Saturday, October 12, 2013

Yard work!!!

So, we live in a rented townhouse. We have great space and like our neighbors. The problem is the HOA lawn care. It's awful and has been causing problems with bugs, ants in particular. The last time they trimmed between the driveways was in the beginning of July. The ants have been a huge problem and we have found them attacking dead bugs in the garage so it is safe to assume that any dead bugs in the grass/ weeds are also feeding the ant population. So, we have been treating the ground around the house with any bait stations, but they have become in-effective. While on a shopping trip to Lowe's/Home Depot, Marty purchased a string trimmer. He then spent a few hours cutting all the grass around the house and between the driveway.

Once he was done, I realized that he couldn't get everything really good because the neighbor had some pots with weed growth wrapped around them and making it hard to trim around. So, we left a patch un-trimmed and I talked to the neighbor a few days later. After being told that only 1 pot had a real plant in it, I asked if I could remove them and clean the area more. That started the fun. As I pulled a huge weed out of a half empty pot, I found out, (real quick) all the dirt had been replaced with a Fire Ant NEST! So, I quickly dropped the pot and weed, grabbed the ant/bug spray and soaked it all down. I did this several more times, after stirring up the dirty and pot more. Then I moved the 1 "plant", it was sitting up against the house and had what looked like a dirt piled up on 1 side. Nope, another Fire Ant Nest! So, more spraying and stirring.

Now, I started to find that we needed to do something bigger to control the weeds and the ants. So, I started to dig up some granite tiles the neighbor had put down years earlier, she was hoping to control the weed growth. Then I got out my landscape fabric and went shopping for rocks! The boys and I spent about 2 days and under $50 to clean up the space and cover it with rocks. We even washed the tiles off and re-used them. The color of the rocks looks great, after a good washing!
Yes, I used a fireplace screen to help hold down the fabric while pouring the rocks.

We are still trimming the space between the driveways, even went ahead and cut the neighbors weeds on the other side of their driveway, found another Fire Ant NEST over there, but we treated it quickly. Before the project, I was getting bit at least once per week while just sitting in my garage watching the kids play. I can report now, I haven't gotten bit since we did this work. That's $50 well spent!