It was a breezy day but Mom and I finished trimming the branches the Idaho power guy cut down. The larger branches should add a couple of days worth of wood to next year’s wood pile. I finally figured out how I want to prune my cherry trees. You ever have one of those problems that seem tough and then suddenly the last bit of info clicks into place and it all makes sense? I figured out how to prune the trees after seeing how a neighbor pruned his fruit trees back and reading the term “cut those suckers back at the crotch”. While statement sounds a bit violent it is memorable. I need to prune back a lot of those “suckers” on the cherry trees and this years harvest will be almost nil, but if I can get the trees healthy, happy and put on good growth the next 2-3 year harvest should be good. I get a bonus of adding a little bit more hardwood to add to my wood pile. Make no mistake I can’t grow enough wood on my lot to feed the wood stove in winter but I could see how a homesteader with a few acres might go with fruit orchard and have some pruned wood to augment the wood pile, or perhaps use the pruned wood/chips for things like smoking meats. My prepping philosophy is about using up all you have on hand without having to pay “retail”. I also think about value added, all I have done so far is a hot smoke or slow BBQ of things like a turkey. I think that flavor added is value added, plus a slow smoke preserves meat. Adding a few fruit/dwarf trees and learning to prune them properly could have many benefits besides the fruit.
I got my 10 bags of mulch for the front yard rose beds. The winds have been cold and very unpleasant but by Thursday things will be warming up. I am a firm believer in mulch augmented with your compost for water retention in your lawn and garden. It really saves water and if you don’t believe me simply mulch one area of you garden and leave dry soil in another, I bet you will be surprised how much water is retained in the lawn/dry area, at least I was surprised by the difference. I added mulch to the other rose bed in the front yard Friday and the Scott’s Earthgro wood mulch went much farther than the Viagro mulch based on per bag coverage or “2 cubic feet” per bag. Based on my two rose beds of equal length, width and depth 6 , two cubic ft. bags of the Scott’s Earthgro covers the same amount as 8, two cubic ft. bags of the Viagro bags. In the last couple of days I used the weed wacker to take the weeds to ground level, used the Hula hoes for cleaning out weeds and Mom and I pruned and cleaned up my roses and Mom raked the lawn for small branches a twigs from the last little wind storm. We cleaned up a lot of yard waste, one big bin (65 gallon) trash bin, two 30 plus gallon trash cans , about six 50 pound feed bags and two large construction grade garbage bags.
Mom seems incapable of of realizing how much she does helping me out. Just having an extra person trim roses, rake the yard and help clean up the trash is huge for person that did all those thing alone and is a huge time and energy saver. Mom is willing to help me with projects I do and is a great sounding board for ideas as she is well grounded in “Common Sense” which is not that common! No, we do not agree 100% of the time but that is okay because even this small home we have our own personal space to do as we wish. It is a bit surreal at times as many people seemed to think Mom and I could not live in the same home. But we never had a problem working together when I was her supervisor, and while it is my house and my rules, I allow a lot of freedom as I had roommates as a civilian and in the Army. Heck we aren’t 12 year’s old looking to be popular and both of us tend to quietly rebel in our own way against the “status quo”. Oh, it isn’t perfect, I’m sure Mom bites her tongue at times as there has been a bit of role reversal, but overall life seems to be going well.