Sunday, May 3, 2009

Beautifying the Ranch

No, I'm not putting pictures of me in front of the place, but thanks for the thought.

There is a planting bed at the front of the house. It's got a southern exposure so it gets plenty of sunlight. Last year my wife picked out the plants for it, and her theme was "Flowers that Jeff hates."

This year I beat her to the punch and picked up some plants from Menards. I got a half-dozen different styles/colors, including some grasses.

To prepare the bed I finally got a chance to use the rototiller. It was a tight fit in this narrow bed, but it chewed through the ground without a problem. Well, it should, it's only lightly compacted dirt. I did the same on a planting bed on the side of the house, but haven't picked up the plants for that area yet. I still need to remove the stump from an old burning bush which was planted there and allowed to grow wild.

I also started preparing a spot in the back yard for a garden, which should really give the tiller a workout. Currently the spot is covered with a thick layer of grass. I could possibly till right through it, but if the grass is still alive it'll start growing right away once I plant and water the garden.

The goal is to kill the grass. Yeah, I could remove it with a sod cutter or a shovel, but that's a LOT of work that I don't want to do, so I went with "Plan B".

Plan B is covering the ground with a dark tarp and letting the heat generated do the hard work for me. Between the heat and the lack of sunshine I should be able to accomplish the goal. I could also use a lot of grass killer, but would rather not.

Since the days are longer now I'll probably break out the tiller after work in the next day or two and break the ground up. Then it gets covered up again for a few days before tilling again. Maybe it'll be ready to plant in a few weeks.