…something else happens, as in, MORE ANTS!

But first, let’s focus on the positive, because I need to.

Both bigass deck planters are finally up and secure and the ‘first portion’ of the rotting wood on the deck has been repaired. Of course, you can’t see the repairs because they’re behind the really wonderful 12-foot bigass planter along the front. Click on the photos below to enlarge and get a better view of DH’s work.

Two bigass planters affixed to the sides of the deck. The 12-foot one is along the front and the 8-foot one is along the side.

Two bigass planters affixed to the sides of the deck. The 12-foot one is along the front and the 8-foot one is along the side. If you remember from previous posts, there was tacky broken lattice and a smashed roof over the grill on the left side of the deck. DH has now dismantled that area and it will be next up for renovation.

I also wasn’t keen on waiting for seeds to sprout so I uprooted my lettuce grown under lights in the office and plopped bunches of it in the biggest planter. They’re kinda wilting but I think they’ll come around. Also planted in the box are Atomic Red Carrots (we’ll see if they can grow in a 12″-deep planter), French Onions of which the name escapes me (grown from seed in the office), peppers which aren’t doing too well and scallions. I may have to buy bigger pepper plants. The ones I started from seed seem to have stopped growing, like, a month ago.

This is the lettuce planted in the largest planter, it really didn't want to be transplanted but I am ever the optimist (ha ha). Straw covers seeded areas so harsh Chciago rains don't dislodge them.

This is the lettuce planted in the largest planter, it really didn't want to be transplanted but I am ever the optimist (ha ha). Ironically, or not, I used DH's good chisel to pry them apart before transplanting. Straw covers seeds so harsh Chicago rains don't dislodge them.

This is the short box where we have baby spinach, romaine, onions, Japanese bunching onions and mache.

This is the short box where we have baby spinach, romaine, onions, Japanese bunching onions and mache.

You may also be wondering what kind of wood that is we used for the planters. Well, we’ve done some research and I know this will kick up a fuss but this is MCQ (Micronized Copper Quaternary) which is a different type of treated wood. Supposedly, this one doesn’t leach. We’ll see. If I suddenly stop blogging in 9 months or start blogging in gibberish, then you’ll know it was the wood. Nothing to do with the hooch in the cupboard or the dry erase markers I like to inhale at work. Just the wood.

While I was fussing with all this, DH decided to sharpen his $3 army surplus machete on the lawn mower sharpening wheel and tackle the giant weed forest that had taken over half of the rear of the back yard. I used to think these weeds were sunchokes but after several folks went digging for tubers and found none, we’ve decided they’re invasive aphid magnets and we don’t want them. My motto this year is, if we can’t eat it and it’s taking up sun space, out it goes.

I wish I had a before shot of the weed forest but DH was too fast. He was a machete machine. Here’s a shot of him standing on a pile of freshly cut weed carcasses. You can see there are still more of these weeds trying to sneak up behind him in the photo.

Lord of the Weeds! Let no one come between a man with a machete and a mission. Those weeds sneaking up behind him are relatives to the ones he just slaughtered and they are almost as tall as he. Imagine 1/4 of our yard filled with a 5-foot forest.

Lord of the Weeds! Let no one come between a man with a machete and a mission. Those weeds sneaking up behind him are relatives to the ones he just slaughtered and they are almost as tall as he. Imagine 1/4 of our back yard filled with a 5-foot forest.

Soon to be rotting corpses for out compost.

Soon to be rotting corpses for our green manure compost pit.

Here’s a couple of views taken from the deck.

This shows just how invasive these things were. This is a great example of why it's a good idea to create boundaries for plants that can be invasive. Even if you want to keep them.

This shows just how invasive these things were. This is a great example of why it's a good idea to create boundaries for plants that can be invasive. Even if you want to keep them.

Almost there. Now I gotta figure out what to do about the odd shape left behind by the forest. Not exactly a graceful curve. I'm thinking of rows of mounded veggie beds. This would provide homes for the poor little seedlings still in paper cups in the foreground. And I think we'll be good on compost for a while, we've got piles and piles of green manure. See if you can find the Buddha.

Almost there. Now I gotta figure out what to do about the odd shape left behind by the forest. Not exactly a graceful curve. I'm thinking of rows of mounded veggie beds. This would provide homes for the poor little seedlings still in paper cups in the foreground. And I think we'll be good on compost for a while, we've got piles and piles of green manure. See if you can find the Buddha. He can see clearly now.

I’m thinking that my best option for that corner this year may be 4 rows of 2-foot mounded veggie beds. Funds are running out for the yard so I can’t really build any raised beds this year or order additional soil delivered. Mounded beds may get me through one year and then next year, I can rethink the whole layout.

So, back to the headline of this post. Where’s the cloud in our otherwise sunny day? Well, when DH dismantled the lattice and framework around the grill, he discovered more ants spilling out of a center hole in the upright posts that are made out of, get this, treated wood. Yes, the ants have nested in treated wood. These are some hardcore ants and that really scares me.

But in the meantime, I’m gonna try to stay positive and focus on getting that corner in shape by tilling the ground really well, mounding my rows, planting the remaining seedings and painting that corner of the garage that we couldn’t reach last year due to the forest. Shoot, I may even plant some flowers around Buddha. Edible ones of course.