We took advantage of the cold weather yesterday to do yardwork all day. Really hard work, like we hadn't done since spring. It felt great.
We started early at Mulch Madness at the city dump. Turns out they aren't just giving away mulch, but all yard products: dirt, compost, leaf mulch, and wood mulch. I guess they have to get rid of it all because of the whole two-week fire and ensuing scandal. Oh, that. (Speaking of which, looks like we need another source for cheap dirt and mulch. I wonder what Orange County does?)
We had expected a long line like there was in the spring, but it actually went really fast and we were home before 10. We had breakfast and then unloaded the mulch and swept out the truck. Then, let's see, what did we do next. Georg pruned a tree that was overhanging the driveway, and I started work on a new bed. A small one, about 4 square feet, which had several volunteer saplings that had to be removed. None too big, though I did have get out the digging bar and Georg helped with the last one.
We didn't have any good soil amendments on hand so we ran out to Home Depot and got a couple bags of cow manure. We also picked up a few pretty orange mums, and checked out the selection of pavers. Which was pretty awful. They had a couple of things that weren't hideous, but they were so expensive! We might as well get natural flag stones.
After we got home and had lunch, Georg started weeding -- down by the road where it really needs it -- and I finished the new bed. Mixed in the manure, planted the new mexican sage and crinum lily, and mulched. I know, I know, you're not supposed to dig wet soil. But this was mostly removing clay, so I think it's OK. I used the clay to fill in the path around the cutting garden, which had sunk a bit over the summer. The path had also gotten all weedy and overgrown. This fall I need to put down landscape fabric and either gravel or mulch. I was thinking gravel, but maybe mulch would be better.
After finishing the bed I planted the mums we had just bought, then picked up the weeding where Georg had left off, while he went to the grocery store. Weeding is ten times easier when the soil is so wet like this. The roots pull up easily; you almost never have to dig. Between the two of us we got almost the whole bed weeded. To my dismay, under the weeds I found maybe two dozen baby yucca! My nemesis! The good news is that most of them came right up. Apparently, when I dug out the yucca last year I left a pile of little chunks of root, each of which sprouted a new yucca. They aren't well anchored so they pull right out of the wet soil.
Unfortunately there were also a few larger yucca that couldn't be pulled up. I suspect that I didn't get all of one last winter, and it regenerated during the year. Guess I'll have to dig that bed out again this winter. Honestly I would have been amazed if I'd gotten them all entirely out on the first try.
There are still some wild brambles that need to be dug out, but by that point it was late and I was ready to quit for the day. I'm glad I didn't keep working: I am sore all over! My wrist really bothered me last night. I guess I had forgotten how heavy the digging bar is, and I didn't take enough care in handling it. You'd think it would be the left wrist, as I'm left-handed, but it's always the right wrist. I tend to use the more coordinated left hand to aim the digging bar, and hold most of the weight with the right hand. The right hand is already weakened from computer use (I sleep with a wrist brace every night) so extra exertion like this always makes it sore. It's better today though. Well, it still hurts if I try to hold anything heavy, or twist it too far, but just a twinge. I have Divaville today and I think I'll carry the CDs up in two trips.