Linoleum Knife

                  Now here is a tool that you would probably never use—but I do, so there’s a slight chance you might.  First of all, you have to have a lawn.  I figure that would eliminate many of you who have done the responsible thing and eliminated your lawn.  (Did you ever read my blog article explaining why I love my lawn?)  Second, you have to enjoy working on your hands and knees.  So, let’s say that there is a 10% chance that you are still interested in continuing.  Finally, you have to possess a certain amount of OCD.  So for the 2% of you who remain, here is why you need this tool:

            Do you have a string lawn edger?  I do.  I got it as a garage sale.  It is supposed to advance the string by bumping it on the ground.  But it doesn’t do that.  I have to turn it upside down and manually advance the string.  Then sometimes the string breaks within the spool.  So I have to take it apart to extract the string again.  That’s a pain.  Then when I do use the edger, the resulting edge is rather ragged—hardly OCD worthy.  So, what I do is get on my hands and knees, take my linoleum knife, and draw it towards me along the inside of the mow strip.  (Oh, I forget that is another requirement for needed this tool—you have to have a paver or concrete border for your lawn.)  Now as I pull the knife towards me, it makes a straight cut through the grass creating the perfect edge to my lawn, which I then stand back and admire.

             Now here is my last chance to interest you in this tool.  Sooner or later you will likely need to patch an area of your lawn with sod.  (I like the sod from Home Depot, but make sure it is fresh.)  The sod is held together by a nylon mesh.  You will find that this linoleum knife is the perfect tool to cut your sod into pieces that will fit the section you have carved out of your damaged lawn.

            Keep the inside of the knife sharp by using a file. . . . . You don’t have a file?  Well that was simply the last straw.  Now . . Nobody is left to use this tool in the garden. . . . I’m so sad.

Stan, The Tool Man

         

Linoleum knife
Garden uses for linoleum knife

(Perhaps you should buy this model from Amazon for about $4.  Can you imagine how impressive this would look in your tool collection.  But hurry—there are only 4 left of this model as of this writing!)

Lawn Love

I have been sleeping well at night.  Now that SPPC has given me the opportunity to express thoughts, my mind isn’t going crazy with ideas and keeping me awake.  Now it’s my wife’s turn.  She lost a lot of sleep last night thinking about clay projects.  So she left me today to work at Alpha Fine Arts in Sacramento.  (She is coming back though.)  So much creative talent, and so little time.

While playing in the garden today, several thoughts came to mind.  At least some of you have continued to resist removing your lawn to conserve water.  I am one of these.  I love my lawn.  At one time it covered the entire back yard.  Now it’s far less than 1000 square feet.  It contains no weeds, but there are a few brown spots where my son’s dog has done his thing.  I love it best when the grandkids are here.  See, they have no lawn.  Their house is on a steep slope in the hills above Los Gatos.  The creek that runs 100 yards below them represents the line of the San Andreas Fault.  So you see, it is a treat for them to have a lawn to play on.  The girls do cartwheels and wrestle about.  At lunch time they spread out a blanket and they lie on their backs in the shade of the hackberry tree while they eat their Nana special sandwiches (strawberry jam, creamed cheese, and peanut butter}.  This is really why I love my lawn. 

So if you still have a lawn, I hope you have a mower that has a good vacuuming blade.  Practically all mowers come with a mulching blade that does not do a great job at sucking up plant debris.  You generally can order a blade that does a good job at vacuuming.  There unfortunately is no such blade for my Craftsman mower.  What do you do with your clippings?  I hope you use them for mulch around your plants in the vegetable garden.  If your clippings go into the organic recycle bin, I would suggest that you put a layer of dry plant material in first so that the grass clippings don’t form a gooey mess that sticks to the bottom of the bin.  Another suggestion is to leave the bin lid open.  This lets the contents dry out and this eliminates a lot of odor and prevents the condensation on the bin inner surfaces that gathers debris when the bins are dumped.  Now . . . if you just had a power washer, you could keep all your bins clean enough to eat out of . . . Perhaps that’s a stretch.

Stan, The Blog Man