Friday, May 14, 2010

Getting Dirty

The weather seems to finally be smartening up, so I took my day off to start in on some yard work.  The first item on my agenda is to KILL EVERYTHING.  Our backyard is overrun with dandelions, and I’m not responsible for their existence, so I’m not hand pulling every one.  I’m no hippie: I bought chemicals (the brand name is “Green Earth” so I’m not totally heartless).  I spent the afternoon spraying about 1/3 of the yard, and hopefully in a couple of days everything will be dead.  Then I can rake everything up, add new dirt to the garden box and get on with my life.  Since my responsibilities include the flower beds and planters, Matt is in charge of planting the garden with vegetables.  So today I filled a couple of planters with flowers and a hanging basket as well.  I bought a “wildflower mix” for the side of the house, because it’s very shady next to the hedges and I have no idea what to do with the area.  I’m charging the camera battery now so I can take some photos and we can all witness the progression.  Things are looking pretty bare right now, and the grass is a bit too tall, but I have plans to paint the fence and the garden box, as well as reseed most of the back lawn.  Also, I’m going to bring up some rocks from one of our pieces of land (to put a path in the backyard) and an old tractor rim from the farm (for a fire pit) and paint it, too.   And I guess I should get a lawn mower one day soon.  I bought some cheapy solar lanterns from Home Depot to class it up a bit, and I have to go to WalMart because they have solar-powered string lights that I can hang in the tree near where the fire pit will be.  Cute!

I remember as a child, being forced to weed the garden and work in the tree rows.  I never would have expected myself to develop a love for outdoor work, after years of what I perceived to be a terrible way to spend my summer.  I don’t even mind mowing the lawn.  In fact, I’m looking forward to landscaping a bit and spending time outdoors.  It’s all so relaxing.  Until the neighbour's yappy little dogs see me and start barking at the fence.  Those little fuckers totally harsh my summer mellow.


Lojo said...

My favorite line: "I am no hippie." Thank god. My best friend is one, and I don't think I could handle another one.

Does it make me lame that I am excited about seeing your landscape progression? 'Cause I totally am.

terriannep said...

That's funny, I was the same way as a child, I HATED doing any kind of yardwork, but now that I'm older I love it! And I LOVE to mow the lawn! It's so relaxing. Push mower, riding mower... I'm out there. I wish I could find some type of Forrest Gump job where I just ride a lawn mower all day. That would be great.

I'm excited to see the progression too. :)

twitch said...

It's worth noting that the "green earth" chemicals don't work worth shit. I had to go hand-pulling a bunch of stuff all morning. Stupid non-synthetic herbicides.

Lojo Beautiful said...

I feel the same way about "green" cleaning products. I don't want something that tickles dirt. I want something that eats it and makes it hard for me to breathe. That's how I know it's working.

Dylan Laine said...

You know it's different when it's your place you are fixing up and making look beautiful... Reading this hs made me sooo jealous I can't wait to move back to Canada and buy a nice home and do yard work... Gareth is really into that kind of stuff and is actually handy unlike me so I can dream it and well he can make it a reality... hahaha How lucky is that... plus then we can reno another place!!!! hahahaah oh the fun we will have once I'm back!!! Love ya babe!

C-Dawg said...

Ya, that "Green Earth" chemical you speak off is just a formulation of acetic acid, or vinegar at between 7 and 10 per cent. Household vinegar is 5% I believe but agricultural vinegar (which is used for organic farms for weed control) is 20% and it doesn't even work all that well at even that high of percentage. So in that respect I am really not surprised that it didn't work.

My suggestion for your Pest Management plan, is to pick up a bottle of "Killex Pull and Spray" from Canadian Tire. It should be a available in Saskatoon but maybe phone ahead. Its a (compared to commercial use) weak formulation of 3 chemicals which are 2-4D (@190grams/L) which is going to be your main broadlead weed control and should kill any thing like dandelions, Mecaprop (@100g/L) which will control harder to control weeds, like maybe you have some little thistles in there or kochia, so basically woody stemmed weeds and lastly Dicamba (@18g/L) which is hardly worth mentioning but it will assist the 2-4D in controlling broadleaf weeds.

During spraying and until its throughly dried don't let the kitties run on it cause it will defintely irritate them.

After a day or two apply "Scott's Turf Builder Weed Prevent". It contains a decent amount of nitrogen which will help your grass grow and green up nicely. But it also prevents pre-emergent dandelion (or broadleaf) prevention. I can't find out for sure but my belief is that it contains Dicamba within the product because, Dicamba at higher concentrations than your original spray has about a 30 day residual which makes sense because the product suggests you reapply this stuff every 4 weeks (28 days) so I believe that that would help fix it up.

After looking into the Killex Spray, there are some reviews on the Canadian Tire site that says "it kills everything green" will not kill grass because none of those chemicals are used to control/kill grasses. The guy that wrote that is probably an idiot and sprayed his garden with it thinking that his corn, potatoes, tomatoes and his wives flowers weren't broadleaves...he was wrong and his wife probably left him.

This whole system will cost you like $70 but you should only have to spray once and that 9.1 kg bag of Scott's might do your whole lawn for 4 applications and if you choose to use that Killex stuff, don't spray trees directly. No where in any of this stuff is there piclorem so it won't just randomly kill shrubs unless you spray them directly and even then, they are pretty tough.

And yes, to me, looking up methods for weed control was fun haha...hope this helps...Cya Friday!

twitch said...

Chris: You are a huge nerd. I already knew acetic acid was vinegar, but we have cats so I didn't want anything too harsh on the grass, since they love to chew on it. But Dad is coming in with some Par 3 or some shit to spray the dandelions out. And then I am opting for Scott's Patchmaster, since there are only a couple of places where the grass needs to be reseeded. That puts my costs into the $30 range, which is much better.

twitch said...

I'm thinking I don't need the Dicamba, because a healthy and full lawn won't let dandelions in anyway, it's just because the grass got patchy (because it wasn't looked after) that the dandelions moved in.