October 7, 2013

After a long, hot summer these early days of October bring with them a flurry of activity here in the Valley of the Sun. The garden centers and nurseries are filled with the kind of annuals you would normally in the spring back in New England – petunias, impatiens, etc. Bags of potting soil and grass seed and soil mixtures are stacked high on wooden pallates, and folks jam the aisles making their fall planting decisions. The days are still in the low ’90s, but that’s about to end this week when a Pacific storm pushes to our north and drops the temps into the 70s on Thursday and then 80s for the foreseeable future.

All around the Valley, you start seeing landscapers in every kind of vehicle imaginable, their trailers chock full of hardware and lawn machines as the lush green of folks’ lawns are turned into yellow bristle in preparation for the planting of fall ryegrass. For those retail stores and restaurants that have survived the lazy hot summer months, this week brings the welcome return of “snowbirds” from western Canada and all kinds of western states. And for those folks who don’t have heaters for their swimming pools, this week brings with it an end to pool season. Here at the Richard hacienda, even with nighttime temps in the ’60s, the hot days have kept the pool at 72 – not exactly warm to the touch but pleasant enough for a quick dip on a hot afternoon but no more than that. By this weekend, it’ll drop to below 70, good enough to stick your feet in, but little else.

Back when I lived in New England, this time of year always brought with it a sense of melancholy since you knew what was coming on autumn’s heels – the holiday season and then the dead of winter. But here October means finally being able to keep the doors and windows open, with no A/C switching off and on – a plus for the checkbook! While the majority of the backyard is done (pctures coming), there’s still palm tree watering to attend to, and Carmelo and the boys have a date to give el grande Mesquite a real thinning out and cut – not just to keep the tree from taking over the entire west side of the yard – which it would if it could – but to also get some sun on the back lawn so we can see if we can grow some grass.

This past weekend I trimmed the lime and lemon trees in the east-facing yard, but they are still plenty big for their area, keeping it pretty much in perpetual shade. There are still plenty of limes to harvest – something I plan on doing this weekend. The lawn underneath the trees really struggled this year, so this time around Carmelo’s going to try some shade grass seed to see if that will work out here.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:00 | Comments (0)
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