Sassy Sue wows the bark park visitors with her catching and retrieving.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sassy Sue Is Welcome at Lowe's - Picks Wheelbarrow Out with Me

Sassy caught the ball for a professional pet photographer.
I had a pile of seed packets burning a hole in my pocket. I wanted them in the ground and growing - spinach, lettuce, kale, and egg plants.

Our helper semi-prepared an area for me to finish, in the future corn patch. Earlier I put some sunflowers in, near the house, because I wanted the other rows for vegetables in the sun. Yesterday, the ground was very tough and not easy to break up for planting.

Sassy and I took off for Lowe's for mushroom compost and a tiny wheelbarrow. I wanted something inexpensive to haul bags, and I needed more mushroom soil for my newest scheme. The Internet says  not to plant in pure compost, but this was more of an experiment than the ultimate vegetable garden.

Lowe's welcomes dogs, as Sassy and I learned earlier, so we went in together to get our wheelbarrow, mushroom compost ($2 bag) and mulch. The wheelbarrow fit in the trunk of the Town Car, with room for half of the cypress mulch. Try that in your sissy Prius.

A contractor buying supplies thought my new wheelbarrow was too tiny. I said, "Hauling soil is overrated. So is digging soil." He laughed, because he was going to be putting in drainage for yards that were becoming ponds in the rainstorms.

The woman who fussed over Sassy in the flowers area helped with the mulch and compost, calling Sassy by name. We got everything into the car, and we headed home. Sometimes we sing songs in the car. I can get Sassy joining the chorus of the Cattle Dog Blues.

Once at home, I covered the grassy rows in mushroom compost. I planted all the rest of the seed by sowing on top, tamping down the soil, and covering it lightly with another layer, then tamping down that layer.

Our helper covered some new areas with newspaper and mulch, and we Photoshopped the rose garden by adding some newspaper and mulch where needed.

The backyard got another facelift as we pruned away more of the low branches. This project has opened up the yard to a lot more sunlight while keeping the central area shaded.

Grow a little birdhouse for your birds -
the birdhouse gourd.

Birds Love Me
God's Creation established certain rules, which when understood, make gardening much easier. One is that all the creatures work in balance with each other and tend the natural world better than we can. All we have to do is enhance their growth and they labor 24/7 on our behalf.

Birds twittered long before Twitter. They murmur with pleasure when good things are going to happen. A gardener who feeds, waters, and shelters birds will be popular with the avian population. I hear the noise level go up when I go outside. The common birds will hunt insects, dig up grubs, and devour weed seeds. Their population grows with the amount and variety of food, shelter, and water.

I have a 100 foot stretch of soaker hose, most of it suspended from the chain link fence. When I go outside to check on the plants, the birds scatter a bit. I caught some using the newspaper mulch for nest material. I am sure the wood mulch also gets carried away, too. They pay me back in the work I do, so I enjoy improving their living space and giving the water.

When I turn on the soaker hose, the birds have a large area where they can bath, drink, and preen - on top of the fence and on the ground. They like some space, so this is ideal for getting more birds involved and happy. They love the sound of dripping water, a safe place to bathe and drink, and perches for preening their feathers.

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