The tarp ground cover mentioned a couple years ago didn't work the way I wanted, but did an experiment last spring with another tarp and got some interesting results. We have an extremely noxious weed around here called Dock. Nothing touches it, chemically. Have tried roundup, 2-4 D, a small propane flamethrower weed killer, and high acid vinegar. Could not kill it with any of those things!
I did discover that the smaller, tender leaves do make a good salad with that vinegar, though! Just a touch of oil would have been nice... But I cannot eat salad fast enough to make a dent in this patch! The area seemed to be bigger last year....around 50' wide by about 90' long!
So last spring, I went to the farm store and bought the cheapest black tarp I could find - 20' x 30'. Staked it out over the most dense area of dock. Then covered it with a very thick layer of hay! About a foot of it!! And let it set for the last 8 months or so. Well, guess what? That actually killed it - we have started toward spring for the last few weeks and I uncovered this about 3 weeks ago! Bare dirt! NO plants whatsoever! And the roots all appeared to have rotted in place! Now all I need are some more tarps!! May have to start a Patreon page to get rid of the dock!
Covered the plot with some hay for mulch and later this spring, will be planting some roses in this area! Hurray for plastic!! (One cannot imagine how much it pains me to say that about plastic...! Not a fan.)
Dennis, I see you haven't been here in a while - hope everything is ok with you! I put a note about that strange tool you posted about last year. Check it out if you get a chance.
Feb 10, 2011 Nowata, OK (little town about 12 mi north of our place) set the state record low of -31 deg F. We only got to about -20 deg F that night. Then one week later on the 17th we got the record high for the month of Feb of 80 deg F. 111 deg F swing in 7 days.
On 1 Feb, 2011 we got our record one day snow of 13.5". 9 Feb 2011 got another 5" snow for another record for that day. Snow was all gone on the 17th...
I'm not complaining about today's weather. Very much...
This is pretty much why the USgovernment forced all the southern Native Americans to come here in the 1800's. Nobody wanted this kind of place. Well, until they found those massive oil fields...then everyone wanted it.!!
We eat breakfast occasionally at McDonalds near us - get it to go then site behind the buildings of the little shopping center it is in. Big field with some decent bird watching opportunities. A few days ago, somebody had cut down a curly Willow tree and dumped it in the back parking lot. Looked like that previous night since the branches were very fresh. My wife is a Master Gardener and excellent floral designer and immediately recognized the potential, so we had to go home to get the truck to do some serious dumpster diving!! Came back and got a LOT of branches and trunk pieces. Some are already showing up in designs!
If one goes by the price they sell curly Willow branches for at Hobby Lobby and Michael's (about $20 for 3 small branches), we have about $3,000 worth of floral supplies right now.
I got a wild hair to try to see if I could sprout some of these to try to grow out as trees for a marshy spot at the farm. An assortment of branches about 1/4" to 1/2" diameter are sitting in the kitchen and have leaves and roots starting to appear! Biggest surprise - huge shock, actually - was the 4" diameter trunk pieces I put in a bucket outdoors with some water just to see... 3 out of 3 have leaves and roots growing now. I am astounded.!
Since these are only about 2 feet long, I don't really want to grow them out as trees. But I HAVE wanted to try Bonzai for a long time. I now have 3 "instant" Bonzai trees that are about 12 years old.!! I counted the rings... If they survive. I never woulda believed it if I hadn't seen it.
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