The Dumpster Stomp

Have you recently been frustrated by having more garden refuse than your bin can hold?  This has been my case in recent weeks as fall approaches and I have increasing amount of debris to get rid of.  I have found that by climbing into my bin, and jumping up and down, I can compress the plant material into a much smaller volume.  Now although this activity is a lot of fun, there are several dangers of which you must be aware.  The plant material itself can be a threat if there are sharp pokey things that might penetrate your legs.  Then too, the act of climbing into or out of a bin creates the possibility of a tumble.  Then too, if you compress the plant material too low, you may not be able to escape.  But I guess that’s OK since it’s an organic bin, and you are definitely organic.  Sounds like a gruesome episode you might watch on TV about a missing person.  Yuck.

I hope that you don’t have to face the weekly volume problem of garden refuse like I do.  The City of Davis doesn’t do street pickups for 6 straight months!  In any case, perhaps you should leave dumpster stomping to a local neighborhood child.  They would probably love it.

Stan, The Tool Man

Polypropylene Dolly
Polypropylene Dolly

Organic Dumpster Diving

How is organic dumpster diving different from ordinary dumpster diving?  Well, ordinary dumpster diving has been around for decades—ever since dumpsters have been created to store discarded items.  Organic dumpster diving is a more recent activity allowed by the recent effort to keep organic materials out of the landfill.  Now, searching through the contents of your organic bin may seem somewhat unpleasant, if not downright disgusting.  However, sometime a dive seems imperative.  Have you ever been working with a favorite tool, and after depositing plant clipping or weeds into your organic bin, that beloved tool has disappeared?  After endless searches has revealed no misplaced tool, the fear slowly arises that you have thrown away your tool.  This happened to me several days ago when my hand rake suddenly disappeared.  So, I pulled the garden refuse out of my bin.  No tool.  Then I went over to my neighbor’s bin, to which I had added my excess, and pulled all the plant material out and into a garbage can.  No tool.  Now I must admit that most organic dumpster dives are unsuccessful.  I figure the success rate is about 20%.  And sure enough, I later found the hand rake lying on the back of the Prius in the driveway.  I continues to amaze me how I will have absolutely no recollection of where I put something down.

So, I guess I’d have to say that organic dumpster diving is not something I think you’ll enjoy, but it is the only way that you can be assured that your treasured tool is not gone forever.

Happy diving (?)

Stan, The Tool Man

Duplicity is Good?

I thought that duplicity was a good thing—having duplicates of things you value should be a good thing.  My wife straightened me out—as she is prone to do—that duplicity is not a desired trait.  So . . you can call this practice of having multiple items whatever you want—I still prefer duplicity.  Actually . . “multiplicity” is not a bad alternative.  Anyway, let me tell you about the extent of my duplicity—I’ll stick to garden related items.  The logic for my practice is many-fold:  It is so frustrating when you want to use a particular tool, and you can’t find it.  Having many around solves this.  I have four 2 x 5 inch trowels used for the daily hunt for weeds.  There are 3 or 4 moisture meters around here somewhere.  I have only 2 of those thinning pruners that I have shown you, which is scary—only two.  There are 2 sets of knee pads.  I only have one weed torch, but I seem never to lose it, so one will do.  What I am definitely going to have to buy is another pair of gloves.  I am constantly misplacing the one pair—so maddening.  Gloves are not something I think you can just buy online.  I think you really need to try them on before purchase.  3 gardening hats, 2 neck braces. And 2 forearm bands round out my multiplicity needs.  It should be mentioned that other than the problem of misplacement, there is also the consideration of wearing out a loved item and not being able to replace it.  So I would suggest that when you find a gardening item, or anything else that you really love, immediately buy a second (or third) one.  I have to admit that my fetish for multiplicity ends with my wife—I can only handle one of these at a time.  Anyway, where would I find another one as good as I have right now?


Leaf Blower

It’s not very often that I follow my own advice.  I recently purchased the Sunjoe model SPX3000 power washer and it seems to work perfectly.  Yesterday I burned out (literally) my leaf blower.  If you place a plugged in leaf blower on a flat surface, lubricate the power switch with silicone, and let it sit while you do some weeding, chances are that the machine will turn on by itself when the switch short circuits.  Since no air can be sucked in from below, the motor cannot be cooled, and it will catch fire.  I was really attached to that tool, too.  So today I went down to the Davis Ace and purchased a new Toro 51618 model.  Its first test was to “detail” the back end of the Yukon.  You know, whenever you transport a potted plant that has to be placed on its side, there is going to be a mess no matter how carefully you drive.  So the new leaf blower passed with flying colors . . or flying debris.  Oh yes, I did follow my own advice and actually handled the tool in the store before making my selection.  I tried the gas powered models, but they were too heavy for me to use in a vertical position, which I often have to do.


Oh no!  Flowers!  This was my thought when I spotted a patch of oxalis in the lawn.  So I lay on the lawn for 45 minutes teasing the oxalis from among the grass blades.  Did you ever do a biology dissection where you teased the different tissues apart?  I still remember finding the tiny brain of an earthworm and the five pairs of aortic arches.  Anyway . . . I find that I have to weed almost every day.  One would think if I torch every weed I find so that the plant and its seeds are destroyed, that there would be no more weeds.  I have this rule in the garden:  No weeds allowed.  Mother Nature apparently didn’t get the word because the battle wages on daily.  I have a suggestion:  Weed at different times of the day.  I think the angle of the sun may be one of the reasons that some weeds go undetected one day only to easily appear on the next.  One thing I forgot to tell you about weeding with a torch– If there is no breeze, smoke will rise from the conflagration and engulf you.  Yesterday I smelled of both burned weeds and burned plastic (leaf blower cremation).


Stan, The Blog Man