Monday, October 14, 2013

Pitchforks and Pruners

Chilly, but a nice fall day today. In the high 50s, and when the sun peeks out from the clouds it's up to about 60 degrees.
A good day to turn the compost pile, although even in cool weather that kind of work makes me very sweaty.

It needs to be turned frequently, once a week or so, to mix all the grass clippings with garden brush I toss on there. But the clippings pile up, it's way too hot in the summer to work the pitchfork in there, and I don't get to it all season long.

By the time it's cool enough and the season is ending, I have layers of anaerobic slime mats pressed together from the mounds of wet mooushy grass. No oxygen means nothing breaks down. I am amazed at how dense the mats of slime become.

So I forked and tossed and dug up the mats and removed them, then forked over what was there, spread it out a bit and phew!

I must commit to turning that mess more often all year long.

A couple days ago Jim and I tackled trimming the big white spruce by the front door. The leader had shot up a couple feet, and branches were angling out all over. He used the pole pruner to get the leader and the highest branches, and I cut all around the middle and bottom with pruners.

It's a a little barrel shaped, but the shortened leader, and the removal of center shoots from many of the whorls all around the tree, should keep it a more reasonable size for a while. A short while.

It will be far too big for its spot by the front door some day (soon).