In Oregon, the definition of gardening is the three minutes per year you have between freezing and weeding. In those three minutes you have to choose how many other things you can accomplish, all while cursing the rain that causes the weeds to grow.
Here in Austin we've had a pleasantly wet June. We had the normal 2.5" of rainfall - which didn't all fall in 20 minutes. It actually rained a little bit here and there, watering the garden rather nicely. And the weeds.
I've been working 60-70 hours a week on my job so haven't been able to spend the amount of time I'd like out in my yard. That plus the rain means that things have gotten out of control. I decided this morning that I was going to head out into the garden at first light and tackle the weeding. Triage dictated that I start in the front of the house where especially invasive species were taking over and grabbing pedestrians as they passed.
Our Municipal Utility District (MUD) has a weekly landscaping service that will pick up yard debris. They provide oversize black buckets for you to capture the smaller items. Tree branches can be stacked on the curb. Since the weeds in front were seedy and the type that I don't want in the compost, I decided that I would utilize the MUD bucket and get the offending plants hauled away. I went out the garage and to the back to get the MUD bucket. Except I couldn't get through the gate. The sunflowers and trumpet vine had completely taken over. Should I just go back to the other gate and ignore it? Or should I weed? I decided that barring passage was an offensive enough crime that I should just take care of it.
|Freed gate with just a few scattered leaves of evidence|
Of course, once I freed the gate I noticed that the loquat was now overhanging the path - it too needed a pruning in order to provide free access to that side of the house. Once the loquat was cleaned away there were a bunch of hackberry seedlings that had to go. And oh, geez, look at all that chickweed.
The chickweed and trumpet vine went in the MUD bucket that I was finally able to get to. The sunflowers and loquat were destined for the compost bin. I carted the four armloads back to the bin and settled in to cut them into small pieces so they will decompose faster. As I was cutting through the pile I noticed that the sunflower stems were starting to get really woody. Perfect as nesting cavities for my insect hotel. As I marched through the debris I cut the woodier stems into 5.5" lengths and left them on my leaf bin to dry.
Since I carried an armful (yes I used my t-shirt as a carrier), it filled the bucket. I have three of them, so I made another deal. Go ahead and go in the back yard to get the other bucket. Whatever you pull on the way has to go into the compost bin. Okay. Another plan. I pull up a bunch of sunflowers out of the front yard and prune back the beauty berry. I haul them back to the compost bin, spend 15 minutes cutting them into pieces.
Now I need a break. I sit by the pond and notice that the upland cress needs trimming back. Of course I have my clippers handy. The mint is also taking over - I should harvest some for tea or a nice minty fruit dessert tonight. Crum, that squash needs picking and geez the beans are coming in thick! Wait, the peas are also ripe. I make another deal, go in the house, get something to drink, bring out the harvest basket. It's okay to pull weeds on the way.
I go in the house, I get something to drink. I look at the time. I promised Ed I'd make him a nice lunch today.