Fashion Plate

If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mesquite and Other Pests

It is that time of year when nature should be renewing herself, but instead of glorious wildflowers, all we have is crispy, dead grass. We haven't had any measurable rain since December. We are constantly under high wind and fire warnings.
Nevertheless, PARTNER has embarked on his continuing campaign to eradicate all the horehound and stinky vine on the ranch. Regretfully, those are the only green things on the property, excluding mesquite. Last year PARTNER was content to kill the horehound around the tanks and in the immediate vicinity of the house. Now it has become a personal vendetta. I don't really mind the horehound, but I can understand his obsession with the weed. I feel the same way about mesquite trees. Unfortunately, he insists some of them need to remain to provide habitat for the birds and animals.
Selected mesquite will also face the dreaded sprayer-of-death, but not until they fully leaf-out. After working hard to clear an area, you would think the little suckers would understand that they were not welcome. Like a phoenix rising from the dead, the nasty shoots keep popping up. These trees can have tap roots up to 175 feet long and their annual average per acre use of water is 224,000 gallons. I can think of a lot better use for that water.
The worst part of this brush control campaign is that it involves manual spraying of the offending vegetation with a mixture of Reclaim, Remedy, a surfactant and dye. The dye works really well to help you see what has already been sprayed. It is also very permanent; as the stains on our concrete will attest. PARTNER has decided that this year we need a larger, more powerful capacity sprayer. This will be our third sprayer. I'm afraid he is delusional. The sad truth is that no matter how gigantic a sprayer we have, the noxious weeds and brush will always be one step ahead of us. I dread this new sprayer. The present one takes 3 hours to empty. Now I'll have to pack food and a change of clothes when we head out on Mesquite Eradication Patrol.

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