Saturday, May 10, 2008

Watering Air

Here's how things work around my house when I try to garden. Well when I try to do any project really, but for illustration purposes lets stick to gardening. Step one, get myself dressed to garden, not terribly hard, but it does mean getting out of my pajamas and putting on something suitable for a SF spring. Step two, potty H, then diaper him (since he usually is nakey-butt), then dress him, then put shoes on, then put coat/sweater on. Usually he is not happy about something along the way (the shirt going over his head, sitting still, why aren't we outside already, etc.) so its not just doing those things, but trying to do them respectfully and not piss him off. Step 2.5 is to go downstairs with H and put on my gardening shoes. Step 3 is to head into the garage and start schlepping all the tools I need outside. For example, today I took out a shovel, a tined fork, my oversized bucket for garden debris that goes in the green garbage bin (compostables), pruning shears, organic fertilizer and humic acid, and the soaker hose and sprinkler head I just purchased. I never found my gardening gloves. And, of course, I didn't need the fertilizer/humic acid or soaker hose. And it took a few trips since I forgot some stuff the first go around. And oh, yea, never forget anything upstairs because then you have to bring the baby upstairs to fetch what you forgot and they think that their fun is coming to an end and want to let you know how they feel about it, even though you promise them its not, and they weigh 30lbs so you can't carry much in your free hand anyways, which means two trips up and down the stairs with said 30 lb baby.

Ok, finally I can get down to business of trying to prep the garden beds for planting (which I was able to get some seeds and goodies at the nursery yesterday, go me!). The garden beds are so dry that they need to be watered first before I can add the amendments (or so says the fertilizer bags). So I put the sprinkler on it and the water starts pooling on the surface. You know when dirt is so dry the water beads up then forms little puddles and if you keep the sprinkler on, small lakes. So I used my fork to "churn" the beds up and get some water down lower. I'm not really sure what this phenomenon is called or how to fix it. I'm assuming that if I keep mixing it up, it will moisten everything up eventually and as long as I keep it moist it won't be a problem moving forward. I will try running the hose again to see how it goes.

Which brings me back to how things work around here. So today was basically about watering one little 4'x4' bed and a bit weeding elsewhere before H ran into trouble with gravity and the door threshold (don't worry everything is fine, just ended our gardening a bit early). Day two of operation veggies, will probably be more watering and weeding. Day three will be work in the amendments. Day 4 will be planting (dare I hope!). Day 5 will be attach the copper tape to keep the slugs out. And so on. In other words, with a toddler, there's a lot of prep work and lots of running around, so every step of a project is broken down into microsteps. Whew! The upside is that I could conceivably blog about every microstep! Or just wait until something cool happens. Or perhaps there are gardening mama's out there who have discovered some secrets I don't know yet. How do you garden with a toddler?

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