Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring has sprung

Grass is riz.  I wonder where the flowers is. 
The fish in the pond came back about a week ago.  I was concerned that last summer’s severe drought might have wiped out the fish population, but they made it through the drought and the winter and are back in numbers.  The pic above shows some channel catfish enjoying a meal of dry dog food that was spoiled by flour moths.  Most of the channel cats look like they are about two pounds.  I’m not seeing the larger cats from last year but the fish here will grow quickly and be eatin’ size before long.  There's also bluegill and bass.  I feed the bluegill leftover bread while the catfish are occupied with their food.  I’m looking forward to some catfish chowder.
Lots of things are happening in the great outdoors.  And yes there are some flowers, mostly on trees.  The grass is fully greened up and will need mowing next week.  There are still large dead areas in the yard because of last year’s drought, and I’m spot seeding around the yard.  A mulching kit was installed on the garden tractor to grind up the grass and leaves more thoroughly.
The landscape timbers that formed the terraced shade garden behind the deck were in an advanced stage of rot.   They were removed and replaced with 4x4 pressure treated AC2 lumber.  The root system in the beds held the soil in place while the timbers were pulled out and the new timbers installed.  Still it was a two long days of work, but I'm happy with the results.  Treated landscape timbers are “treated to refusal” which means they are soaked in the treatment solution until they don’t take up any more preservative.  They don’t last.  Pressure treated lumber is first put in a vacuum chamber, then the treatment solution is forced in with pressure.  They have sufficient preservative and should last a long time.  CCA (chromated copper arsenic) treatment is not used as a preservative anymore.  Now its micronized copper and quaternary amines.  The copper is a naturally occuring soil element and quats are essentially nontoxic and will decompose if they leach into soil.  Better living through chemistry.

I planted these beds last year.  Most of the plants in the lower bed are hostas.  I’m still waiting to see how many plants made it over the winter.  A few of them are showing some buds.  The bed above it is planted with Japanese spurge. 

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