Thursday, May 13, 2010

Working on those potato boxes

Today is the nicest day of the year yet. I am enjoying our sunny weather. Got out in the garden, added some more straw to the potato's. They are finally taking off. A few bloggers wrote about having good success using straw and newspaper shred instead of soil around their potato's, so I am trying that in the boxes. It lightens it up, and is less expensive than dirt, plus, I am the one hauling it around, so it is easier on my back! I will tell you how it turns out in a few months.

My other chore of the day is trying to keep ahead of the dandelions. We have renters right next door, and they finally mowed their grass for the first time of the season last week. Weeding is not high on their list of priorities. The renters prior to them also didn't think that yard maintenance was part of their duties. Needless to say, the yard is covered in weeds. Which means that MY yard gets covered in weeds.

I try to do something about it. A few times a year, I go out and weed. Plus, I am courteous to my other neighbors, we mow often enough to keep the dandelions from going to seed (you are welcome! I don't want to pass on the "joy".). But it is a never ending battle. Not helped by the fact that A) I refuse to entrench myself and wage war on a weekly or daily basis. Sorry, my ego isn't tied to my lawn! and B) I refuse to use chemicals on my lawn. I don't want to harm my family or my animals, nor have the run-off go into the ground water. Between the two issues right there, it's a losing battle.

Most years, I do basic hand-to-hand combat. Or the hot-water method (not always successful). This spring, I heard about using straight lemon juice on weeds to kill them. Huh. Well, shoot. I don't have an issue with straight lemon juice. I did add a drop of dish detergent in hopes of getting the whole capillary action going on (don't remember where I heard that, but adding dish detergent means the plant will soak it up better? or is that only with oily concoctions and I didn't need it? Either way, it can't hurt anything!). Sprayed the heck out of the front yard and a bunch of the back yard.

It made the dog sneeze (duh, avoid that, sweetie!). Was a bit depressing, doing all the spraying in the back. Step, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz. Step, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz. Felt like there were 10 weeds to every one step I took. Pities sake! If I kill all the weeds in the back yard, there won't be any green there.

And as I finish, I look over at my neighbor's, see his fenced in gravel area, ripe with snowy dandelions.....and know that my efforts are, for the most part, completely pointless.

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