Water everywhere!

Wow and Zow! We have had some great spring rains. Not a normal occurrence and it must be what the experts and the ski bunnies talked about when they mentioned El Nino. And its a welcome sight to see all the weeds popping up. I won’t mind one bit doing the necessary yard work to pull all those invasive weeds. By the way, don’t forget to get rid of your “chinese elms” on your property. Yes, I know, in about 20 years they will be throwing some welcome shade over your back patio. At the same time they will be sucking precious moisture from the ground and furthering the medium and long-term drought we have been living with. Dare me to talk with several experts to prove my point, but non-native water guzzling trees like the elm mentioned are contributing to our drought as much as any new Santa Fean with a postage stamp size yard of bluegrass. They line the fences and parking lots and areas that are not disturbed often enough to keep them down to size. They might be compared to chamisa on steroids. In a matter of a few years, those elms start to look like a miracle, growing taller and spreading wider than anything else you could have planted and nursed along. OUCH!

But those elms are truly destroyers. Have you had the experience of having to replace waste lines heading through your property from your home to the city sewer in the street? A friend showed me pictures of how the root system had completely filled up the inside diameter of their sewer line. Was the 12 days of wonderful shade on the yard worth the thousands spent to replace the sewer line? And driveways, sidewalks and foundations are just as exposed. I showed a fixer-upper to a contractor the other day. This smallish home had those elms growing on about 85% of the entire edge of the foundation. Some of them were about 20 feet and I can only guess about the integrity of the home’s footings with so many powerful growing roots working to undermine and destroy the home.

Don’t do it for me or for your neighbors. Do yourself a favor and take out some larger elm trees this spring. “An ounce of prevention…”  well, we can use the water to grow vegetables and bathe our children instead of feeding a voracious weed. Meanwhile,  the milkweed is thick in my yard and the lilies are spectacular. The poppies are as bright in color as any I have even seen. And the little grass patches, all volunteer and wind sown, are ready for their second cutting.

Always a good idea to keep an eye out for any water invading your home. With all these rains, you would likely have seen some signs by now. See any wet spots on the floor, or water stains on the walls or the ceilings? Sometimes they are hard to find so look closely. You will be glad you caught a problem like that early when repairs will be much easier and less expensive.

Thanks for tuning in today. Enjoy the greenery while it lasts. Can you imagine how much we will miss these mild and humid days when we get late into June? I am holding onto them as hard as I can.

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