Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chaos and Confusion

As anyone with a garden knows, going away during the growing season means a big mess when you return. It's just inevitable. Everything keeps growing while you're gone, so when you come back, you find the new planting of carrots and beets almost completely hidden by spurge; the tomatoes flopping all over the place; the green beans overgrown and past when they should have been picked; the cucumbers trying to escape into the cabbages instead of climbing up the nice supports made specially for them; and the blackberries ready to be picked.

To use some not-at-all-random examples.

Last night A. got the lake pump running and I watered the desperately dry garden. With the big plastic pump hose. This thing is an inch in diameter and way too big to water with really, but it was what I had. In places with mulch, like the potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, I just dropped the hose in there and let the water flood the area. This may not be the best way to water plants, but they needed so much water, I figured it was better to flood them than not get them enough.

While I was letting the tomatoes flood, I hunted around the spurge to find the small carrots and beets I planted not too long ago. They were almost completely obscured by the weeds, so I spent a long time pulling spurge.

Weeds go in cycles from year to year. Last year it was some kind of shallow-rooted weed with little white flowers that set seeds immediately and spread incredibly fast. The year before that was the Year of the Pigweed. This year, it's spurge. The only good thing about spurge is that it all grows out from a central root, so when you pull the root up, a large area of the weed comes out.

I'm really searching for the silver lining, here.

I also weeded out the out-of-control bed where we would have had peas if the rabbit hadn't eaten them. As I was grabbing two-foot-tall pigweeds and yanking them out, I accidentally grabbed the rose bush by the fence. Hard. So now I have festering rose thorns in my left hand. Awesome.

Then I used my hand (not the punctured left) to disperse the water so I could get some water onto the smaller plants without washing them away. This meant I watered my arm and hand quite a bit as well. Then I picked some blackberries.

On the up side, I did spot the first ripening tomato. With the hot weather we're having, it should ripen quickly. The First Tomato draws ever nearer. Assuming I can get them all tied to their stakes so they don't just flop over and rot on the ground.

I plan on another assault on the garden tonight after Cubby is in bed. Wish me luck. I think I'll need it.


Anonymous said...

You don't need luck, but you WILL be needing a nap. Take care of that hand.

Daisy said...

Ouch! I've come out of weeding with small thorns, too. Not roses - from another kind of bush. Tiny, thin ones that go right through the garden glove - ow.

Thag said...

We can't necessarily help find a silver lining for the spurge--nasty, latex-bleeding stuff. But if you're weeds go in cycles maybe you'll get the the small-flowered, shallow-rooted stuff again soon. Any maybe, if you're lucky it'll be some galinsoga. We just learned to eat it at the Foraging Family and would highly recommend giving it a try if you've got it. Think fuzzy spinach : ).

FinnyKnits said...

I've lost the battle of the flopping tomatoes and resigned myself to keeping an eye on the ground dwellers so I can catch them before they rot. Which I will because of my psychoness. For the love of tomatoes, friend.