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Spring cleaning - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Spring cleaning
Now that the daytime weather is turning warm and it's still light out by 7 pm, this afternoon I started cleaning up outside the house. All the leaves I was too lazy to rake up last fall before the first snow, are now raked and bagged. Even so, the backyard still looks a mess, due to wood chips everywhere from when I had a tree removed last month. It was healthy, but cast so much shade my garden didn't grow very well. Mind you, my garden also didn't grow well because of the gumbo soil and my heavy antipathy towards weeding.

I also finished destroying a horrible old cupboard inside the garage that took up space. After several hours with a hammer and a borrowed crowbar, I had two dozen pieces of wood and twice that many nails. The crappy wood has been stored in the garage's rafters using the "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy. Then I went around removing any prominent nails inside the garage that posed a potential hazard. End result: safer, slightly more spacious crappy garage, for the few times a friend visits and doesn't want to park their car on the street.

Objects accidentally destroyed: A pair of light winter gloves, and some young raspberry shoots.

Objects found: A spare key to my house in the garage (badly hidden); a muddy, weathered pair of drumsticks; a tiny useless handsaw; a bent fireplace poker.

Current Mood: tired tired

13 comments or Leave a comment
atara From: atara Date: May 4th, 2009 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Leaves? Bagged?

You aren't going to THROW THEM AWAY, are you??

If you aren't making a compost pile (which you SHOULD), save them and use the leaves as mulch between your vegetable rows. It'll help keep the soil moist and keep the weeds down a bit.
dronon From: dronon Date: May 4th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a compost bin and I put some of them in there - I should probably be stirring the thing from time to time but don't. Other than that there's too many of them to keep around.

However, I've got two battered garbage cans in the garage whose bottoms have rusted away - I could stick those in a corner outside and fill them with leaves. Bit of an eyesore, but they would work. Although one time I left them out filled with trimmed tree sticks, and the garbagemen thought I wanted them emptied.

Their lids, meanwhile, are being used to restrict the growth of the rhubarb. :-)
atara From: atara Date: May 4th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Restrict the rhubarb??

dronon From: dronon Date: May 4th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I hate rhubarb, and if I left it alone it would grow out over the walkway and I'd be tripping over it. And it's next to impossible to kill because its root system is well-entrenched and very deep. So I keep the garbage pan lids down on top of it - it still sends up shoots, but they grow slowly. So I yank 'em out and add them to the compost bin.
pierrekrahn From: pierrekrahn Date: May 4th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)
These drumsticks you speak of... are they of the musical or edible variety?
dronon From: dronon Date: May 4th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
The musical variety! I doubt the edible type would survive out there for long. However, between my house and my neighbour's, among a jumble of rocks, is something that looks like a big old cow vertebra.
pierrekrahn From: pierrekrahn Date: May 4th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Cow vertebra?
Me thinks you need to keep that! :)
dronon From: dronon Date: May 4th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's been outside for so long... I'm kind of nervous to take it into the house, in case it's got creepy-crawlies living in it.
pierrekrahn From: pierrekrahn Date: May 4th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Bah! Rubbish, I say!

Douse the thing in bleach. That'll kill anything.
dronon From: dronon Date: May 4th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not gonna go out and buy bleach for the sake of a cow vertebra!
pierrekrahn From: pierrekrahn Date: May 4th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
What about a pig vertebra? Or a cow femur?

I'm just trying to figure out where you draw the line.
rexxwolfe From: rexxwolfe Date: May 21st, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
to break up heavy clay soils add these thinsg to your garden. Gypsum helps break up clay And dolomitic lime can to a small extent. Coarse play sand Or any clean sand period worked into the soil will break up clay and improve drainage. Peat moss can help break up clay as well. Add lots of organic matter a tot he soil manure compost etc work all these things into the soil and you in time can fight the clay battle. In order for this to work well these things must be well mixed in your soil and fairly copious amounts. I would first try the sand peat moss and Organic matter approach. Loblaws chain stores sell black earth in bags and its pretty decent for soil amendments. BTW your area does not take brown bagged leaves?
dronon From: dronon Date: May 24th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually what I should really do is have all the gumbo dug out and removed to at least 12" or more, then have good soil dumped in instead and packed down. Except for the end of the garden where the raspberries have taken hold. :-)

For leaves in Winnipeg, you have to drive and drop them off at selected locations during a limited time window during the year, and I don't drive or own a car. :-(
13 comments or Leave a comment