Check-in: 2020 To-Do list


Back at the end of February of this year, I published my 2020 to-do list for our yard.  It included 25 items that I wanted to get done this year.  Based on publishing a post yesterday that checked off #15 on the list (Sort (definitively) Walnuts from invasive trees in the backyard), I thought, it would be helpful to take a look at how I've done so far. We're about 100 days since I published the list. And, have 100 days until the middle of September when things start to to turn to Fall. Feels like a mid-way point of sorts.

So, how am I doing?

Here's the list (in slightly edited format from the original post).  I've crossed off the ones that I have completed.  There are a few questionable ones.

1. Plant Area #1 (oak leaf hydrangeas).
2. Build the 'bridge' in Priority Area #2 - between the Hornbeams and Mighty Oak.
3. Get the walkway installed/spec'd in behind the Yews along with some other plantings. Or start it on the north side behind the Mighty Oak.
4. Do another round of soil tests to see if I've moved the needle.
5. Wage battle against the Wild Onions. Remove what I can. And hopefully have it better this year.
6. Install aeration in my 3-bin compost pile. And get better about kitchen waste and composting it. Likely involves a dedicated receptacle.
7. Grow some vegetables. Ideally in a raised bed. But, if not, just grow something we can eat.
8. Find cheap fruit trees (that include pollinators) and plant a Belgian Fence (somewhere).
9. Work on the turf in the front. Main = same as last year. Parkway/northside of drive = improve.
10. Go down the Cocoa Bean Mulch route and expand usage.
11. Build something. A garden chair. A Versailles box. A Raised bed. Insect houses. A Wattle Fence. A bird nesting box/platform that I posted about two days ago.
12. Paint the patio container box.
13. Replace the lost Weeping Cedar with another Weeping tree. Or a contorted tree.
14. Plant a couple of patio trees (Maybe redbuds?) and/or figure out the 'focal point' and garden nook.
15. Sort (definitively) Walnuts from invasive trees in the backyard.
16. Protect our front boxwoods from Winter damage.
17. Try growing flowers from seed, harden them off and, ultimately, plant outside in the beds.
18. Add a front yard tree.
19. Connect a bed or two together. Like the Linden Espalier with foundation bed and add flagstone steppers or connect the Yew hedge bed to (at least one) side(s) and mulch it.
20. Figure out the north side walkway/pavers.
21. Buy an Arborvitae and begin training it for topiary.
22. Add a large(r) conifer tree that can handle some shade. Or a deciduous tree. Likely behind the 2nd largest Oak on the south fence line.
23. Relocate Foster plants from Naperville.
24. Add a columnar tree. Could be front or back.
25. Place the dream backyard pizza oven footprint and/or dream backyard pond (and maybe river??) footprint.

I count 13 of the 25 tasks done.

There are a few that I know I'm going to get done in the next week or so (#1, #7) because I already have the plants on hand, just have to find the time.

That would get me to 15/25.

The "questionable ones" include #14 (plant a patio tree - redbuds), #18 (add a front-yard tree).  I've planted two Redbuds, but they're not by the patio.  I also planted the SUPER TINY contorted Larch tree in the bed by our front porch.  It is more *sideyard*, but it still is technically a front yard tree.  I've crossed it off, but it is a questionable confirmation.

That would get me 17/25.

Leaves these eight items to get done during the balance of the season:

3. Get the walkway installed/spec'd in behind the Yews along with some other plantings. Or start it on the north side behind the Mighty Oak.
12. Paint the patio container box.
16. Protect our front boxwoods from Winter damage.
20. Figure out the north side walkway/pavers.
21. Buy an Arborvitae and begin training it for topiary.
22. Add a large(r) conifer tree that can handle some shade. Or a deciduous tree. Likely behind the 2nd largest Oak on the south fence line.
23. Relocate Foster plants from Naperville.
25. Place the dream backyard pizza oven footprint and/or dream backyard pond (and maybe river??) footprint.

The walkway requires buying something like decomposed granite and some edging.  Seems do-able?

Painting the box requires buying the actual paint.

Boxwoods - is a Fall activity.

Northside walkway is a HUGE project.  Just not going to get it done this year, I don't think.

Arborvitae seems doable.  Just have to get one.

Large conifer tree?  I've spent the bulk of my tree budget already.

Relocate foster plants?  Should do that before the heat hits.

Pizza oven?  Just do it, Jake.

If all that holds true, I think I'll be in a position - 100 days from now - to have 22/25 done.  Winter shrub protection, north walkway and the large conifer would be the only ones left.

Last year, I did 12/17.  That's 70.5 - or a C-minus.

With 17/25 done at this point, I'm *right* under that grade with a 68.  A D-plus.  Get just one of the eight remaining items and I'll be above last year with a 72.

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