April 26, 2009

At the Front Porch Café....


... you can talk about all the things you did yesterday.



Michael Hasenstab said...

Althouse, Meade kindly took a few moments to answer my question about lawn care a few posts ago.

I forgot to ask him what he uses for weed control. Hope you don't mind the question; I held it until a Cafe opportunity so as not to post an off-topic question somewhere else.

Anyhow, Meade, I need to get rid of some weeds that have popped up, and at the same time have concerns that the weed killer not be harmful to the dogs who play in my yard then later lick their paws.

Any suggestions?


Michael H

traditionalguy said...

Wow! Yesterday was a great day for hard work and tending my section of the Garden of Eden, complete with a beautiful woman who has enough vision for both of us. Today is Sunday for rest and worship. Thank you for sharing your Life of Althouse these last few months Professor. Excellent in every way.

Peter V. Bella said...

You mean like cleaning the yard, running errands in the rain- thunderstorm, and then the 25 degree temperature drop in fifteen minutes?

But watching the Blackhawks win made it worthwhile.

rhhardin said...

Meade takes great photos.

@michael cherish your wildflowers.

Some mustard took up temporary residence in my backyard this morning. It's a sign of early spring.

The really lucky and the virtuous will get Dames' Violets, best among the mustard family.

hdhouse said...

First morning in the Hamptons in 8 months that it dawned over 60 degrees. The ocean is like a lake. Redwings are back. All is right with this part of the world.

My front porch cafe is spendid today thank you.

Peter V. Bella said...

Well, I just found out that my neighborhood is sealed off for the enxt few hours. It seems there is a critical incident that must be handled; a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. Our King, Richie da Second, has stepped into the fray.

The runners have run amok. They must be contained to save humanity, so streets have been closed. No one is allowed in or out. The race must be saved. The runners must be treated humanely, thus, traffic must be halted so they may have their ritual.

Effin runners should be run down. It would have a good enviromental impact. The vultures would return.

traditionalguy said...

Peter... The CO2 exhaled by a gaggle of gasping runners, instead of drivers in air conditioned cars, is another part of life from the last century that must be stamped out. It's a crisis, you know.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

I think Mrs. Bissage might have that exact same little brown tea pot, short and stout.

dbp said...

Peter V. Bella said...

Well, I just found out that my neighborhood is sealed off for the enxt few hours.

Are you in Groton MA? I am running a 10k there today, but not until 1:00. I won't feel guilty though, they would hold the race even if I didn't sign-up for it. ;)

It is supposed to be 80 today, the first warm day of the year--oh yes, the vultures will be out.

traditionalguy said...

Peter... What are Blackbirds? How do you know when a Blackbird wins? Is that another evil Republican activity sponsored by Olympia Snow, like Michael Vick's Dog Fighting business. Speaking of fighting dogs, way to go Stafford and Moreno who between the two 21 year olds will earn 100 million over the next 6 years smashing the hopes of other teams named after birds of various colors.

Meade said...

Michael H: For weed control in the lawns, I use 1. a high setting on the mower blades, never taking off more than 1/3 the grassblade length at one time, 2.a soil knife, 3. a swan neck hoe, and 4. glyphosate in the heat of late summer when the lawn grasses go dormant and the weed leaves are large and most vulnerable. Follow with a timely overseeding of ryegrass.

I think of weed control as an ongoing battle of attrition in a never-ending war. The old farmers' adage: "one year seeding, seven years weeding" applies. Make your goal the prevention of weed seed maturity rather than the eradication of all weed plants and, progressively, each year, your lawn turf will become more lush with desirable grasses and fewer weeds.

I recommend taking a page out of rh's book: many weeds are wildflowers by another name. Love the wildflowers and let them self-sow.

Besides rh, other Althouse commenters with great knowledge and experience one could possibly consult with on questions horticultural: peter hoh, chuck b, Bissage...

EDH said...

Careful Meade.

Could this "pose" a problem for Althouse and Meade in a few short years?

Part of the bill states that people over age 60 and people with disabilities who have been declared mentally incompetent cannot give consent to erotic photographs, any more than a minor can give consent. But other parts of the bill only use the term "elders and persons with a disability," without referencing mental competence or consent.

As a result, said University of California-Los Angeles law professor Eugene Volokh, the bill could be interpreted as banning competent, consenting couples with disabilities from taking nude photographs of each other, or lovers over age 60 from making saucy pictures of themselves.

"If the law was limited to [the mentally incompetent], I wouldn't be mocking it," he said, adding, "let me be more academic: I wouldn't be condemning it as I have been."

To his knowledge, Volokh said, no other state has a law that criminalizes sexual pictures of senior citizens or adults with disabilities regardless of consent.

Volokh said a contact sent him news of the bill, which he wrote about on his legal blog, www.volokh.com. "Hard to see how this would be constitutional, or why it would make much sense," he wrote.

From there other bloggers took up the cause.

Big Mike said...

@Meade: Buttercups yes! Dandelions never! It's them or me.

(I suspect it'll be me.)

Freeman Hunt said...

Great! I'm going to tell the neighbors that the weedy patches in our yard are wildflower gardens.

No, seriously, I also appreciate the lawn care advice. I know nothing about this topic, but I should.

Leslie said...

Has anyone else noticed since the Althouse-Meade nuptials were announced that the fish-eye lens has virtually disappeared? Now things seem beautiful just the way they are!

Freeman Hunt said...

I see more and more durable goods labeled "green" or made with only recycled or "environmentally friendly" materials.

Am I the only one who usually reads such labeling as "probably of lower quality than the non-green version?"

Lem said...

I could not have asked for a more fantastic Saturday with family and friends at a wedding, taking turns sneaking out to hear the game in one of the cars.

The sox did not disappoint. Sorry Tropper. Actually I'm not sorry ;)

Lem said...

probably of lower quality than the non-green version?.

More often than not = more expensive.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Am I the only one who usually reads such labeling as "probably of lower quality than the non-green version?"

Things used to be made to last a long time, now everything we buy seems practically disposable. Instead of making things to last longer, they make them out of recycled (cheaper) materials or design them to be recycled when we throw them away.

When I see some sort of "green" label I assume the product has superior design, but with a very high mark-up. So why buy it?

If you want to be green, buy used. Shop ebay, the used section of Amazon, a garage sale, or a thrift store.

If you want to help people, buy stuff you know is made by craftsmen in third world countries, or give some of the money you save buying used to the Grameen Foundation.

peter hoh said...

probably of lower quality than the non-green version?.

Not necessarily. Green don't mean shit. The fine print still counts, as does doing your own research. Manufacturers are going to slap the green label on anything they can. It's a marketing tool, that's all.

Don Engebretson is a great garden writer, but his website primitive. I can't link to specific columns.

Go to his most recent post under Don't Do That for his column about the risks of organic pesticides and fungicides.

He writes about lawn care on his "CARE" page, under "FERTILIZERS." Look for these two columns:
The Myth of the 4-Step Fertilized Lawn (5-14-02)
The Original Renegade (3-15-09)

rhhardin said...

Why fair trade coffee doesn't work Mike Munger podcast.

Some of the Mike Munger podcasts are especially good.

In economics, everything works backwards.

peter hoh said...

I agree with what Meade said about weeds in the lawn. What he wrote is appropriate if you have a decent lawn growing in full sun. You will not get a decent lawn in less than full sun.

My lawn is crap. The soil under it is heavily compacted and riddled with the roots of a large silver maple. Of course the silver maple shades the lawn.

My favorite weeding tool for deep-rooted weeds is a san angelo bar. It's the only weeder I have yet to bend.

For heavily weed-infested areas, I recommend covering the ground with leaves, topping it all with the best landscape fabric you can buy (the kind they don't sell it at HOME DEPOT), and then covering that with a layer of mulch. Wait a year or more. Remove the mulch and the landscape fabric, and prepare the soil for seeding. Sow grass seed in early spring or fall. Water often.

If the area is shady, cover with compost, use several sheets of newspaper (6 or more) instead of landscape fabric. Cover over with mulch and leave it that way forever. After a year, poke through the mulch to plant some shade loving plants.

Michael Hasenstab said...

@Meade - Thanks very much.

My preference would be to seed the entire yard in clover, then mow only at the end of the season. Probably install some beehives as well.

Neighbors armed with pitchforks, Weed-B-Gone and copies of the subdivision Declaration of Covenants would set upon my property in anger.

Michael H.

rhhardin said...

en route?.

Into every life some rain must be flown around.

Hector Owen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hector Owen said...

Specific links to Don Engebretson items mentioned by peter hoh at 11:17 above:

Don’t treat organic pesticides and fungicides as if they pose no danger to your health.

The Myth of the 4-Step Fertilized Lawn
The Original Renegade.
And so we discover that, under the influence of the current formatting bug, links lose their line breaks just like italics or bold.

Anonymous said...

I love lilacs. They are hard to grow down here in NC. I comfort myself with roses (in full bloom now) and dogwood... But I do adore lilacs.

peter hoh said...

Hector, thanks for putting up the links.

rhhardin said...

Prairie dog.

Chip Ahoy said...

‹spanish language anecdote alert›

One of my professors is from Chile. She said when her mum from Chile visited her here in the US she remarked, "Well, it's no wonder Americans are so successful -- they're obsessed with the idea. Professor goes, "Que?" Her mum said, "Well look, they install lighted signs everywhere reinforcing the idea," as she points to and exit sign at the airport terminal. Éxito means success in Spanish

‹/spanish language anecdote alert›

Joan said...

I miss lilacs. Jacaranda look lovely but have no scent, and sweet acacia smell awesome but don't last the way lilacs do. Spring here in the desert southwest is beautiful but it always makes me wistful.I spent yesterday reading a surprisingly not-boring textbook: Presidential Powers for my U.S. Constitution class. This morning I helped my son write his book report on The Island of Dr Moreau, and the afternoon stretches before us, empty. It has been very hot here (100 already!) but I think it has cooled down a bit, so we'll try to do something out of the house, later.

Our lawn is horrible but since it's in the backyard we don't care. It's amazing that any kind of grass will grow in this heat.

Maxine Weiss said...

Picture 1: That looks more like the back porch

Picture 2: I love how she smiles with her eyes, and tries so hard to project a veneer of civility.


Anonymous said...

Something your creator, Mr. Id, never bothers with, eh, 'Maxine?'

Anonymous said...

Chip Ahoy:
< German language anecdote alert >

I visited Germany many years ago and only had a very elementary knowledge of the language. After miles and miles of autobahn travel, I mused out loud: Gee, that town "Ausfahrt" must be huge. Every exit goes to it.

Whereupon, everyone else laughed at me and continued to mock me for the duration of my trip.

Ralph said...

Michael H, if you're lazy, you could spot-spray the weeds with 2,4 D the day before it rains. I've let the wild onion go in my lawn to preserve the wood hyacinths.

You can get concentrated generic glyphosate at a farm supply store for a lot less than Roundup(tm), and it will keep several years if you don't let it freeze.

blake said...

Aww. Poor Helen. Sounds like something I would've said.

Freem, yeah, for me, "Green" means "expensive and less effective". True about the label being slapped on a lot of things, these days, but you can usually spot the "true believers" from the ones who are simply using "green" to mean "New and Improved!"

Peter V. Bella said...


It's Blackhawks. A hockey team named after the Blackhawk Indian tribe which populated Ilinois and the Chicago region. They are in the playoffs for Stanley Cup this year.

Blackbirds are those government helicopters with black clad swat teams that will swoop down on guys like us, take us into custody, and inter us in camps for the common good. :)

Peter V. Bella said...

Green? Fraud to charge more money for the same old stuff or inferior garbage.

rhhardin said...

Ohio, the big sky state.

It will be as high as an elephant's eye on the 20th of July.

The 4th is Oklahoma.

Jason (the commenter) said...

The mention of wildflowers made me drive over to our local nature trail and I spent the better part of the day chasing butterflies. There's nothing like the smell of hot sunshine on pine needles.

traditionalguy said...

Does "going green" mean loving `a Hazel eyed redhead, like Anne Margaret? Once you go green there is no going back, has been reported by Elvis and many other lovers.

Deborah said...

I love lilacs. They are hard to grow down here in NC. I comfort myself with roses (in full bloom now) and dogwood... But I do adore lilacs.Dody, crepe myrtles are a nice substitute. I think it's too hot down here for lilacs. At least, that's what I've heard.

former law student said...

I mused out loud: Gee, that town "Ausfahrt" must be huge. Every exit goes to it

Reminds me that my vacation hotel was on Einbahnstrasse.

Here I live on the corner of Walk and Don't Walk.

MadisonMan said...

My back yard is a carpet of yellow in mid-May, and then the clover takes over mid-summer. There's also a patch of oregano growing. And some grass as well. I honestly don't get the desire to have a monocultural lawn.

A goal of mine is to gradually enlarge the gardens, too, so that the lawn vanishes to nonbeing.

I did re-seed next to the raspberry patch -- after extracting the invading hordes of raspberry shoots -- and the birds are enjoying the seeds. But I threw down so much that there's plenty. And all this rain this weekend -- close to 3"! -- should help the germination.

rhhardin said...

The NYT on the Jeopardy computer that understands natural language

Mr. Friedman added that they were also thinking about whom the human contestants should be..

Evidently distinguishing who and whom isn't high on the list.

Memo to NYT writers: it's fine to distinguish them, but if you can't tell which it ought to be, use ``who.''

amba said...

Too intimate! You should've kept this one for each other. You don't want all of us in that gaze. Why do you think everyone's looking skyward and talking about lawn fertilizer?

amba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amba said...

Oops! Missed my cue. Should've just said, "Get a room!"

poroshosk said...

I have really been enjoying the recent posts on winter identification. of native plants. This is actually very helpful and is an aspect of plant ID that not many folks consider.

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