First Tomato Update 2012

I have at least two major projects on my plate, and they are each in different respects weighing upon my spirit, which is why I've spent the last two weekends in the garden straining my bending over, pulling up, digging and hauling mulch muscles and pretending said projects and the people associated with them do not exist.

Dripping sweat for 3-4 hours and concentrating on something else feels good. At least until you come inside, shower, realize all those unused muscles are seizing up on you, and said projects have not worked on themselves.

The good news is all the tomatoes --four kinds!-- and other veggies finally got into the ground last weekend. (May 19: for record-keeping purposes) They could have gone in late April temperature-wise; I just wasn't in the mood. Wasn't in the mood last week either (not myself this Spring: nothing's wrong, just kind of sapped), but I don't want to reach mid-July wracked with regret, and a home-grown tomato might be just what I need, so I sucked it up. Once I got started it felt right.

This weekend I added marigolds to scare off slugs and recruited 75% of my offspring for Operation Jungle Tame to help me reclaim the hydrangea bushes which line the back yard from the morass of weeds and crud I'd allowed to grow up around them. I was afraid they'd (the hydrangeas, not the offspring) all be choked and dead, but they were thriving --just hidden behind very tall grass, incipient trees and honeysuckle tendrils sticking out from the back fence. And 5-6 of this awful invasive weed. I don't know what it is but it's spiky all over like a cactus, except it has spiky leaves, too. It grows about a foot per night, and is the most wretchedly ugly thing I've ever seen. It looks like a plant from outer space. I HATE those things.

The worst is now cleared out and about 1/3 of the back yard has been well-cleaned and mulched. If it doesn't rain on the weekends, we'll probably have recaptured the entirety by next weekend.

It was fun working with the kids. They only whined a little and they're all both big enough and strong enough to actually be useful. Middle Weed mowed the lawn and ran the trimmer. Us goils pulled up the vines and anything that wasn't a hydrangea. Little Weed stuffed the detritus into a lawn bag. Everyone took turns using the big clippers to take down stray trees and those horrible spiky things. The boys spread the weed-n-feed and hauled the mulch. Now that I've taught them what to do and know they can do it, I will of course be turning the job over to them entirely and staying inside to drink margaritas.