Re: [gardeners] Hot, sweaty, and feeling good

George Shirley (
Wed, 08 Apr 1998 09:03:38

At 12:46 AM 4/8/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Cynthia, that sounds like an enormous job all for one summer..
>Is it a new house for you, or a new hobby? Do you work it all
>alone? How much property is there? And when is your last frost date? 
>My garden's been in about 12 years or so, and we are still cutting back
>the borders of the lawn. If we don't, then Jimmie's Weed Whacker 
>whips off the lower branches of all the shrubbery when he's trimming
>the lawn, and it all looks awful..  Faced with that job again now, I am 
>wondering just what is a sod cutter? The landscape boys have lawn
>trimming down pat: they sharpen their straight-edged shovel to a knife
>edge, then place the shovel on the grass at a 45 degree angle, give
>one thrust, and go ka-choong, ka-choong all the way around in about
>60 seconds! We tried that, and managed to get the shovel to penetrate
>the soil in 60 seconds ...   
>I don't mind hauling it away to the compost -- it's the digging which
>kills me. 
>Here in zone 6, it's too cold to plant anything except the earliest
>stuff such as peas. We're still cleaning up from the winter mess
>of leaves, pine needles, and broken branches. Oh yes, it is lawn
>cutting time, nevertheless -- when Jim does it on time, we let the
>grass fall, but often he's late, and that means he's got to collect
>it all, and cart it to the compost. More work, of course.
>Does anybody have experience with adding lots of pine needles to
>the compost? We get swamped with them every fall, and last autumn
>was the first time we included them in the compost. They have NOT
>decomposed even one tiny bit! 
>Penny Stamm, NY
>You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
>Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
>Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]
Penny: Take your pine needles, row them up on the grass and run over them
with the lawn mower. If you have a bagging lawn mower it's even better.
They tend to mat if they're not chopped up. Of course the matting helps if
you use them as a mulch for acid loving plants. Our azaleas, blueberries,
and hydrangeas are mulched with pine needles.