We have scary numbers for the high temperatures the rest of the week, especially since it is still MAY here in the northlands, so I spent much of the day knocking out a project that has been waiting for some time: weed whacking around the fruit trees to allow me to renew mulch. The project got off to a slow start on account of the string trimmer did NOT want to play nice. After several trips back to the house with the damn thing, it finally decided to behave… just when the operator had a lapse of memory and messed it up again!
Last year, one of the pear trees that had been badly pruned by the deer got an extra-special mulching of waste wool fleece, which was left over when I did a similar mulch on the now defunct peach tree. I have no trouble remembering the extra fluff around the peach; it was a co-project with a good friend, who died last summer. At that same time, the tree died as well.
However, I totally forgot about my attempt to help the struggling pear tree, which seems to be doing great this year. My goal, at each of the trees, was to whack the weeds off to literally ground level, to allow me to lay down cardboard mulch, again, with spent hay on top. I was eagerly working my way down the tall grasses and weeds when — in an instant — the trimmer line caught a bit of the wool and attempted to spin it! No, you cannot use a string trimmer to spin wool. Trust me on that. I chose to stand there, picking at the wool and attempting to un-twist the mass of wool and “over spun” trimmer line rather than coming to the house for the photo op.
I did get all of the fruit trees on the east side, and the “ornamental”/visual barrier trees along the south property line done. In this process I learned that the birch trees understand that the butchery done to one of their number last fall was not our fault and that they are working to help by growing more, in one of the areas we need screening. I found, marked and worked around FIVE new little starts (~ 2′ or less.)
Thankfully, I was able to work all day in 3/4 sleeves and K made sure I modified my ball cap to include a “tail” down the back, making me feel a bit like I belonged in Lawrence of Arabia. I grabbed a piece of scrap fabric and tore it to length, attached with straight pins and away I went. Of course my tail coordinated with my hat! A calico print of red flowers on a blue background, attached to a red Hammond Lumber cap. And colors in keeping with the patriotic theme of the weekend, too! Who says I don’t have a fashion sense!