After the frigid temperatures earlier this week, today was 55 degrees with rain...but I didn't let the rain stop me. :) I've been known to get a lot done in the yard during the winter months (at least my first couple of years here, I did), but normally those are on sunny days. Today, on my way to the gym (yes, I finally joined a gym for the first time in my life!)...I decided to stop at a local appliance store where I've picked up cardboard before. Luckily it had stopped raining by the time I got there, and, luckily, the damp cardboard boxes folded much easier then the dry ones.
I don't recall mentioning this before (and I know last year I documented little here despite accomplishing a few things), but last fall, I began collecting large pieces of cardboard with the goal of smothering sections of the field to prepare them for planting my dreamed-of native meadow. Aside from the boxes, I collected bags and bags of leaf bags full of mostly oak and maple leaves from a suburban area near my work. I began covering my crownvetch problem with cardboard, then I scattered a thick layer of leaves on top to weigh it down, conceal the cardboard so it is not an eyesore, and create more of a barrier for the sun to penetrate and the plants to grow through. I'm uncertain if this will be enough to eradicate my despised crownvetch patch, but I do expect it to work in the grassy areas.
| From November 16, 2013, smothering Eurasian weeds and|
grasses along a path.
Hopefully, the extra thick layer of grass clippings is enough to
prevent weeds from growing through the gaps between the pole
and the cardboard.
I don't remember the exact temperature, but I remember being
surprised to see a spider and a few insects warming themselves
on the cardboard.
Today, I went out in the light drizzle to continue what I'd started. By the time I was half through, my hair was drenched, my denim shirt was wet down to the T-shirt I had on under it, and my sneakers were soaked. Still, with this warm (almost balmy after our windchill days) weather, I kept plugging along until I depleted my supply of fall leaves. It makes me wish I'd made more trips to that suburban street lined with scores of bagged leaves. Maybe next year, I'll do better.
|It is a good thing the cardboard blends in with the leaves... I just|
may have to spread them thinner once I lay more cardboard,
unless I figure out something else I can use.
While working, drenched from the rain, I thought of the picture this post would paint...then, I even got Jeff to snap a few shots of me as I finished up. I don't think I look as much like the drowned rat I felt like, but here I am:
I lined the path with the brown paper lawn bags, then covered them with the remaining leaves--oh, and I got some sawdust from the shop class at work that I've been using as well. Come spring, I'm hoping to be able to plant the seedlings that I will winter sow in the coming weeks (I actually got a head start on some of them back in October!). I'd like to have a nice start of native grasses and wildflowers to line the path and hint at what is to come...then seed the areas behind them and wait as they become established.
One of the paths that will lead through the meadow.
The same path now bordered by a narrow strip of brown paper
bags covered in leaves. (After)