One of my most important tools here is Roundup. I guess you can call it a tool since it replaces pulling weeds. Let me explain why I’ve become so up close and personal with Roundup. We have a gravel driveway from the road to the house and then a circular area for turnabouts. To scope it for you, the driveway is about 500′ long, 10′ wide, and 4â€ deep. The circle has a diameter of about 30′ which is equivalent to nearly another 100′. The problem is that even with 4â€ of gravel, the weeds find a way to pop up and if left alone for a summer, the driveway would turn into a weed field. Picking the weeds by hand is not an option. In the summer, new ones are sprouting at just higher than my maximum pick rate so it’s a losing battle. So every few weeks I have to hit it with Roundup. Actually Roundup is very expensive so I hit it with a commercial generic that, if anything, is slightly more potent. Pierson is the Fern Capital of the World so we have a major league fernery supply store catering to the local farmers. I went there and explained my need and they happen to have a super potent, stronger than Roundup, concentrate. Concentrate means 5 tablespoons for every gallon of water. The smallest size is 5 gallons so I’m thinking one purchase is a lifetime supply. I bought a sanctioned 2 gallon Roundup spray dispenser so I’m set up properly. I recognized right away that pouring a tablespoon of this highly potent, toxic stuff from a 5 gallon container was just not so simple so I came up with a great idea. Nancy buys her liquid detergent in a 2 gallon plastic jug that has a push button spout that just happens to dispense about 1 tablespoon per push. I transfer the herbicide to the detergent container and totally have that problem under control. Just set the Rounder spray bottle under the dispenser and pop the button 10-12 times. Very slick. All was bliss for about 3 months and then gradually the spray got weaker and weaker until it just dribbled out. It would take an hour or more to do the driveway. I disassembled the Roundup jug and blew out all the hoses with an air pump; cleaned out the nozzle with hot soapy water. Then it would work just fine. Maybe not quite as good as new, but much mo betta. I’d get maybe half the driveway done and it would start sputtering. So I either had to work at an incredibly slow pace or stop every 50′ and blow out the pipes. I lived with this situation for a couple of years because I kept fairly well on top of the weeds and it wasn’t worth it to buy a new bottle. But I got behind in the past few months and after we finally got some rain, the weeds were quickly taking over. I decided to maybe take a drill and ream out whatever was clogging this thing at the risk of destroying it. I had looked at a power unit recently and thought maybe it was time to step up the game. So I took it apart one last time and then tried to get into the nozzle itself. Low and behold, it came apart in a place I never thought separated and there was a filter – totally clogged. Apparently when I blew out the tubes, I would temporarily move the crud from the filter but it would eventually works it’s way back. I swear now it works better than it’s maiden voyage. After each treatment, I take the nozzle apart and sure enough the filter is starting to accumulate crud. I’m so happy that I have nailed the driveway twice this week and may go next door and do my neighbors driveway just for the thrill of it.
The reason I’m putting this out there is that a couple weekends ago a friend visited and in casual conversation she mentioned that she hated to spray the herbicide because her Roundup dispenser just sputtered and dribbled no matter how hard she tried to clean it. I showed her how to access the filter and she was blown away. I’m sure I have a permanent place in her prayers now and I know for sure that I wasn’t the only dumb dumb who hadn’t found that filter.