Spring Garden Cleanup

Prior to an April 2011 auto accident, I was able to manage my vegetable garden by myself. My injuries from that accident prevent me from doing the really heavy work so I call on Poppie and friends. Only really, really good friends will help because garden cleanup when you are switching from one season to another is dirty, hard work.

Evie, of “I don’t do dirt” fame, came Saturday to help me. The minute I walked out the front door I mentally began cussin’ the devil. I’m afraid to cuss out loud because God would hear me and what if I get to the pearly gates and he wants a quarter for every cuss word I’ve ever uttered. I’ll be a little short of change since I can’t take anything with me. The mental cussin’ was over the weather. The balmy 86 degrees we’d enjoyed all week was gone. In its stead was a steamy, humid replacement with very little cloud cover to block the blazing sun.

Evie arrived an hour later with her own “garden” gloves. I don’t know what they were — golfer’s gloves, driving gloves — but they looked kind of rubbery. Knowing Evie, they were probably leather. I guess she wanted to make sure none of my dirt got on her. Judging by the britches she was wearing, she for sure didn’t want any of my dirt touching her.

This is how the garden looked when we started around 9:30:

Evie cutting beans down

Evie did all the hand plowing because of my injuries and pretty much anything that she thought would further injure my back. Secretly, I think she just enjoyed reminding me every few minutes that she had a younger body. She had the gall to call me an “Old Woman” or maybe it was “Old Broad”. Either way, it was an insult to my ability to reach old age which, obviously, takes some talent. Not everybody makes it.

Evie using the hand plow

In hindsight, I think we would have benefitted from the help of Evie’s sister-in-law, Shorty, but I thought we could do it ourselves and Evie didn’t ask her. This is how the garden looked just before I collapsed on the kitchen floor: 


There are no photos of me because I was wearing a t-shirt with holes in it and my Shoes With Air.

Sunday when I walked outside to check the garden, the weather, of course, was less humid and much cooler and, of course, I was in no shape to work out there. I’ll eventually get the rest of it cleaned up and put in summer peas. I especially like the taste of pink eye purple hull peas which you never, ever see in the grocery store either fresh or frozen.

Tater Patch in Weeds

Weedy Tater Patch

Would you look at this mess? This is my tater patch which has two rows, each 24 feet long. It has a pineapple plant, a watermelon plant, and a bunch of sweet potato vines. Obviously, it’s trying to trash my reputation as a Better Homes & Garden gardener. There’s not much I can do about it being over-run with Dollar Weed. That’s just a given. You can’t kill the stuff. That heavy encroachment of St. Augustine grass, however, indicates a tater patch having fallen victim to neglect.

I won’t kid you. I could use some help right now as I switch from spring to summer gardening. The gleeful Dollar Weed requires me to plow every row or partial row being switched over. I suffer with neck, shoulder and back pain from a spring 2011 auto accident when an old geezer slammed into the back of my car at 50 mph. I can no longer do hand plowing for any length of time. So I got the bright idea that maybe I could get Poppie to edge the St. Augustine grass and then we could plant the grass runners in his sizeable patch of dirt that had fallen victim to one of those unfortunate yard accidents, details not forthcoming. I had already plugged his dirt patch and added runners but it could use a few more runners to help it fill in quicker. I broached my bright idea to him.

“My edger’s broke,” he said, as if he could do nothing further.

I looked at him in bug-eyed disbelief. My poor eyeballs  popped out of their sockets and dribbled back and forth like  too many basketballs at court.

“You’ve still got a MANUAL one,” I screeched. “Matter of fact, we’ve got at least two of them around here.”

He stood there mute for a minute and then changed the subject.

That, of course, does not bode well for me getting any help. You’ve heard it a thousand times – you just can’t get good help these days.