3. Let the lawn go brown. This applies to dry-summer climates. Not all neighborhoods allow brown lawns, and not all spouses allow them. If you can get away from it, quit watering it, let it go brown. Cut any weeds that come up. When the rains start again, the lawn will green up and grow again. Mine has for the past 5 years. This is nature's cycle. Expectation of green lawn in a dry-summer climate is zone-denial. Tell the neighbors to get over it. Meanwhile, you save the cost of energy, gas/electricity if you are using a power mower; cut back on the water bill, and can be smug about your environmental consciousness.
My neighbors probably think I'm weird also, but I have noticed a slow change in attitude when they see a bountiful squash harvest and other great things being produced. A sack of cherries and a few other things to each of them every year helps also.
Giving them some of the bounty goes a long way. I've given eggs and fruit to various neighbors. I think it's a nice gesture.
What kind of squash does well in Idaho? Maybe it would do well too. Any special treatment? Do you direct plant or start early?
Zucchinis do great for me. They get a lot of compost. I start them early.
I grew butternut squash this year. Got a few. I like them too.
Most squash do well for me here, but the heaviest producers are hubbard, pumpkin, butternut, and summer. Summer squash have been prolific everywhere I've been.
I start everything early in pots here because something eats the young plants if started in the soil. Perhaps that will change someday if I keep being nice to my soil.
Thank you for the info. I already have the seeds for next years squashes! Zucchini, summer squash - both bush type. A bush type butternut. Pink banana squash, scallop squash, and some pumpkins. Overdid it again.
Little Name, I can relate to your statement: "they think they are are "helping" me. I'd rather take a few years to do something myself, and do it right, rather than have someone come in with "help" that will take me a very long time to fix." I've had those experience also.
Just a few days ago, I was cleaning-out my pickup truck in preparation to selling it, when a guy stopped and asked if he could help. I said no, but he persisted. I explained that I was the only one that could decide what to keep and what to throw away, but he seemed to have no comprehension of what I was saying, and kept asking.
One year I hired my brother, to build me a bedroom in the basement and do some other remodeling. He's a great guy, but one of those people that can't seem to slow down enough to get things done right. He destroyed an expensive hole-saw I had by drilling into concrete, even after I warned him about it being on the other side of the wall he was making a hole in. He also installed several electrical outlets not plumb or even with the wall in his rush. Part of his rush was probably to get as much done as possible for the money I was paying him, but I would prefer to pay more and have a better job done.
It's interesting. Little Name left Nexus a few years ago. I wonder what happened to her... Some folks go from very involved, to disappear. Makes me sad. I enjoyed having her here.
Usually I would rather do things myself. It's partly wanting it done right. Sometimes it's I don't want to hassle with opinions and "I know how to do it better" stuff. Partly, doing stuff is a type of puttering meditation.
Last weekend I replaced the pipes in my wellhouse. They burst in the big freeze. I wanted to hire a plumber. I have never installed vinyl pipes, didn't know how to cut or glue them. There were multiple connections and bends. I so hated the idea of calling a plumber, and dealing with them. I've had very bad experiences with obnoxious plumbers.. So I took the old broken pipes to Home Depot, found ones that looked like them, got the parts, glued, and installed. I didn't want to. I was too tired to think. I felt bad. It needed 4 trips because after replacing. the first pipes, I discovered downstream pipes that had developed big leaks. But it's done and it worked. I would be proud of fixing it, but I didn't really want to.
Now I do have a cool vinyl pipe cutting tool, to use for the vinyl pipe low tunnel hoops. That is fun.
I guessed that Little Name was probably not with us anymore because I've not seen her name except today on her old post. A friend disappearing is sad.
I also agree with your other reasons for wanting to do things yourself.
I've had limited experience with "professional" workmen because I hate dealing with them. The one I hired to build my back fence (at the insistence of my wife), did a lousy job. I now have 3 cables going from the top of my house to the fence to keep it upright until I get the time to take it down and put-up a proper one.
Congratulations on the success of your well-house project. I do most things myself and the ones I haven't done before don't always turn-out well on the first try. But they are a good learning experience.
Cardboard Mulch - works better than newspaper for areas with hard to kill weeds. Lasts two-three years. Tough like weed barrier.
Rug Mulch - Okay, we had a really tough spot along the fence, so I threw an old rug down and cut holes in it and planted a sumac some flowers. The flowers seem to be okay, but my sumac is spotty and the leaves are not turning color like they should. I think the chemicals in the rug are leaching. We plan to pull the rug up now that the plants are dormant - won't do this idea again.
Water Barrels - Saw an ad on Craigslist for two water barrels, 10$ each. Some kid was dismantling two school buses that had portable water barrels on them. We bought them and modified them so that they have downspouts. We cut the tops off and covered the tops with mesh to prevent mosquito breeding. We then dropped small submersible pumps in, and hooked the pumps up to a battery that is connected to a single solar panel. We attached that to a nearby on-off switch, and with a flick of a switch, we have water pumping through a hose out of our water barrels.
I can vouch for the cardboard mulch. In my rainy climate it doesnt last 2 years because of the rain. That is enough time to kill grass or weeds. I cover it with straw.
The water barrels sound great! I need to look into that. We have a well, but rainwater would be better.
Some rugs might work well. I haven't done that either!