I've been using our beautiful spring weather (finally!) to get out and get to work--I've got a lot of new trees coming this week from the DNR and that will make for a nice few days next weekend--when it is supposed to get colder again and rain. Great. This weekend would have been perfect, with gorgeous sunshine, temps near 70 degrees, and very wet ground from all the rain we had mid-week. Planting the few new trees I had in hand was easy.

I spent a lot of hours the past two days cutting out weed mats from landscape fabric I bought from Shaw Fabric Products and putting them down around many of my little seedlings planted the past couple of years. This fabric is designed for use around trees, without mulch, and is supposed to last up to five years in direct sunlight. We'll see how effective it is at keeping the weeds out. I'm willing to pull out a few weeds that break through the mats now and then, but I'm hoping that isn't too often. It is a lot of work, but if it saves me at least some mowing, it will be worth it. I'm still getting my system down, so I'm moving pretty slow. It is taking me nearly ten minutes per mat. I have fabric enough to install at least 700 of them. That should take care of my smallest and newest trees this year. Most of my seedlings planted the past couple of years are big enough to not need much help with weed control. I figure that once they're three or four feet tall, they're on their own with the grass and weeds.

Thanks to all of you who gave me advice on this subject last fall. I'll let you know how things look in a couple of months, when the grass and weeds really get going! Hopefully, I'll be endorsing Shaw Fabric Products . . .