I went out last night to chip the branches i cut on Sunday evening, but it was too cold to get the chipper motor started. (On weekends i have learned to put it in the sun a bit before i try to start it.) I hadn't any other goal so i poked around a bit, cleaned up a failure to grow native plants in bags at the edge of the woods -- plastic debris that has been slowly covered by undergrowth the past couple of years -- and then retired to the garage where i sharpened tools. Concrete Blonde and the sound of the file on steel was quite rewarding. The hoe i have was sold with a completely blunt edge. This one has a combination of a straight blade plus tines on the back, and i soon bent the tines askew trying to pry a rock out of the clay. Sharpened, i think i may get some use out of before i invest a heavy duty digging hoe.
There's an invasive cousin of the dandelion, Youngia japonica (L.) (Oriental false hawksbeard), that i would like to till under. It's a biennial and my main goal is to keep it from flowering and going to seed again. Various plant writers in Florida seem inured to it (it's pretty, it's edible), but i don't think it's that common yet in NC. It's common on my bit though, and it's willingness to venture into the woods has me on a crusade against it. Dandelions don't seem as aggressive as this plant. Bending over to dig out the long tap root has been the most frustrating part of my poor crusade: hopefully the sharpened hoe will let me make some progress by letting me loosen soil in an area and then get the tap root out that way.