My aunt stopped by today

She had to do some shopping so she stopped by to pick up the spent beer grains for her critters and to pick out some holly starts to transplant.  We were both caught off-guard by just how deep the roots grow even on a small plant.  I’m very glad that the holly we sort of hacked up this spring is growing back and I didn’t even try and dig up those roots.  I would have ended up with a mess of dirt and a lot of frustration not to mentioned getting exhausted.  Clouds are rolling in so it was cool enough to get the sun chokes planted in the alley.  The area is a sandy and rocky so it should have good drainage but I’m a little concerned about the quality of the soil and it is a weed filled though I did get a few of the taller weeds and another goathead plant that was hiding amongst the other weeds all pulled.  I added a thick layer of straw and gave it good watering. My hope is the straw will keep the area around the sun chokes somewhat weed free but I can also move it out of the way easily to add compost or manure to improve the soil.

Speaking of straw I added a layer of straw along the north side of the house and is very shaded by some lilacs. This spot has never been that good at growing grass even before the water main dirt got all churned up.  I moved some of the straw away and the soil is showing some signs of improvement from the straw rotting and retaining water without puddling. I had a bit of leftover straw from my first bale and I figured why not see what might happen putting a layer down over bad soil but not working it.  The results have been very good though I’m kicking myself for tossing grass clipping in the trash and trying to force growth with chemicals rather than  fixing the soil.  The straw, wood mulch and the planting soil does cost some money they are a lot cheaper than most chemicals and weed killers and a heck of a lot safer to use.  With the tools I have on hand I can handle the extra physical labor needed to get the soil healthy naturally and while my grass seed is not growing as fast using chemicals it seems to be doing well so far this summer and by next spring I should have a good healthy lawn and garden with reduced water needs to keep it healthy.

My aunt got to try some of my 5 minute artisan bread and she loved it. When you look at the recipe and how simple the ingredient list is you might think the bread would be bland.  This is one of those things that simple is actually better compared to adding a lot extra stuff you really don’t need to make a good bread.  Don’t get me wrong I love Sci-fi’s 30 minute dinner rolls though it took me about 45 minutes to make them based on my oven. This is the fastest yeast roll recipe I have seen and it makes a nice fluffy, soft  dinner roll and hamburger bun. Heck in the time it takes to make a good bed of coals in the BBQ you can make fresh hamburger buns. How cool is that? The cost savings compared to buying buns in the store is nothing to sneeze at either.

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2 Responses to My aunt stopped by today

  1. leeann says:

    You could lay a good layer of wet cardboard on the ground and then cover with straw or other mulch. It will definitely stop the weeds better than just mulch. The cardboard will also break down and improve the soil.

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