Monday, July 07, 2014

Neighborhood landscaping

This is my hood. You should be able to click to enlarge the picture. The street names have been removed to make it harder for my old university to find me.

Let me tell you what you're seeing.

The blue rectangles are properties I own at the moment. This will likely be added to, soon. If I had the money there'd be a lot of blue on this map.

The green rectangles are lawns that I've been caring for this summer. Four of them I've been taking care of all summer and they look great. Two others straight across from my house have only been taken on recently. One has a little old lady on oxygen whose son is worthless. As of this weekend I'm hopping her privacy fence and mowing her lawn and doing battle with the Virginia Creeper on both sides of the fence. The other is owned, but neglected. It houses many rats that you can hear dying at night. I'm committing lawn genocide and picking up the trash dumped in her yard. This weekend I started some flowers that bees like in pots so I can transplant them once the genocide is complete.

The red rectangle are yards that I took care of last summer. One was abandoned because the house was sold and is being repaired. Another was abandoned because of heavy dumping. All four had fences that were torn down.

The green line is the route that Gandolf and I walk on our Poison Ivy extermination walk. Last summer I only covered my block and the one north of it as well as weeds on sidewalks around those blocks. This year I started covering the full length of my alley. My alley still gets sprayed for all weeds, but the full alley was being targeted for Poison Ivy. I expanded to the next alley when I was looking at properties on that street and saw how horrible they were in the back. It was about a month before I could complete the circuit of the alley and get back home before the bottle ran empty. Any empty house's yard is a target. And stuff I can reach in occupied houses.  I just started doing the alley to the west in the last few weeks. I had probably half a bottle of spray left when I get home.

The black dots are points of particular interest.
First, you see my route take a little jog beside a building north of my block. That building was once 1/5 covered with Poison Ivy. Deformed versions of it continue to try to come back. I won't let it. Other stuff is moving in and I'm trying to be picky about what I allow.
Second, far to the north is an amorphous black blob. That's a field of Curly Leaf Dock. That weed was a major target of last year's genocidal campaign and is included in this years. I poked at the field a bit, but didn't do any serious damage. I may get serious now that the second growth of the summer is starting. One of my neighbors is going to get me some bamboo to plant over there to crowd out the dock and serve as a decorative sound barrier for the trains that pass on the far side.
Third, by the loop-de-loop, is the abandoned community garden. Ten foot fences surround it and are covered with honeysuckle, English Ivy, Virginia Creeper, and Poison Ivy. I was able to target the Poison Ivy fairly successfully. It was a daunting task, though.
Fourth is a batch growing along the side fence of a yard. I can only get what's near the alley.
Fifth is just a messy yard that I use to gauge weed behavior in the area. Poison Ivy moved in that yard this year. That yard also tells me when to watch out for more Curly Leaf Dock.
If I have some left when I get close to home I then cut over to
Six. Former nice landscaping for a back fence. It will be nice again once I get rid of this major infestation. I blew a quarter of my bottle on that last week.
Seventh is a row of bushes that were heavily infested. The more I kill the more I find.
Eighth is an alley that starts with a condemned house that's overgrown. I'm trying to kill the vine back enough that I can move in with limb nippers.
Then I come back and finish on the other side of the fence from dot number one.


phynngrrl said...

You could try harvesting the curly leaf dock, it's edible!

Der_Muffinman2 said...

Can I assume that all your neighbors know you and are either appreciative or at least accepting of your efforts?

A couple weekends ago, my dad and I took out our neighboring abandoned house's weed over grown garden. It was tough work and there were some massive weed trees and vines that were growing in the power lines and getting through our fence.

Ibid said...

Eating the dock? I am intrigued. And completely revolted. But also intrigued.

Ibid said...

My neighbors are getting to know me. More and more as I expand my territory. Having Gandolf along certainly helps make friends.

Stay on top of that neighbor's yard and it takes only minutes per week. Let it get out of control and it's war on monthly or bi-monthly basis. You might consider dropping seeds for plants that you want there. Maybe something bees like.