Monday, June 17, 2013

More lawn fun than you can shake a rake at

Training-wise, last week was pretty solid. 4 times on the spin bike, 4 times on the treadmill, several weightlifting sessions and some pool laps makes for a strong week.

Then the real work began.

At 0 600 I was at Home Depot at the tool rental counter. I don't own a tiller. Don't take my 'man card'. A suspension I could see, but a revocation is over the line. I'll get a tiller eventually. I promise. At least I have a truck now.

Anyway, I rented a Honda mid-tine tiller. I have to say the Honda engine was consistent and powerful. In some areas of the lawn the tines did magic on the "Great Horseweed Infestation of 2013". In other places, the clack of the metal against the ground literally sounded like I was tilling up my sidewalk.

To say this was "good cross training" is selling it short. It was a lot of work. Five hours of tilling in 3 stints throughout the day was quite enough. I did get most of it tilled up to my satisfaction. The growth we did miss was either dug up by hand, burnt or viciously severed in a fit of gardening bliss.

We had a layer of dirt on us most of the weekend. The heat was also a factor. We took the heat of the day off each day.

We are running three experiments on the eradication of horseweed.

1) Full on removal. We took this approach on half the yard. I guess it is about 1800 square feet. We did recondition the soil and sow new bermuda grass seed. Speaking of that, I built a custom top-soil screen using mesh wire and some 2 x 6 scraps I had from the trim project. It works nicely and fits atop the wheelbarrow like a glove.

2) Till and tarp. I basically tilled the infested area and then covered the tilled area with white plastic. The theory is that the sun and the plastic will work together to scorch the earth. This way we dont have to use total vegetation kill. We did this on 1/3 of the yard (and on the worst outbreak areas).

3) Till and spray. This method was used on the areas that had newly been infested. I tilled up two 8 x 4 sections and sprayed vegetation kill on them.

We'll see which one works best. I am leaning toward better on the full removal. What we will be measuring is recurrence of the weed.

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