Me and Mother Nature


I am always working around the weather.

It doesn't matter if I'm sick, injured, or don't feel like working, if the weather is good I have to get out there and do whatever needs doing because you never know if you'll get the chance later.

This is "pre-spring" in Texas. It's not safe to plant until mid March. And although we've had relatively mild temperatures, Mother Nature has tricked me in the past throwing a freeze in between 70 degree days.

This year we're growing in our other garden and letting our main garden rest. We let the secondary garden rest last year, but we did a lousy job putting it up for the year and we were rewarded with the worst weeds known to man. 

It took weeks to get it cleaned out. It's all done except for a couple of beds where we await the demise of two fire ant hills. After that we can proceed with installing weed barrier.

At our age though, we think it's time to invest in something more permanent. I don't want another backbreaking year of pulling those tough nut grasses from the walkways.

I wanted to do concrete pavers. Greg is against it because they need to be sealed between the crevices. He suggested pouring concrete walkways. 

My back groaned at the idea. I hate pouring concrete! It's heavy work and dusty. Those bags of concrete are 80 lbs each. Neither of us can handle a bag on our own anymore. I'd rather just seal the pavers myself.

Another idea is to buy rolled rubber matting. I used that in the original garden but only for the two main walkways since they were quite expensive.

I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to bite the bullet and buy more rolls. The prices today for the same mat are nearly twice what I paid before.

I suspect the prices have gone up because people now buy them for their in-home gyms. Originally, they were used for horse stalls.

The rubber mats I installed have been in place at least ten years and still does a perfect job at keeping down weeds. 

Live and learn. Prices only go up.

You'll excuse my short post today. I needed Sunday to recuperate, but I have a window to finish the garden today. Tuesday is the dentist and errands. Wednesday it rains.

If you're curious about what I use in the main garden other than the roll matting, it's old indoor/outdoor rugs with the rubber backing. They last quite a few years and do a moderate job of keeping down weeds.

I'm always on the lookout for those rugs on trash day. It's like gold to me!

If you garden, do you also have walkways between your beds? What do you use to keep the weeds down?

Are you gardening this year? How's the weather by you right now?


Comments

Maria N said…
I've seen posts here of folks using old carpet, astroturf and cardboard for weed block... like they say in Jurassic Park, though -- nature always finds a way.
Maria Zannini said…
Maria: Always.

I'll settle for at least slowing weeds down.
Jackie said…
Maria as of 1/12/2023 Karl is now retired and home full time so he’s planning on gardening and anxious to get started.

Tomorrow we have rain predicted and next week looks like it has 3 days straight of possible storms so we will see what happens closer to planting time.

It has been surreal having him here night and day but no longer having to get up so early anymore has been great for all 3 of us!

Fingers crossed we get to have a garden this year because Mother Nature has been unhinged last few years here.
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: Oh, my gosh! That's wonderful1. Congrats to Karl.

It's definitely a learning curve to have someone underfoot 24/7. My biggest adjustment was the elevated noise level when Greg finally retired.

Greg is loud and boisterous. And when he's loud, the dogs get loud, feeding on his energy. Suddenly my quiet orderly world became a circus. LOL!

Since then we try to meet halfway. Not dead as a tomb and not Ringling Brothers.
Jackie said…
Noises am not used to hearing for sure because when he was at work I had a lot of peace and quiet time to read now I jump when he startles me at times.

However the trade off is worth it because the man is worn down from years of worrying about us here during certain times of the day when we don’t feel well especially.
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: Absolutely agree. I had to live alone nearly 15 years seeing him only a couple of times a month. I much rather have him with me full time. Noise and all. :o)

Anyone who's worked decades like we have are entitled to our retirements. I work harder now than when I worked for corporate America, but I enjoy it so much more.
nightsmusic said…
I use rolls of heavy duty weed barrier and cedar mulch. We buy the mulch by the yard so yes, I have to shovel it, but it gets expensive in bags. The landscaping place we buy from delivers it and dumps it where we want it, we use the tractor to move it and I shovel it out of the raised bucket which works well because I'm not bending and lifting it that way. It looks nice, the bugs hate the cedar for the most part and it smells great when I first do it and then every time it rains. And I don't have weeds in the walkways.

Right now, it's snowing hard enough that the paved road 300 feet from my front door has disappeared from view. We started out with "we'll see 2-3 inches" and now it's up to "well, maybe we'll be getting 6 to 8 inches, but we're not sure yet" so we'll see what happens.

Hubby is getting his other knee replaced March 6th. So far, that's a tentative date depending on the hospital's schedule. :)
Maria Zannini said…
nightmusic:
It's weird. You went to spam.

I did weed barrier and wood chips last year. The chips created fantastic soil--which is where the weeds grew.

Because it was shallow though, those weeds were easy to pull.

We should have one more mild freeze before spring. I got the hard work done, so I feel vindicated.

Good luck to your hubby! I hope you get in.

Greg needs his second one done but he hasn't committed yet. I wish he would get it done before he gets too old to recover quickly.
nightsmusic said…
Maria: that's very odd. I use the heavy duty weed barrier everywhere. Out in the front, it's been down for four years now. I've had the cedar chips over that all that time and all I do every year is refresh it with a light dusting so the color comes back. I rarely have a weed. Once in a while, I'll have a volunteer oak tree and I've transplanted a few so...free trees! But that's it. The cedar doesn't degrade like other chips do though. Maybe that's a part of it. I don't know.

His second knee was his idea, not mine. It needs to be done though so better now than not at all.
Mike Keyton said…
Live and let live 😎
Maria Zannini said…
nightmusic: Sadly, it doesn't work that way here. I wonder if it's because we have a longer growing season.

re: knee
His surgeon told me, the knee tells them when to go in. When the pain is too much, they gladly go for surgery.

I'm pleased to report that Greg has not complained about his mechanical knee in months. For which I'm grateful. He can almost keep up with me now.
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: You sound like a turncoat. Are you in league with the weeds?
Mike Keyton said…
I dig a few out, but I like daisies and buttercups so I tend to edit. Lawns are lawns if they’re green so weed or grass. I just use the lawn mower and cut so it’s all green. A strummer is good to for weeds. Use it ruthlessly and forget they’re there unti they pop up again. Harsh but fair and effortless. I’m a bad person