Ella has been asking to help out in the yard lately. I have things she can do, but I feel like I need to show her or explain really well what she can do to help me out. So, here it goes:
The first thing that needs done is the bed along the azalea hedge needs weeding. The newest part, closest to the fence, has clumps of grass coming up through the mulch. There's bound to be some, when you lay newspaper down and mulch on top of that. The best way to pull this grass up is to grab small clumps of it as close to the ground as possible, and pull slowly, trying to get as much of the roots as you can. I know it won't happen every time, but it'll keep it from coming back in the future. As you get closer to the street, there will be more weeds instead of grass. There will be more of them, but they'll be easier to pull up. Use the same technique as before, grabbing it as close to the ground as possible and pulling slowly. There's mostly grass - maybe crabgrass - among the daylilies, so if you pull that out, that would be great. When you're pulling weeds, pick a spot nearby and make a pile - I'll put them at the street on trash day.
There's crabgrass invading the desert garden as well as dollar weed - it has a round leaf, like a dollar coin - maybe not as large. They've got a long root connecting them, so if you grab one just under the soil, you'll be able to pull up a whole string of them. There are a few other types of weeds in there, but they should be easy to pull.
All around the raised beds, in the back yard and a little in the front, crabgrass and dollar weed has invaded the area. All of that needs to be pulled up. I made the mistake of trying to spray Roundup near the vegetables. I ended killing our pole beans, so I don't want to take any chances with that again.
The last thing I need help with is cleaning behind the garage, where the chickens will be. I've cut down (I know it will come back) and smothered most of the bamboo, but I need the rest of it cut down. It'll probably easier to use the small pruning shears. If you cut it as close to the ground as you can, that'll make it easier to smother later. I'm going to cut down some of that magnolia tree, to let in more sunlight, which will be good for the chickens. The most important thing to remember back there is to avoid the poison ivy. (pictured) Thanks!