Three weeks ago, The Geek noticed the lawn was looking a bit ragged, and brought the Victa out. It wouldn't start, despite tinkering. He changed the spark plug the following week, and it still wouldn't start. Last weekend, he took it to be repaired.
Turns out that it's Bad to tip a mower on its side to clean off the blade. It should be tipped backwards onto the handle. Why has The Geek been tipping it sideways? Well, it's more stable that way, and we have two boys who like helping Daddy clean the machine. And this sensible behaviour has just cost us $95 as it sends oil into the wrong bits of the engine.
The Geek finally got to mow the lawn this morning. It was a beaut day for gardening, too -- sunny, but a cool breeze. The clippings are spread under our carport. When they dry, we use them as bedding for our piggies, and afterwards as mulch in the vegie patch. We have plenty of clover, so these clippings are particularly nitrogenous: I might be able to use them for other purposes than piggie bedding.
One of the unforeseen side effects of using a chook dome has been the growth of lots and lots of wheat in the vegie patch. Today I turned in some young wheat as green manure. I've never
done the green manure thing, and frankly it's not as easy on the back as other methods of soil improvement, but I can see that all that Good Stuff will make a real difference to my heavy soil. I don't really have a choice, anyway. I planted out the whole bed straight after the chooks vacated it, and only a single rainbow chard seedling survived -- the rest were swamped by wheat!
The soil does look much better than it used to, even without this additional material. It is dark damp and full of worms. It's still heavy--I was turning over big clods, but they do crack apart without too many blows of the fork. I expect to plant the bed up tomorrow.