Speed Gardening!

A nagging malaise accompanied me home from work today.  I didn’t know why or what it wanted with me.  It just was.

For the third blazing hot day in a row my poor gardens, Smith, Jones and the Lorelei, were plunged into deep Summer just days after the end of a cool, wet Spring.  I hadn’t been to Jones for a few days, hadn’t mulched the thirteen toddler eggplants, three adolescent tomatoes, and four middle-aged broccoli plants,  and knew they had been baking in the near 100 degree sun, mulch-less soil exposed, evaporating what little moisture was left in the ground.  I determined to nip both malaise and dry soil in the bud and dashed to Jones.  Funny, a storm picked that moment to threaten, dark clouds looming, wind blowing, thunder in the distance, but I didn’t care.  I was kilted and ready and needed the shot of energy a burst of gardening would inject. 

At Jones, as the dark clouds loomed and the thunder boomed, I got right to work.  I planted four pepper plants and picked chard for supper, then as big, fat raindrops began to fall I spread mulch, nice warm leaf mold, around the plants.  The ground was dry on top and only a little moist underneath, even though I had watered it a few days before.  This mulch would help preserve water in the soil.  As we dashed back to the car, done with the brief tasks and still ahead of the rain, I realized the big drops were still just big drops, not enough to water Jones thoroughly if that’s all that fell.  So I watered the garden, dashing to the spigot, dashing to drag the hose to where I needed it, gushing water at the base of each plant.  It’s wasteful and less effective to water a garden by spraying the water willy-nilly over the plants.  I call that washing the garden.  To effectively (and more quickly) water, I hold a hose at the base of the plant and let it run for five or six seconds or more, giving each the deep drink it needs.  I finished, dashed to the car, rain still splatting, lightning still flashing, and drove home.

Back at the Lorelei, the garden in front of our apartment, the rain was hardly falling and the thunder seemed less (though we live only three blocks from Jones), so I decided to water here, too.  If I lived in my own house, all I’d need to do would be get the hose and turn it on.  Living in an apartment, I have to drag all 100 feet of it out, drag the end of it to the outside laundry-room door, run through the apartment out the inner door into the apartment building’s hall, and into the laundry room.  Then, I open the door to the outside, grab the hose I left there, and connect it to the utility sink and turn it on so I can begin to water.  It’s a real bother, but I have to do it unless I want to irrigate the Lorelei one bucketful at a time, a job that would take forever in the summer.

I finished the job with real rain falling.  I was so sweaty from speed gardening in this heat, I was glad for the refreshing drops.  I wondered if what I was doing looked funny to any neighbors who happened to glance out their window to see the odd, kilt-wearing fellow who lives on the first floor watering his garden in the rain.  I was glad I did it because the rain stopped soon afterwards.  It would not have been nearly enough for the Lorelei.


About literarylee

I sling words for a living. Always have, always will. Some have been interesting and fun; most not. These days, I write the fun words early in the morning before the adults are up and make me eat my Cream of Wheat.
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