Most of the tree clean up is done and a doggo update!

I think the trees that I have been cleaning up are elm trees. I have to say these trees are messy as the drop limbs, twigs and get all tangled up not growing “properly” like some tree in a painting. 😉  Anyhoo my neighbors came over and cleaned up some limbs and help get most of them in to trash containers to be hauled away by the trash guys.  I traded a little bit of computer work ( software for a home office) for having the my tree limbs cut/cleaned up so we both came out ahead on each of our projects. 

I cleaned up the last of the small limbs from the trees cut around one of my firewood storage areas. While I still have to cut and move some trunk sections all of the little limbs are in the trash bins ready for garbage day.  It is amazing how good it feels to have most of the trees cleaned up and all of the pile of limbs out of the backyard.  I have one large tree trunk to cut into a manageable size for for the saw buck that will be out of my firewood stacking area and then everything will be ready for the fire wood delivery on the 26th of April.  I’m only getting 2 cords of Doug fir this year as I have hit that “sweet spot” of having more fire wood with 1-2 years of seasoning so I can start start rotating dry firewood.  Rather than hope any wood I buy in April will dry enough to use in November. On average I use about 2-3 cords of wood to heat my house using only wood.  But SW Idaho hasn’t had a very cold (2-4 weeks of -10 F.) since I have started heating with wood only.  I expect to have a cold winters in the future so having a couple of heating seasons worth of wood on hand is the absolute minimum for me as I can’t go and cut firewood myself. With this months delivery I’ll have about 7 cords of wood on hand, but some of the wood won’t be seasoned or the wood is oversized and does not fit my wood stove. Those issues can be fixed with some time and work cutting wood. 

Cleaned up some more of the overgrown grape vines. While I think grapes are a great plant they need constant pruning and cleanup not only to keep the grapes vines healthy but given a chance the vines will grow over everything and can literally block other plants from getting any sun. I’m not sure it is possible to kill established grape vines but it is possible to prune them back and cleanup the basic canes without damaging the output of grapes.  Clearing out old growth and canes results in more healthy growth. Which can be a pain in the ass when cleaning up old grape vines. I’m trying to clean up the old grape canes and make room for not only my greenhouse but more healthy growth for the grape vines and sometimes hacking away the bad stuff is a good thing. 

Using 30% vinegar as a weed killer. So far I can say I have killed Morning Glory, cheat grass, dandelions, thistle and a couple of broad leaf weeds I have not identified.  It seems that puncture vine/ goat heads don’t like a more acidic soil after a spray of 30% vinegar but it is early in the spring after spraying vinegar last year. I’m not saying 30% vinegar is the quickest weed killer but it safe and easy to use.  It does not kill your soil like Roundup and if you can prove to me that using Round Up is safer and you can plant anything within 1 month of spraying with Round Up I might have a different opinion.  I have seen neighbors use Round Up or the weed killing equivalent and every year they have to spray more Round up on basically bare dirt as all that can grow is weeds as the soil is dead. 

I spray a little bit of vinegar and I kill cheat grass but I change the acidity of the soil that eliminates goatheads/puncture vine and makes the soil better for plants I want to grow.  This is not a perfect solution  to weed control I just think it is better than killing everything using Round up.  Encouraging plants to grow in marginal conditions is the best way to to eliminate weeds.  Weeds are not bad as the are nature’s paramedics for retaining soil.  You just have to work with nature and find a way for replacing those weeds with plants that can thrive in the same conditions or with a little bit of help. . 

Boomer the dog went for his first walk around the neighborhood.  We only did a couple of blocks but he needs to get out and build some confidence.  The house training is still a little hit and miss but I don’t think he was in a house a lot so he doesn’t understand about going outside on by himself.  Boomer is doing good going outside in the morning as long as I’m with him. I’m his security/safe place so he is not very independent about going outside if I’m not with him.  

It has only been 12 days and he did much better with my Mom coming over this week at being less timid. He has learned his name and comes when called, walks on leash well and isn’t bothering the cats much.  When I’m out in the backyard he explores and considers the yard his place. I’m sure when Boomer feels secure more of the Terrier attitude/personality will come out. 

One of the harder things getting a shelter dog is you have no idea how the animal was treated/trained. I know Boomer was neglected as his nails had got so long they grew into his pads.  I suspect he was an outdoor dog that was neglected but not physically abused so it will be a process for him to learn to go outside to go poo and not go poo in the house.  Overall I’m very pleased with his progress in just a couple of weeks.  Goodness knows that I need to go for walks as much as Boomer if not for the same reasons. 

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