Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days of Summer  

August has arrived with more cool weather.  Those Dog days of summer are coming to a close and not much hot weather has accompanied them which is just fine by me.  Just what, exactly are the Dog Days of Summer?  Officially the Farmer’s Almanac says the term “dog days of summer” is intended to mean it is hot and humid. There is an astronomical basis for the saying. Dog days run from July 3 through August 11th when the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the Dog Star. In ancient times people thought that the star’s position conspired with the sun to make the days hotter than any other time of the year. Other people thought that the hot days of summer made dogs “mad”, thus the name.

Work at Terra Nova Gardens has continued in the absence of blogging during the upgrade of the GRIT Website.  The garden name panels have been completed.  A source of free old fence panels was found and they are just the thing to fence in the north Terra Nova Garden area.  There’s about 90 more feet to get fenced before the snow flies.  Some of the fence posts are coming from two sides of the old chicken wire fence.  The other two orginal sides will remain chicken wire to allow the neighbors to see inside the fence.  This garden, remember, is in a not so good part of town so if too much privacy is provided, there just might be a few homeless folks camping out inside the fence.  So far there’s been no graffiti painted on the graphic fence panels so maybe my plan has worked. Four foot high chicken wire will be stapled on the back side of the fence to help deter critters from crawling through the slatts.  If that doesn’t keep them out, then a portable electric fence will be installed on the outside of the fence.  Now the aerial attack from the wild turkeys will be a challenge that will only be circumvented by wire cage coverings.

A pleasant surprise came from my fall yard waste mulching caper.  Apparently there was a few squash seeds in the leaf/grass mixture which grew and produced a few squash.  Also there were some zucchini plants that produced a handful of zucchini before the dreaded vine borer brought them down.  I don’t really worry too much about vine borer because by the time the plants wilt and die my desire for zucchini has waned to the don’t care mode.  I just pull up the plants and send them to the landfill where the vine borer can have their way all they want.
My neighbor who has Terra Nova South tried to plant some seeds from his prize watermelons that he had saved from last year.  They were the most pathetic looking plants that didn’t produce anything.  I am wondering if they were hybrid or maybe GMO.  I’ve never seen anything so scrawny and sickly looking.  It was a great lesson in making sure seeds saved come from heirloom plants.
I have talked some about Terra Nova South which is the land to the south of the parking area.  The parking area is in the middle of the garden.  One unique thing about Terra Nova South is that the land connected to it is a forgotten piece of land owned by some one in Montana.  Taxes are derelict and leans for city weed control area abundent.  This year my garden area has encroached about 10 feet over into this property.  Next year the creep will continue will another 30 feet coming under weed free garden.  If the owner comes back and complains, what ever is grown there will be his no question but at least the weeds will be under control.  I call it guerrilla gardening.  Since there’s not going to be a fence around it, the wild animals will be getting a free buffet anyway.

A couple day diversion from gardening was to help a friend of mine beautify her entry into her house.  She bought a new house and part of the agreement was one bush so this was it.  It didn’t really impress her much.  She was the designer and I was the landscaper.  For two days she surpervised and I worked.  Hey, I got a couple of good home cooked dinners out of the deal. 

After two days of sweat, gallons of water drank, four advil, two Alieve, two showers, and a day of rest afterward, the project turned out really well.  My friend put the finishing touches on the flower bed by spreading out the mulch and planting the flowers.
Meanwhile back at the Urban Ranch (my backyard) growth continued even with the dry conditions.

Yeah, I’ve done it again.  The Nebraksa wild weeds and grasses don’t hesitate long before taking over any  unattended land.

Oh, yeah, there were some serious stiffness the next day after this cleanup. The view opened up where communication with neighbors enjoying their morning cup of coffee could resume.  Mowing the grass was another two day project.  There’s just not enough time to keep up.  It’s a great life if I don’t weaken. 
But for now I think I’ll have a nice cool drink and kick back for a little nap.  Yeah, tomorrow, the neighbors tree comes down.  Probably have something on that next time.  See ya then.
Published on Aug 20, 2013

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