Yard And Garden

Saving the Garden
Controlling Potato Bugs 

Yard and Garden day at the Orton Ranch

My dad has a beautiful, very productive raspberry patch in his back yard. I have transplanted some of his starts to my lovely home in the sand. I'm not so sure my raspberry plants are very happy here though. They will not grow tall like my dads' plants and haven't given one berry... yet.  I just fertilized them again to see if I can get them taller. I also decided to use some soaker hose to get more even water to them. However after today I'm not so sure I believe in soaker hoses. I bought three hoses and hooked them all together. I have plenty of water pressure, but I got squirting water in the first hose, normal soaking from the second, and water didn't even make it all the way down the third hose. I had to divert the squirting water down my rows.

This is how the soaker hose works. You can see some water droplets starting.

I heard the best way to water tomatoes is from the bottom, so I wrapped some hose around their base.

These tuff weeds are some of the worst. Sandburs. Say the name and everyone living in the sandhills shudders. When mature, each plant can have 20-30 seedlings that are like tiny cactuses. When you get poked, it hurts... bad. They are very hard to control. You should use a pre-emergent before they sprout. That will prevent them from growing. However that spiny thorn remains. But that is the first step, because you may kill all but one or two plants and forget it, they'll be back in full force next year. You must stay on top of them and after a few years you will rid them of your area.  I've drug around old carpet strips to gather up the burs, that helps.

 This is what a sandbur sprout looks like.

After we pulled some sandburs it was time to mow the lawn and outlying areas around the homestead. Did you know that kids can do anything you put their mind to? My kids are in charge of the mowing. They are 11 and 9. Of course there is a lot of "overseeing" I have to do. For example, the riding lawn mower was dead. I had to jump it, not a problem. However a few years back I didn't want to even try. Let me tell you it is very easy. No you will not get shocked. Make sure your battery charger is off, then attach the red to the positive side, and the black to the negative side. They are usually marked with the matching colors on the battery. 

Once connected turn your charger to "12 volt amp boost / engine start. Then turn the other dial to "hold" Hop on your lawn mower and turn the key until the engine starts. Now turn the two dials to "off." Remove the clamps and put the hood down. Done!

That wasn't the end of the lawn mowing challenges. The belt that turns the blade kept coming off. The first time this happened I just waited for my husband to get home and fix it- not even wanting to know how. Then it happened again. I decided to take a look under the mower, and this is what I saw:

 Can you see that the black belt is not on the pulley? I could see it, so I put it back on, and it worked. Wow, that was easy. And most things we think are hard, really are that easy. We just tell ourselves it's out of our league, but it's not. Just try it. Belt on! Mow on! Work it, own it!

 I think they did a pretty good job today. I love where I live. And yes, I'm standing on the trampoline- actually jumping with the three year old and trying to get a clear picture. 


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