I have seven older siblings, and they are all at times annoying and bossy…and older. When we gather for meals around the kitchen table, it’s like fitting sardines in a can. Close Quarters.
Speaking of close quarters, I planted two rows of Peruvian Purple Corn much too close to one another.
I am fully aware of this quasi-error. When the inevitable buses full of Bourbon Trail tourists stop by Groundhog Hill, I am hopeful these non-relations will notice how well I corrected the error in the other rows (which are nicely spaced apart) and thereby praise me.
One of my siblings casually mentioned to me that were my paternal grandmother, Marie La Rue, in charge of the garden at Groundhog Hill, she would make sure that there wasn’t a single blade of grass growing amongst my Purple Corn, Sunflower, Green Beans, Zinnia, and Marigold.
I have yet to figure out how she would perform this miracle (which is probably for the best as I would then have very little to write about each week). His point, though, is that my grandmother could maintain a nicer garden than me. He’s not wrong.
I have one tool at my disposal that my grandmother did not have: A Weedeater.
The other morning, I weedeated my Corn between pop-up t-storms. That’s right. I took the weedeater and attacked the Johnson grass and the crabgrass with fiery abandon. Felt great.
There’s no way I am getting in there with a hoe and digging it out. This crabgrass is too strong an opponent, and once again, I concede victory. No need to call the trainer for an injury time-out. I give. You win, Weeds.
Have I mentioned that the garden, for the 3rd year in a row, isn’t going to be perfect?
The week you till and plant in early May, that’s the week of Perfection. From there on, the battles commence: Man vs. Weeds, Man vs. the Elements, Man vs. Man’s Sore Back, and so forth.
Speaking of Weeds, there is a new player in town: Pennsylvania Smart Weed. It’s kind of pretty and basil-like except of course, that it’s a weed and would taste terribly on pizza.
Also, my old non-friends the Japanese Beetles have returned for another summer at the Zinnia Buffet where it’s All You Can Eat. And, they do.
The zinnia have just started to bloom in earnest, and the J-Beetles are munching on their leaves. All the marigolds are finally starting to bloom, as well, so I am hopeful their perfume will drive these ravenous bugs to Harold’s garden sooner than later.
So, other than bossy older siblings, leaf-eating bugs, and crabgrass, the garden is doing great.