Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Frost Cover Failure: Did They Live?

It's Flat and It's Freezing. Are they Frozen?

First there was this. Snow I should have prepared for, but didn't, flattened my frost cover. Then there was a spell of unusually cold weather for here, with the days at or barely above freezing and the nights well below freezing.

Left: Before
Right: After
I abandoned the leafy greens to their fate in the frozen wasteland and hoped the snow would be enough insulation to keep them from dying. I sat inside, sipping hot tea and snuggled with my cats, and waited.

Finally, after more than a week, the daytime weather warmed up a bit. The arches began to spring back up as the snow melted. It was looking like a snow snake's spine and I could see greens, although I couldn't tell if they were frozen dead greens or live greens.

Starting to Thaw, 10 Days Later
To see the thrilling finale of this cliffhanger ...
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Monday, January 7, 2019

Jute Erosion Mesh: Lawn Upholstery Part 2

It Finally Begins to Biodegrade

Almost 2 years ago, I covered the front yard with jute mesh to keep the grass seeds from blowing away or drying out. It worked as intended, but it's taking longer than I expected to degrade.

The mesh in the dryer areas of the yard (where the grass is thinnest) is still quite strong. The mesh where the grass was thickest has almost completely vanished. In a wetter climate, or if I had watered the grass more, it would have all vanished by now.

Raking the leaves this spring was tricky because the mesh was still strong enough to snag the rake tines. This winter the mesh is there, but although it looks intact it has most of its strength. I raked up small shreds and an occasional tangle of strings as I raked the dead grass and leaves.
The last of the erosion control cloth
 I'm tossing leaves, mesh and dead grass into the compost bins. By this time next year they will be ready for adding to the vegetable garden’s raised beds.

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