a bagger attachment, though, as a little lawn sweeper takes way too long to use. I really give this thing a work-out:

All I do is blow the dust and clippings off with a leaf-blower, and dust it with a microfiber towel. It has subdued the blackberry/fern jungle on the east end, and the big pasture on the west end is being cut and re-cut to compost in place:

You might think that's pretty level, but it is a bone-jarring thrash for me. The hidden ruts and gopher mounds haven't been tamed in many years - this stuff was 3 to 4 feet tall at first, but several tanks of gas later, it looks much better. There's a lot more back in the trees, too. I am wondering if a chain harrow (drag harrow) might smooth it out some, but it's not something I want to plow, till, grade and seed....more about that at another time.

The "RGB's" - raised garden beds - are still slowly accumulating, and don't really look different since the earlier pictures I took. I had more success with the greenhouse, with a mad jumble of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and lettuce. I still have the second row of soil there to start with brassicas and carrots, and possibly a rooted sucker or two from the tomato vines:

You might recognize those red tomato tray thingies, which I actually found to be pretty good after all. I do need to get some repair tape for the greenhouse cover. The previous owner must have gotten into a fight or two with it. The PVC lines are purely decorative, since there's no known water line out to the greenhouse. I just got some cheesy 5/8" hoses at the local Bi-Mart and ran soaker hose over the beds (after taking the above picture). Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, capeche?

The house repairs and stuff have taken most of our time, but I remind myself, to plant a seed is to believe in the future. I expect to have a real garden next year, even though I was saying that last year, too. Getting the garden tractor was not expected to happen until next year, so in some ways, we are doing OK, anyway. I've done more stuff here in two years than I did in five years on Maui, but that's my fault. Stay tuned....