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Hartselle Enquirer

Work keeps piling up 

By Clif Knight 

I jumped with joy when I parked my ridng lawnmower after using it to pick up the loose leaves under the trees in my front, side and back yards. I still have some of the late-falling leaves lying on the ground. They’ll have to be removed before the mowing season begins.   

Then came the on-again, off-again warm days of February, and I was reminded that another mowing season is about to begin. The presence of wild onions, dandelions and clover leaves little doubt green grass can’t be far behind.  

An early spring could add three or four weeks of grass mowing and trimming to an already loaded spring, summer and fall work schedule. Add to that several additional manhours of grass and weed trimming that will be required in a 160-foot drainage ditch on the city’s right-of-way and maintenance along the edges of a 125-foot driveway and patio. 

Geanell and I decided planting ornamental shrubbery on our north-south property lines would give us more privacy and enhance our property’s value. We chose yellow wisteria for the north side yard and used a combination of two red leaf varieties on the south side.  

What we didn’t realize is the amount of maintenance that would be required as the plants grew in height and width. Birds use the ground cover as a habitat, and their visits bring seeds from all sorts of wild plants and trees. Some of the seeds sprout and put down their roots, The unwanted wild stuff has to be weeded out with the use of hand tools at least twice a year and pruned once a year.  

Age and disease have also taken their toll, and plants on the south side have been removed. 

In a span of 10 years, strong straight-line winds uprooted four 100-year-old oak trees in our front and side yards. They were removed, and their stumps were ground up; however, their roots remained and continue to be a nuisance.  

As the roots decay, they leave holes in the ground. Loose dirt has to be applied to level the surface year after year.  

With the vegetable-growing season looming, we’re getting ready for another busy time in a bigger-than-ever garden. 

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