Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…

rake-24250_1280I was out raking up the sweet gums balls in the yard…again.  I never realized what an arboreous pain sweet gum trees are; beautiful, yes, but there’s nothing sweet about stepping on one of those blasted seed balls that drop in the spring and fall.  The little buggers can be downright treacherous! 

Try to mow the yard with them hiding in the grass, and they go flying like so many high-velocity projectiles.  You’d better hope you have shoes on or your foot can be impaled by the hard spikes on this leftover seed casing.  Even with shoes on, the little sphere doesn’t politely crush when stepped on; oh no, when it rolls underfoot, it can send the unsuspecting bi-ped flying, giving the same effect as slipping on a banana peel.  Continue reading “Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…”

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Hey, where’d YOU come from?!

garden lastHot, humid, it’s southern Missouri and the first official day of summer, so what else is new?  I’m already a sweaty mess working in the yard, and the compost needs turning, so out comes the pitchfork (à la American Gothic) and the back muscles are put on notice. 

It’s during this little exercise in semi-organic gardening that I observe a real surprise—two tomato plants growing, quite well I might add, to the side of my large, homemade compost bin, hidden between the garage and the fence line. 

tomato

Huh?!?  And they’re as large or larger than some of the ones I have growing now in my suped-up garden with my organic, sore-muscled compost mixed with expensive dirt that grows things “miraculously”, and is watered with our very, very expensive third-stage (whatever that is) city water!  Continue reading “Hey, where’d YOU come from?!”

Never waste a good compost

garden lastIt’s an uncharacteristically warm day in winter, so I’ll need to go out and turn the compost.  Now, that might not sound too exciting, unless you see it with a little vision (or a lot, depending on your perspective, I suppose…)  My heavy-duty fork and I have an interesting relationship—I supply the muscle but it touches the biologicals.  It’s work, but I’m hoping a good harvest this coming summer. 

Which is nothing compared to the work in this account…

Backstory: What little was left of the Continue reading “Never waste a good compost”

Good Samaritans live!!

garden lastAt this writing, March is decisively budding into April, and my initial bruises from the new garden plot are healed while new ones have emerged.  The railroad ties are secured in place, sort of, and the new drill I purchased for that part of the project (with which I sprained my wrist—also healed) is put away for the time being.  One thing I recognize is the importance of keeping my eyes on the prize—the vision I have for the productivity and beauty of this new green space.  I’ve gone through my Plan A to Plan B to Plan C and might actually be ending up with something I like. 

It’s good for one with my limited skill set to be flexible in these things, you know.

I’m now trying to fill in the terraced area with appropriate contents amenable to growing things, preferably flowers, and strategically place in a few containers for edibles.  I’ve spent more than Continue reading “Good Samaritans live!!”

Take it to the compost pile!

garden last

I wanted to take my gardening prowess, which isn’t very high to begin with, to the next level: I wanted a compost pile. I was, however, concerned about attracting rodents.  (UGH!)  A friend of mine alleviated this by convincing me to recycle only plant products, i.e., just flora, no fauna.  So scraps from smoothie makings, salad fixin’s, and the corn cobs of summer were diligently tossed into a special homemade “bin” made of old wooden pallets situated in the side yard.  Okay, they do tend to attract flies, but one day I noticed that a nice big spider had set up housekeeping right over the very spot—if any spiders have brains, this was one of them!

Then there’s the odor.  Ever caught a whiff of a compost pile?  You shouldn’t really be able to, at least not if it’s Continue reading “Take it to the compost pile!”