I can officially state that the compost pile is complete and all off the materials have been moved into place and got a lot of water to get it building up some heat so it can break down the materials correctly. I need to add in some more “browns” and will move a straw bale closer to the compost area to add to the pile easily. Adding a straw layer should keep all unpleasant odors and bad bugs to a minimum. I have to say I have not had a problem with odors even with the old Pallet compost pile.
Using a leaf blower on your compost heap. Air or at least oxygen makes the compost heap work better. While it might be a pain/ require effort adding air to your heap is a good thing and almost as critical as adding water, browns or greens. When you turn over a pile you are adding air. There is no reason you can’t use a leaf blower to add a bit of air to the heap. I think it is a lot easier to use a blower to turn the compost heap rather than turning it by a fork, if you can be effective.
Mom got to use the weed wacker today along with a block of instruction. She knocked down the alley way weeds and I’m getting a lot of mulch on sale. That thick layer of mulch should help keep the weeds under control as some puncture vine/goat heads are trying to creep into the beds. The Sunchokes and sedums have done a good job as “good plants” that choke out the weeds but I need to spread them along with more mulch out in the alley beds. So far both plants have not spread but have just got thicker and bunched up. The best way I think to explain how the sunchokes spread is like Iris flowers. Like Irises they need to be thinned and replanted. I would recommend using sunchokes if you have a hot/sunny area with poor soil and limited water as a great plant to help choke out weeds plus the plant roots/rhizomes are edible. My sedums have done okay in the alley way garden but now they are getting expensive to buy as they are very popular with zeroscape/ drought tolerant landscapes.
Mice and bug problem is beyond us and we are getting some info on having in some exterminators. I’ve added more tincat metal traps and sprayed down the outside of the house and much of the inside with bug barrier and we are still losing ground in this battle. I’m still gathering info and quotes for the job to get done in July but so far it looks like the cost will be about $200.00. I think if we get the critters stopped from breeding more critters for a couple of months, Mom and I can maintain getting rid of the critters!
Sometimes you just get overwhelmed and must call in the specialists for a problem. I don’t there is anything wrong in spending money for pros if you have done your best and failed to correct the the problem. I have really learned how important it is to store everything in good containers. None of my food barrels, buckets or bins have been breached so I did that part of food storage correctly. I failed when I put something in the basement and did not store it properly right away. Add in a tough winter and you get an explosion of problems. I’m not saying you should not have traps, pesticides and other ways of preventing any infestation. Right now you can call in the pros to help get your home vermin free. Maintenance is a lot cheaper than trying to get rid of an infestation.