Eighth of an Acre Bounty

Random thoughts and anecdotes on cooking, critters, gardening and life on our small city lot.

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The right tool for the job

May 5th, 2009 · No Comments

Meet my new love, the Weed Wrench. No, this little hottie hasn’t replaced Gary – in fact I am pretty sure that Gary is ok with my new relationship.  At the end of last week I drove downtown to visit the fine folks at King County’s Noxious Weed Division and they kindly loaded me up with the aforementioned tool for a weeks use, absolutely free of charge. You’ll recognize my joy if you have ever found yourself hacking away at a project with the wrong tool and then that moment occurs when you are handed the right tool and your entire life suddenly seems a gazillion times easier.

Don’t get me wrong, pulling out the forest of scotch broom on the land is still a lot of work (I was a pretty stinky and dirty mess when I got home). But compared to hand digging these giant shrubs (several are around 12-14 feet) this was a cakewalk. I spent the better part of Thursday afternoon over there and was amazed by the excellent sunlight it got, even after 6pm.

In this picture you can see the meadow area I am working on clearing between all of the fruit trees. If you look close you can still see a few stubs of the scotch broom that had filled this entire clearing (all gone now!). The tree to the left is an apple, with another apple to the right, a plum directly ahead and what I believe to be a cherry to the left in the back (hiding behind tons of overgrown blackberry at the moment).

This is the same general area, but from the opposite vantage point. Where the grass ends and the bramble/unidentified invasive plant begins on the right is where I plan on putting in the first garden beds.

This is the next battle. I have no idea what this plant is that has taken over (in coordination with the rampant and ever present Himalayan Blackberry). I already cleared the dead stalks of it from last year (over 12 feet high) and at that point it was still barely above ground, three weeks later it is around 3 feet tall. But it will need to come out and the blackberry crowns chased down and dug up before they get much more spring growth on them.This area definitely has the best soil and of course presents the most challenging clearing job but if I can get at least a portion of it under control I think it will be a great spot.

The pictures above are just a fraction of the available land, but I am just one person and the remaining land has a ton more blackberry, scotch broom and overgrowth. I had hoped to get some of the fruit trees trimmed a bit before they flowered, but the apples beat me to it. I can’t really complain about beauty like this keeping me company while I sweat though…

Tags: Gardening · Secret Garden Project

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