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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Friday, May 25, 2007

hoeing

Because of babysitting, working, upper respiratory problems and just generally being busy, the garden had been shoved down on the list of priorities. One afternoon I had taken about 30 minutes to clean out around the tomatoes, put straw under and place the support baskets over them. These ‘baskets’ are barrel shaped and are fashioned out of concrete reinforcement wire – I’ve had them at least 10 years and even though they are rusty, they will last several more.

The rest of the garden was well on its way to getting out of hand with small weeds, grass and excess veggie plants. The reason for the excess plants is that I usually plant more seeds than needed to allow for the failure of some of them to germinate. This is particularly true with okra and since I save my own okra seed from year to year, I do not sow them sparingly.

Finally I allotted an afternoon for this when I was feeling a little better from my cold. Starting with the short beds wherein reside the green beans and zinnias, I cleaned out the volunteer weeds and grass that were trying to get a foothold – or roothold I guess I should say. With the tomato row already tended, I went on to the squash row and on hands and knees, with my small hand hoe, I ripped out the weeds, hoed up the grass and then gently pulled out the extra plants so as not to damage the remaining ones. The okra row was done the same way, but there were many more excess plants.

The final bed was the one containing cucumbers and it had so many weeds that I had to use the regular hoe as well as hand pulling to rid myself of the unwanteds. Two other things were troubling about this row, one was that the plants didn’t come up well in spots and the other was the presence of deer tracks and some nibbled plants in evidence.

My plan is to place fence wire over the top of the cucumber plants to deny access and hopefully stymie these nighttime nibblers. But I also need to replant a couple of sections of the row before the wire is placed. Last year the deer ate over half of the vines and we had very few cucumbers for salads. I do not like the helpless ripped-off feeling or the anger their actions caused me. My preference might be to sit up and see if I could hit them with a large rock – or worse – but I never know what nights they will come.

My most recent yard foray was to use my landscaping ax to hack out a bunch of seedling trees, mostly oaks, which were growing along the property line bordering the garden. I hauled off two garden carts of small trees by my quitting time. All of these outside actions are part of my self-imposed rehab program and I’m ever so slowly able to do more each time. I was out about two hours today and very much wilted when I came in but it wasn’t as bad as it has been.

It is somewhat puzzling about all the small oaks since there is not an oak within several hundred feet of that location. My best guess is that the local squirrels planted the acorns there for future generations – this in spite of the fact that they do this without thinking; it’s just the way God made them. God does all things well. ec

6 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Around here, the squirrels seem to content themselves with moving tulip bulbs.

5/26/2007 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

We're fighting a furiously digging puppy around here this year. She thinks the garden is her playground.

Have a great holiday weekend!

5/26/2007 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kila said...

Sounds like good exercise!

Too bad I can't send my boys over to pull weeds for you :)

5/27/2007 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger CabinWriter-- said...

Your description of working the garden had me laboring beside you. That's the best I can do-- virtually. We tried gardening many years ago and had such poor results we decided green thumbs just didn't suit us. I think working in the yard or the garden gives so much satisfaction to those who get results.

5/27/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I remember years ago, before emphysema shortened my breath, how much I enjoyed gardening. Thank you for allowing me to vicariously garden with you!

5/28/2007 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - Your squirrels must be more cultured and refined. :)

Brenda - I may be fighting a furiously digging mole that might think my garden is its dining area - hopefully not, but I have sighted one tunnel.

Kila - I would get my 'grands' to work doing this too, but I don't think they would stop with the weeds. :)

cabinwriter - The garden is worth it in many ways - the exercise, the veggies, the satisfaction of growing something and even for the working out of stress - though I don't have a lot of that in my life.

SSN - You are very welcome, hope you enjoyed pulling those weeds as much as I did. :) ec

5/28/2007 11:00:00 PM  

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