Posts

Compost Bins Filled - December 2022

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That appears to be a wrap on composting this growing season.  I have all three spots filled - the tumbler (with partially-processed mixed compost from the bottom of the mixed bin), the mixed bin on the right below (with a blended batch of greens/browns and *some* passive aeration pipes installed) and a (mostly) carbon storage bin on the left.   You can see the two bins in the photo below and how they're filled right up to the top of the railing with the belief that we'll see a little settling and compaction this Winter: The last time I checked in on these bins was in early November when I had rounded up a bunch of leaves and filled both of these bins in a 'heaping' fashion .  In the month since, I've seen a bunch of settling in the left bin and was able to re-fill it up.  And some compaction from the bin on the right with the large mound in the middle compressing down.  I used my mower to collect the leaves in the carbon storage bin this year and as such, I also col

December 1st Firewood Consumption Check - December 2022

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We're now in the thick of things firewood-wise.  The burning will only increase in both frequency and length of sessions as we head towards the heart of Winter and the holiday season when we're hanging around the house more and more.  So, where do we stand?   Today marks the two-month mark.  Our firewood was delivered on September 30th, so that means we've burned through 60 days of wood.  With 90 days to go (that gets us to March 1st).  We had three facecords delivered on September 30th .  And, at that time all of the racks were empty but for the bottom of the porch rack and about 15 pieces on top of that.  What does it look like today?   The porch racks are full (mostly).  See below for the short one, followed by the double.  Note the wood on top of the double.  I'm claiming that's an equivalent amount that was remaining this Spring.   Outside, the smaller of the two racks has been exhausted.  The larger one is about 1/3rd used.  If you look at the photo below, you

Anchor Christmas Ale 2022 - Blue Gum Tree - Christmas 2022

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We were over at Nat's folks house and (like they do EVERY YEAR), they had some Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale on hand ahead of the Christmas holidays.  I've posted photos and details of this ' Special Ale ' over the years here on the blog where the beer is less interesting to me, but the drawings of the trees are what I'm drawn to when it comes to this annual Christmas beer.  This year's beer is inspired by an Italian liqueur and features a drawing of a famous tree in San Francisco: a Blue Gum Eucalptus tree.  From this post on NewSchoolBeer comes this description of the tree on the label : This year’s hand-drawn label features a Blue Gum Eucalyptus tree, a nod to Mary Ellen Pleasant – a 19th-century San Francisco entrepreneur, financier, abolitionist, and civil rights activist. Pleasant, who is recognized as the “Mother of Civil Rights in California” for her impact during gold-rush San Francisco, planted Blue Gum Eucalyptus trees outside her Pacific Heights mans

ECorganite For Winter Guard Lawn Fertilizer - November 2022

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Like I've done the past few years, I attempted to lay out a lawn care (feeding and treatment) schedule this year by listing what I was planning to do to the front and back lawns.  This year's schedule was posted in March .  So...how did I do?   I'd call it a mixed grade.  I started out with a synthetic weed and feed in March .  Good.   I skipped adding lime to the backyard to help treat the wild onions.  But, I did, remove a few more emerging clumps.  Not so good.   I also skipped insect and grub treatments.  Ran out of time.  Not good. And skipped fungicide.  Also...not good. I also skipped 4th of July and Labor day feedings in the backyard.   But, what did I do?  I detathed, aerated the backyard.   Good. I also identified and treated Nimblewill in the backyard .  Good.  And, most importantly...I overseeded the entire backyard with a blend of Kentucky Blue Grass and Tall Fescue .   And, I kick-started that process with a pre-germination of the seed in 5-gallon buckets . 

Vibrant Suburban Sunrise - November 2022

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In a remarkable coincidence (at least to me, dear reader...), I'm posting a front porch sunrise one day shy of one year from the date that I posted a very similar photo here on the blog .  This is from November 29, 2021 .  What was the sunrise like a few days ago from our house?  See below for what is a vivid sunrise in the suburbs in November: What a way to start a day.   I have a whole archive of posts over the years that are tagged with [colorful sunrise] .  

Disneyland Rose Winter Insulation With Leaf Litter - Zone 5b - November 2022

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A couple of weeks ago, I was able to create the chicken wire ring to help protect one of our Disneyland Rose bushes (They are a Floribunda Rose) on the southside of our house.  I picked - at that time - the middle one of the three to protect.  I've done this a number of years now and I'm NOT certain that it does anything really.  But...it doesn't take much effort and I'd hate to lose these flowers, so I decided to do all three this year.   That's what you see below:  all three Disneyland Rose bushes now protected by a ring of 2' tall, 1" chicken wire.  Then, filled with leaf litter to help create (hopefully) an insulation blanket for Winter.    I still have a tiny bit of leaf collection/pickup/mulching to do, but I'm hoping these 'settle' a bit so I can put more leaves in the bins. 

Splitting Norway Maple Firewood With A Wedge - November 2022

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I've gone about splitting, stacking and seasoning firewood in different bursts (of activity) over the past few years.  Usually, I process, split, stack the wood during the winter months in preparation for Fall/next Winter burning.  Here's a look at some January 2021 winter-time splitting .  I've done this with a splitting axe.  But, the Norway Maple rounds that I recently put on the new rack in the backyard are different than what I've dealt with previously.  Some of these rounds are *so* big and *so* heavy that I can't really move them, let alone put them up on a block to begin splitting.  So, the axe has worked, but it has mostly - what I call - 'nibbled' around the edge.  You can see those results here from the end of October where there are a lot of thin slices.   My Dad recommended that I try a splitting wedge on the very big, borderline immovable rounds.  The theory is that the wedge can split them in-place and by removing 1/2 to 3/4 of the wood in se