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Thursday, May 19, 2005

More pine pruning adventures

I have been taking advantage of the nice weather lately and fallen to SPring/Summer cleanup tasks again. Last night, as a family, we spent 2 hours working in the front garden.

The rains caused an explosion of grass everywhere, so much pulling and cutting still needs to be done. We are slowly making progress against it, but it is difficult to get to some of the grass as it is growing right out of the tightly knit azalea and juniper beds. The pebble paths, randomly strewn with flagstones also defeat any easy attack. the grass loves to grow right along the edges of the tone, making it almost impossible to use a hoe or hand digger to get it out. I have used a bit of Round-Up in the past, but I haven't in the last several years. Too much environmental baggage tied up with it, I guess.

I finished up the last 2 small pine trees along the street. Both were terribly over-grown. (I really need to prune more often, time slips away) It only took me an hour or so to do both and they look nice, clean and sculptural again instead of simply a shaggy green mess. I assume some of you will tell me if I am doing something entirely wrong with these trees. I am guessing in my pruning, for the most part, and going for looks over any sort of botanical style.

When I prune anything in the garden, I try to consider how animal browsing and weather would have effected the plant if it wasn't in an urban setting. Would the deer have nibbled off this part or that? Would the snow have broken this limb or the other? Than I try to bring the plant into a natural looking style based on those thoughts. It makes pruning very zen-link. I tend to lose myself in the act, almost like painting or drawing.

I have 3 or 4 more of these pines to trim, but they are smaller and less over-grown, so it shouldn't take me very long. The next big project is taking the hedge trimmer to all the geometrical azalea beds. This job only takes a couple of hours, but I am totally wiped out by the end of it. Holding my arms are odd angles turns them to jelly by the time I finish. I have thought about breaking it into sections, but once I start it drives me to complete the entire set. Wish me luck!

Summer is here, so check out your irrigation setups. I need to repair a few drip lines and check out the older soaker hoses, but I think things are in fairly good shape.

Keep Digging!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

How to Succeed at Seed Starting

I need to spend some time with this page, as my seed starting attempts are haphazard at best. I think my problem is probably lack of patience, as well, but that effects all aspects of my life. (SMILE)

This page comes from North Dakota State University - NDSU Extension Service, but I think most of the information applies everywhere.

How to Succeed at Seed Starting very detailed instructions

(Via del.icio.us/tag/gardening.)