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Keeping up with Bob: Fall yard work tests my limits

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

One of the best investments we’ve made has been our Husqvarna robot lawn mower. Through a round-about naming process, our lawn robot earned the name “Yard Bob” (to differentiate him from our Roomba, “House Bob”) and while he requires some work and maintenance in his own right, he makes yard work so much easier. 

My dear partner, Nicole, is much more laid back about most things than I am, but one area where we flip those roles is with yard work. I’m fine letting the weeds grow up along the fence line and leaving the grass until it’s closer to baling height than lawn length. This isn’t okay with her, so Yard Bob helps keep us from fighting over mowing the grass. 

What Yard Bob can’t do, though, is weed eat around the house and the fence, or up and down the driveway. When I had to re-lay Bob’s guide wires after we had a French drain installed this spring, I pushed them out to the very boundaries of what he can manage. This cuts down on the weed eating I have to do, even if it means – at least until the back hill has resettled – I will have to occasionally get Bob off a dirt clod he’s gotten hung up on. 

While Yard Bob does the heavy lifting, this weekend I had to finally break down and do some yard work I’ve been putting off for a while. This included the much loathed weed eating, cutting back some of the pernicious multi-flora rose that threatens to take over the paths leading into the woods on our property, and finally planting some apple trees that have sat in a planter on our stoop for over a year now. 

That last one took a lot of work, not only digging the holes but hauling well over 100 pounds of good top soil from the bottoms to fill the deep holes I had dug in the eroded clay hillside. 

I grafted some cuttings onto the apple rootstock from my mom’s apple trees a while back. Not all the grafts took, but a couple did, and I’m looking forward to having some good apples for frying and making apple butter, as well as eating out of hand, in the years to come. 

I know that these apples, along with the pawpaw I grew from seed, won’t give us any decent crops of fruit for quite some time. But I’m taking a long view of our stewardship of this land. As my son grows into a young man, and eventually into having a family of his own, hopefully these trees – along with the wild blackberry and raspberry brambles I’m relocating to takeover where the wild rose grows now – will give them the same appreciation of the land that my grandparent’s trees helped foster in me. 

If not, at least it’s been good exercise for now. 

Jeremy D Wells can be reached at editor@cartercountytimes.com  

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