I'll try to add some pictures, but I never took any during this process. Ooops, my bad. Just didn't think about it.
Well, this weekend, hubs and I, well, more hubs than me, but I did help on Saturday, while the kidlet worked on a school project. Sunday, hubs worked outside while the kidlet and I cleaned house. I did treat the hubs to homemade pizza.
Yes, I make the dough and the sauce, but hubs likes to build the pizza. We are talking heart attack pizza--hot Italian sausage, large pepperoni, hard salami, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and sometimes provolone cheese. All layered numerous times. Seriously the pizza must weigh at least 8 pounds!
Sorry, got sidetracked. Before we eat that yummy, cheesy goodness, we have some work to do.
First, hubs and I took a trip to Lowes and Wal-Mart. Lowes to check the price of their cedar mulch and buy Osmocote, rose food, and Ironite. I also left with about 6 cacti. Four to pot and put on my fence and two to fill the 'table of death' cactus planter--long story about the table of death. The short version is that for some reason, everything I put there died, except the cactus. I don't know why when you consider what the rest of my yard looks like! I think the wind tends to dry out the plants too much, but that's just a theory.
Oh, and why the Osmocote and Ironite? The Osmocote feeds the plants for about four months. It's a good bloom booster along with the basic nutrients. All my plants and shrubs get a dose along with the Ironite. I think it was about year three of our garden when I noticed all the plant's leaves turning yellow with the green veins. When I called my friend, Patty, who was a Master Gardener--yes, I capitalized it on purpose, she trained for the job--who commented that it was an iron deficiency due to the wood mulch breaking down and leaching the iron from the soil. So ,yearly, we liberally toss handfuls of the stuff everywhere.
And, of course, all my roses get this treatment along with a dose of Bayer rose food. This type of food--in fact, I can't find any food without this amended ingredient--contains a systemic-type of insecticide and black spot preventer. Actually, this is kind of nice since I tend to forget to spray my rose babies every ten days.
On to Wal-Mart to buy mulch--cedar mulch, not rubber mulch, or red mulch or black mulch--CEDAR mulch. We've found that this aromatic mulch tends to keep some nefarious critters away from my plants, and it's $0.20 cheaper per 2 CU foot bag at Wal-Mart than at Lowes, which is why we went across the street to buy our mulch.
Two car loads later, we had 55 bags of mulch in the backyard waiting to be placed in the garden beds. We used 52 bags. Hubs had to buy more to finish the front yard--10 more bags to take care of the front beds and we had two bags left over.
First, lunch and then we had to blow and rake the oak leaves from the yard and garden beds. With the wind playing against us, it took us about 2-3 hours just to finish this chore.
Since we had removed the winter plant debris, and trimmed the roses, all that was left was to toss some Osomocote and ironite before hubs applied the mulch. During this time, I brushed and deleafed the pool. When he finished, I watered down the mulch, which also activates the fertilizer.
Now, all we have to do is wait for the lovelies to bloom their heads off, and do a nightly walk-through the garden to pick any naughty weeds that might pop up.