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A Sad Stroy

  • Subject: A Sad Stroy
  • From: gw1944@vermontel.net (Glen Williams)
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 11:03:09 -0400

Dear Hosta Folk:

I expect I have some laughter for you. It will be at my expense and there
is no reason to respond to the idiot thing I have done...or to try it
yourself.  A few days I ago I went over the edge because all of my washed
stone walks had hatched billions of seeds and they were a mass of green
THINGS. I had been making progress on the garden and now the rains, heat,
and  sun had brought up latent seeds that had been lurking beneath the
stones since last fall.

Because of the dog, a Sheltie of noble disposition, I did not want to go
the round-up way . I worked with vinegar but the 6% solution did not kill
the roots at all. It lightly toasted the most of the weeds, but some
managed to return with new foliage. I was too lazy to lay down black
plastic and keep it in place for a few days.

Of course I thought " propane touch". I think I must have seen some science
fiction flick where a villain with a flame thrower was laying waste to the
countryside. The image stuck. I was determined to try.

OK. I accept the idea that is is dumb behavior, but it gets worst.

I bought a special propane torch with an automatic lighter: one that was
not as cruel looking as the flame thrower, but would do the job.  I decided
to work on part of the stone/gravel paths by the pond (good thing) . These
paths can be seen from the driveway and they would be the first thing that
any guests saw in my garden: UNWEEDED PATHS. I got out my foam pad and
placed it in the path. I do all of my weeding from this pad as it saves
wear and tear on my back. I started up the torch and immediately  began my
attack. In the first minute I managed to raze a family of poor crickets and
a frog hopped for his life. The weeds became charcoal before me. I was
upset about killing insect and  crawling things, but I was resolute. Old
leaves and debris smoldered away since I had not cleaned thoroughly from
last winter. I moved along bringing disaster with me. I managed to burn one
hand on some of the stones when I shifted my position and  eagerly explored
the wasted weeds. I swore.

As I worked along I smelled something burning. I thought it was tiny twigs
and other flotsam an jetsam along the way. It was . Unfortunately this
little fires had lit  the foam pad I was working on. The cotton cover was
actually on fire and the foam had started to release poisonous gases as it
burned. I swore again. This didn't do a thing. The fire was well past the
smoldering stage. I did the only thing I could do and threw the the pad
into the pond.                                 No doubt the koi were
pleased. I had dropped the torch and it had now incinerated half of the
wooden handled  small rake I had taken with me.

The next day , complete with bandaged hand , I inspected the weeds I had
burned and found the roots to be in perfect shape.  The next day I found
newly sprouted seeds left over from some paleolithic time which had been
waiting for  the scourge of fire to burn their husk and allow them to grow
freely after hundreds of  thousands of years of dormancy.

This morning I mixed up a mixture of Surflan and  Round-up. I have now
started what I should have done in the first place. The mighty Sheltie will
just have to stay in the house for the day. Of course I have a spray
canister that needs to be pumped after 6 squirts to restore the pressure.
For the price of the propane torch set-up I could have purchased one of the
new battery powered spray devices. That would have helped my bandaged hand
a lot. In 2 hours I completed about 25 ' X3' wide. I had to buy a new
cushion to work on...this one is fire proof in case I have any other stupid
ideas...which seems inevitable.

PS. I don't have any Koi, but all the rest is true. The pond is a mass of
duckweed- which by the way is the earliest ancestor of our ferns, and the
poor Koi would never see the light of day anyhow.

"Wild raccoons venture out of the canyon...." Peggy Shumaker.

Glen Williams
20 Dewey St.
Springfield , Vermont
Tel: 802-885-2839 

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