Oct 032020

For those who you have been following our project about building a retaining wall on the drainage canal/ditch alongside our property and replacing the several feet of yard that had eroded away, we are just about done. As I said in recent blog posts, the retaining wall was put in, then fill dirt brought in and then more yards of topsoil. With all that spread into place, this is what it looked like yesterday morning.

Then it was time to put in the ground cover. We went to Lindley’s Garden Center on Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach and picked up 50 perennial peanut plants. These plants are very hardy, have pretty yellow flowers, and spread out with a strong root system. Exactly what we need to help hold everything in place.

When I told the lady at Lindley’s what we were doing, she suggested that we get several bales of pine straw and spread it around on top of the topsoil before planting the plants. She said this would help prevent weeds from growing through, and also provide extra mulch for the plants. So we loaded up the Explorer with all the plants, took them home, unloaded them, then took our Ford pickup to the Edgewater Yard Shop and purchased the recommended 15 bales of pine straw. I did not know how 15 bales would ever fit in our short bed half-ton truck, but as it turns out, bales of pine straw are much smaller and much lighter than bales a regular straw. With all of them in the truck, we still had room to spare.

Back home, we spread the pine straw out to about ankle deep depth by the time it was all done.

I’m embarrassed to say I was not much help with what happened afterward. Though I have been feeling a lot better since my RF nerve ablations, the constant bending over and spreading of the straw had my back hurting really bad, so I’m afraid that the bulk of the work went to Miss Terry. She started putting the plants in, then putting dirt back around them, and then packing the pine straw around the plants to help protect them from weeds. The nursery said to just leave an inch or two of plant sticking above the straw. Did you ever see a girl look so happy playing in the dirt?

By the time Terry knocked off, it was late in the afternoon and she had 33 of 50 plants done. She says she will do the rest of them today if she has enough energy. If not, we’ll wait for another day.

All that was left for the day was watering the whole area down thoroughly, something we will have to do every day for a couple of weeks until the plants are established and their roots start spreading. The nursery said it will take about 18 months before the groundcover grows in completely, but in the meantime, the root system will continue to spread out, and the pine straw would decompose over time, enriching the soil.

We were both hot and tired, Terry more so than me since she did most of the work. I suggested that we just have something simple like cold sandwiches for dinner. Of course, she wouldn’t hear of anything like that. She had some pizza dough rising in the refrigerator for several days and the sauce already made, so instead of cold sandwiches, she made pizzas for dinner. Yes, they were delicious, as always. Yes, I know. I’m a very lucky man.

It feels good to have this project almost done. We are grateful for the last couple of days that have been much cooler than in previous weeks so we can get it behind us

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. This is one of the first printings, with the original cover. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – I don’t have to be nice to you. I’m not running for office and I don’t owe you money.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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