June 9, 2008

Soap, Hay, Heat

Saturday was insanely hot and muggy. It is likely a sign of my own gardening insanity that I decided to spend a couple of hours in the garden right in the middle of the day. I really had to. I needed to put in the dill and...sadly, plant some swiss chard to replace the final kale plant that the bunnies destroyed.

Physically, I felt 85% totally and completely awful (hot, sweaty, tired, light headed, eyes stinging from the sweat and sunscreen combo dripping in them) and 15% divinely transported, as I always do while gardening.

I am not quite sure what brings on this gardening euphoria and I think at least part of it is the satisfaction of putting in work and getting tangible (and edible)results. On this particular day my gardening glee was due to the following:

1) My California poppies are starting to bloom. These were my favorite flower to see when I lived in Los Angeles and I find it so wonderful that I can grow them here. Plus, they're orange.
2) All of the perennials around the sink (bee balm, purple coneflower, yarrow, chives etc.) look amazing.
3) The tomatoes look better than they ever have at this time during the year (knock on wood)
4) The cucumbers seem to be growing really fast and to have gotten over whatever was making some of the leaves have white spots.
5) Because I had run out of mulch a few weeks ago, I decided to buy a combination of hay and straw called Mainely Mulch. As soon as I started laying it out I thought it looked really pretty next to the dark mulch that I already had and it smelled incredible. It also made me really dirty which, in gardening, makes me really happy. The bag it comes in is a very full cube of hay which also provided an excellent seat for the breaks I had to take while working out there.

I finally made it back inside and slowly labored up the stairs to my apartment and then sat still for a very long time.

Yesterday I waited until after 6PM to get back out in the garden to water...deeply (today is another scorcher) and try out the Irish Spring to fight bunnies. I saw that fox urine was $18 at the farm which seemed VERY STEEP to me. I figured I'd try the soap and then move up from there if need be. The CVS knock off of Irish Spring was only 89 cents!

I wasn't sure what to do to apply the soap, but I took a knife and shaved off some pieces around the lettuce and chard. We'll see how it goes.
I'm just a little concerned about the fact that it has artificial fragrance and color. That can't be too good for the soil. It's just a little bit though so...hopefully it'll be ok...AND work!

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