Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On My Knees, Weeding Not Praying

I've spent the past two days on my knees in the front yard, removing what I suspect is Proso Millet from the lawn.  I have to confess, the weeds are so thick and so uniform that I was on the point of accusing a certain 7-year-old person in my house of actually putting birdseed in the spreader and broadcasting it.  I couldn't understand why we had so many of them and why they were so regularly distributed.  We do feed the birds, spending our pocket change on birdseed of all sorts, but we always have, and never have we had such an infestation.

Then it occurred to me that the weed population must have something to do with the unusually severe winter we had here.  This has been a banner spring for weeds!  Proso millet in particular germinates and begins to grow when soil temperatures warm to 55 degrees.  That happened here about a month ago.  On the other hand, St. Augustinegrass doesn't really kick in until the soil temperatures are above 60 degrees, particularly after such a long dormancy.  Right now, soil temperatures are between 65 and 70 degrees so the lawns are greening up, but I'm having to overcome the weeds' head start.  In a normal spring, the soil temperatures must warm fast enough to allow the lawn to crowd out the millet.  Not this year!

So, two days on my knees was long enough to receive a tiny bit of enlightenment and keep my daughter out of the doghouse.

Here's a link to a soil temperature map I like.

You can access historical data about Texas soils here.

No comments:

Post a Comment