Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We have a winner!

"Quozzle" was the one who guessed how I edged my yard without using power tools:

I used this sickle weeder:

I looked at this a long time before I got it. It looks kind of scary but it really isn't. If you have the sense to use a kitchen knife without opening an artery you can use this -- just keep your fingers out of the way!

And it's fast, too -- by the time you persuade someone to do the edging, they get gas for the weed trimmer, they get back, do the edging and put the trimmer away, you can be done with it. And it doesn't use up any power.

It's not only great for edging, it's useful for cutting high grass, stands up fine to working around concrete (although that does dull the edge after a while but that's what sharpening files are for) and can cut pencil-sized saplings that try to take over (somewhere around here we have an elm tree that is doing just that). Just hold on to the top and whack them at the base.

Someone left a review there at Amazon that it seemed small for him. I have a large hand for a woman (medical people, I wear a 7 1/2 glove) and it seemed just fine for me. So unless you have a really huge paw you shouldn't have too much trouble with it. But it is NOT for lefties -- there's no way to reverse the blade that I can see.

So there you go! I love it, and use it all the time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Do you see what I did there?

Tell me: how did I do this?

The first one to tell me what tool I used to edge my lawn here will get one!

(hint #1: it was not a powered weed trimmer)

(hint #2: I have mentioned this particular tool in a prior post)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You Can Grow That! -- Cherry tree

Remember my Food4Wealth experiment? Well, here's the center of my potager:

And in the middle is a sweet cherry tree!

(To be more precise, it's a Starkrimson Sweet Cherry from Stark Bros, which is in Missouri. I ordered the "dwarf supreme".)

This was ridiculously easy to plant. The hardest part was digging the hole, which the directions said to dig 2x2x2 feet. So my husband and I got out there a few days after a rain and started digging ... and it really didn't take that long.

I was so excited to see it putting out leaves that I ran back inside for the camera and took this photo for you. I imagine it will make flowers and fruit in a year or two, once it gets big enough.


You Can Grow That! is a campaign created by garden writer and master gardener C. L. Fornari. On the fourth of each month participating garden bloggers will write about something you can grow. Stop by the You Can Grow That! Facebook page to read all of the posts.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Get great-looking edging fast

I went outside this past weekend, and there was a lot to be done.

It's finally nice out. You go outside to tidy up after a few weeks of bad weather and then you find something like this:

You know a border is in there somewhere ... but where?

Aha! There it is! But look at all the weeds on the side next to the walkway ... the thought of pulling out each bit of bermuda grass next to the concrete was daunting.

I was looking at this and thinking, "there's got to be a better way" ... and I was right!

First, you have to have the right kind of edging, and it so happened that I did:

This edging is modular -- each piece slides into the other. You notice that one end is thinner than the other? The thicker end has a hole running along its length; the thinner one doesn't. I'll show you how this works in a bit.

This particular edging I got from Gardener's Supply, but if you search on Amazon.com for "pound in edging"you get a whole variety of shapes and sizes.

The first thing you do is to push back whatever you don't want next to the walkway.

You see where the white arrow is pointing? There is a hole in the top of the edging piece there. The black arrow points to the end of the other piece, where the edging is narrow. The narrow side slides into the hole in the wider side. I didn't get a picture of the process, but here's what it looks like after you push the piece in:

Then you just keep going along the row until they're all done, cut back the worst of the weeds, sweep up a bit, and there you go!

Not perfect, but much better than it was!