Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Yard Stuff (Mostly)

-The last week of April marked two years in our house. It also marked the end of the major system warranties. We'll see how that goes from this point forward.

-At the end of March I picked up a new string trimmer/weedwacker. In the past nine years I've gone through cheaper Craftsman and Cub Cadet models that ended up being junk. The former had repeated issues with the carburetor and the latter's button that held the top and bottom pieces together broke multiple times. (I ended making it through last year with it duct taped and clamped together.) This year I finally did what I should have done years ago and spent a little more money to get something higher quality ultimately deciding on the Stihl FS 56 RC-E. I picked it up from a local dealer so in the event it does break I can get it serviced easily. It's lightweight, starts far easier, and powerful. I've been using the pre-mix ethanol free fuel (comes in 32 ounce cans) with it and also picked up a refill package of .105 inch Husqvarna Titanium trimmer line. The latter seems to be a lot better than the stock line that came with it. (If there was one complaint I had about it that was it.) 

-Also in March I put down fertilizer on the yard along with a weed preventative. The fertilizer definitely helped but I think I might have waited a little too late to put the other down. I've been doing battle with dandelions, buttercups, and crab grass especially in the backyard. I've been limited on what I can do because of having trees and gardens back there. (So the ease of spraying a concentrated liquid was out.) I've been spot treating with a weed killer mostly as I find them and that seems to have finally eradicated everything except the crabgrass.

-If I might take a moment to pat myself on the back my yard continues to be one of the best looking in the neighborhood and I'm doing it at a fraction of the cost of some of my neighbors. I've had solicitations from several of the lawn care companies that have ignored the No Solicitation sign by my front door. (TruGreen in particular has been a multi-time offender.) It works for some folks I'm sure but I'm getting just as good if not better results and it just requires a little extra work outside.

-For the second year in a row we haven't turned our irrigation back on yet and at the rate we're going we probably won't be this year. We've had a huge amount of rain in the central Virginia area (up something like eight inches over the yearly average to this point) and there just hasn't been a need for it. On the flip side I'm outside mowing the grass about once a week because it's growing so fast. I'm certainly getting my exercise in from that.

-Coming up in the next few weeks I'll be finally sealing the deck we added last summer. And even though I applied a sealant last summer on the fence I plan to reseal that as well. I used a clear sealant on it and it was hard to tell how thoroughly I coated it so I plan to get a tinted color this time around. 

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