Monday, July 4, 2011

Yard Work

Last fall, Adam and I bought landscaping cloth, soil, and some edgers for a few of our garden/mulch area's out front.   And before I knew our weekends got away from us and it was winter, so all winter long we had 20 bags of soil and a pile of edgers sitting next to our house.   So this spring/summer I finally got working.   The problem is between my travel for work, trying to get my walks in and the weather, it got harder and harder to work on the yard.    Memorial Day Weekend I had few plans and was having a bunch of people over, so I decided I was gonna put a lot of time in outside - and I did!   I spent most of 2 days working on those areas. 

As much as I love Adam, he really isn't a yard work guy - which was hard for me because I got frustrated that he would just sit inside while I was working my ass off outside.  Or he would mow the lawn, but rarely use the edger to clean up the edges along the sidewalk and fenceline and never use the blower to clean up all the lawn clippings from the side walk and street.

He did come and help me a few times that weekend and before, and I have officially decided that I think Id just prefer to do it myself.    If you know me well - you know Im very particular about how things are done and how they look, and Adam - well he just isn't.    Ive finally given in a bit with some things because you can't teach someone to be OCD like I am - and I finally learned I just can't do everything myself.    Its a (long) learning process for me, but hopefully Ill eventually get less OCD.   

Anyways, before that weekend, we cleaned up one area (the smallest of the areas), dug a trench around the area so the mulch/soil wasn't floating right onto our grass and so there was a clear divider between tree area and grass area, put down the landscape cloth and then covered that with top soil.  That small area took about 14 hours worth of work.    And its the smallest by a lot - so I wasn't looking forward to working on the other areas.

Well, Memorial Day weekend, I finally started to get my butt moving again.   Adam was working that Saturday, so I was able to put all day into the yard.   I cleaned up our largest of the areas - but all I got to do was clean up all the weeds and spray because the sun was now beaming down on this area.   I moved onto another area (where the sun wasn't beaming down on me).  

The next area was our front area that had really ugly plants that I had no clue how to properly care for, so I removed all the plants - cleaned up all the mulch (half was gone when I started last fall) and this time, completed it by laying down landscape cloth and using those edgers I bought to define the area.    We needed to go back to Home Depot a couple times to buy more edgers because I under-estimated how many were needed.    Anyways, it looks blah - and will stay that way until at least next spring when I can figure out what I want to put in that area - and when we have the money to buy it.

But that was a month + ago, and another holiday weekend came up this weekend, and this was the first time since then that I was able to get back outside.    I still have 4 area's that need weeding. 

The first is that big ass area I already cleaned up.   anyone have any recommendations on a good weed control spray?   We have tried two different ones, and none of them have done ANYTHING.    The landscaping cloth has worked in the area's I have put it down, but there are 2 area's it can't go and I can't continuously pull all the weeds in those area's, I need something else to help me keep it under control.   Of course this area isn't one of them - but we had someone mow our lawn on Friday - and he helped me greatly this weekend by mowing down all the weeds.   Mind you they are still there and I need to work on them - but it didn't look really awful to make it a top priority.

The second area is the other half of the area in front of my house that I didn't get to work on last time.   We have pavers in the middle of this area and solid concrete on either side of it, so I had to work around all of that.   Good news is it wasn't as bad as I thought and only took a couple hours on Saturday of cleaning up the weeds and mulch - unfortunately I didn't have the staples to hold down the landcape cloth - so that got saved for 30-45 minutes worth of work on Sunday.   (Pictures to eventually be uploaded).   I still have to put top soil or something on top of the landscape cloth - but here is my conundrum and question.  

I really dislike mulch.   Primarily because the home inspector scared me that mulch CAN carry termites or be more invited to termites.  But also because it looks ugly after its dried out a bit - which really takes much less than a year and you do have to replace it every year.   Ive used top soil, but that doesn't always look great, and it can get messy - and for this specific area I don't think it would work well because the soil will constantly overflow onto the concrete areas.   So I started thinking about using rubber mulch.   Anyone ever use this?   Does the color really last long enough to make the cost worth it?   Cost-wise that would be about 3 years - but Id love for it to really last the 5-7 years they say.    How does it look?   Thoughts?   Id still put landscape cloth down, so I would think the combination of that and rubber mulch would be a good fight against the weeds.

So low and behold I didn't spend as much time doing yard work this weekend as I thought - which made for a better weekend (future posts) but I only have two and a half areas down and three and a half more to go - and those are the biggest and the ones that Id really like to win the lottery so I could just hire someone to completely redo these areas as two aren't garden area's - its just a stone pathway and a paver patio full of weeds coming through every which way.

Sorry for the really long post - Ill try to keep them shorter in the future as I know you all have a short attention span (if you even got this far - LOL)

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