Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dirty old men

Yes, I am a dirty old man.  Photo credit, Mrs ERJ
Mrs ERJ suggested that I hose off outside before I took a shower.  Happy wife, happy life.

Pulling weeds, I knock as much dirt off of the roots as I can before laying them on the ground.  I usually beat the roots against whichever shin is handiest.  Then I lay the pulled weeds down so the roots are in the sun, separated from the dirt by a layer of weed tops.  It is discouraging to come back a week later and pull the same weeds again after their roots grow back down into the soil.  One year I must have pulled the same weeds seven times.  The tops looked like corkscrews as the tops grew upward from whatever way I had laid them on the ground.

The hole looks large enough to park a Prius in, so it was probably made by an adult.
I saw this as I was getting ready to pull weeds.  Mr Woodchuck is making himself right at home.  The green, plastic fence in the foreground is what my pole beans will be climbing on, if any survive the rabbits and woodchucks.

Mr Woodchuck is in for a surprise the next time he tries to use this hole.  This is a #160 body-grip ( Conibear is the most common brand name) trap.

One technique I am contemplating is running about six feet of poly tubing down the hole and pouring a 1/4 cup of ammonia down the tube.  According to one source, any animals lurking in the  hole will come charging out as the fumes burn their eyes and lungs.  You better be ready to shoot quickly as the animal(s) will be moving quickly. Ammonia is not toxic to plants, in fact, it is a common source of Nitrogen fertilizer.

Summer presents a dilemma.  Do I work in the cool of the morning when grass and garden plants are wet or do I wait for them to dry and work in the heat of the day?  Wet grass clogs mowers and working in the garden when the leaves are wet can spread disease.

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