By Trina Machacek
It’s that time of the year when everything turns green and grows with wild abandon. Gardens are planted in hopes of an autumn bounty. Flower beds are brought back to life with tender hands that will rip out last year’s growth like a child tearing into an orange Creamsicle in 100 degree heat. Aaahh refreshing.
When just as you lay back in your hammock. Just as you raise your feet off the ground. Just as you adjust your hat to keep the sun out of your eyes… You see them. The army is coming and it’s you against them. The weeds of summer!
I read once that this country had no tumble weeds until just a few seeds arrived on a boat from, well it doesn’t really matter where the boat was from. Suffice to say it landed on the shores of the good old USA and along with people, luggage and probably some type of livestock, goats or chickens or a few piggies, off came just a few teeny tiny tumbleweed seeds. I don’t think it is enough to say those seeds flourished. There must be another word that can be said in mixed company to portray the enthusiasm at which tumble weeds multiply. Let’s roll along.
I find myself this year in the driver’s seat to keep the weeds at bay in my yard. That’s okay, I tell myself. In the past few years I have been schooled in weed extermination 101. I feel quite capable of fighting and winning the weed war. I started with a two gallon sprayer and a concoction that was developed by my other half. I am determined to carry on his weed free yard since his passing last January. I mean he made it look so easy!
I gathered up all his left over various products and mixed up a batch in the hand sprayer earlier in April. Efficiently I sprayed here and there and there and there. But I kept up and on top of the two leafed monsters as they popped up. Then it got warm. Then it rained a little. Then the days got longer. Then the army arrived with such gusto that all of a sudden those cute little two leafed weeds have grown into full-fledged monsters.
So I put down the two gallon sprayer and moved up to the 15 gallon baby that is pulled behind my IH 674 lawn tractor. And this is what happened…
Say the secret concoction/recipe left to me has four ingredients. Let’s call them W, R , V and 2. I needed to lay in new a supply of each so I off I went to purchase enough to kill every weed within my 5 acre plot of land—and a little extra. I am a girl after all and we like to have more than what is needed- just in case.
So I get to the weed killer isle and ask for some W, R, V, and 2. Oh and some pretty but VERY concentrated blue coloring to add to the sprayer so that as I spray I can see where I have been. See my attention span needs a bit of help sometimes. But that is such another story!
So the helpful weed killer guy loads me up with some W, R and 2 but they don’t carry V. However he says he has some P that will do just as good a job as V and it is like half the cost of V. Again I am a girl so I know a deal when I hear “half the cost.” So I skip the V and buy the P. Tra-la I am off to kill the weeds.
I get up at 5:30 a.m. to spray weeds, want to get it done before the wind starts. Would hate to have a gust of wind grab my spray and head it towards my Johnny Jump-ups! I mix up a batch of W, R, P and 2 and pour in some of the pretty blue colorant. I am ready to go. I start to spray and all is going well. I leave five foot wide blue paths behind me. I can almost hear the weeds of summer coughing and sputtering and yes dying. Hurray right? Then the sprayer quits. The little pump shudders on and off, on and off. The little nozzles are dripping blue stuff but the 5 foot path has dwindled down to an occasional spit. Oh c—! I must say here to my credit that I did not swear. Oh I wanted to but I didn’t. Here’s what happened.
Seems the P, the half priced stuff, didn’t like mixing with the W and R and 2. Seems the P turned the whole sprayer full of spray into a jello like mixture that the pump just couldn’t pump. Seems that is why I was supposed to pay more for the V and not get the P! Moral? Don’t put P into your sprayer!
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at email@example.com