2017-03-01 / Loose Ends

Garden Prep

Back on the wagon
Susan Nienow

On a recent warm day I started tackling my yardwork list. I have several perennials I just bought that were left over from last year and can be planted now. Actually, I bought seven, but the prices were great.

I changed clothes and put on my gardening shoes. Then I dumped everything out of my wagon and started fresh for this project. I put the shovel in, added a trowel and threw in a few rocks in case I needed to accessorize a plant. Of course, the plants are just stubs sticking out of the ground, so they may need quite a bit of accessorizing.

The rocks are really to mark where I have planted so I don’t dig up one of the perennials to put in another later in the season. I had my other half “throw” a bag of compost in the wagon to enrich the soil. I added my garden gloves and a visor.

Next: two rakes in case I needed to rake the leaves away from my digging spots. One is a smaller shrub rake and the other is for serious leaves. We had serious leaves in our last yard, which had lots of trees.

Here the large trees are in the woods, and the blower is handier than a rake except for the front garden, which is partially under a sweetgum tree. Guess what else we rake up – those sticky gumballs.

I put a bottle of water in the wagon for mid-afternoon thirst. As an afterthought I included my clippers and loppers in case I ran across a pruning emergency. The seven plants barely fit, but I made it work.

The trouble began when I tried to pull the wagon out of the garage. First, I had to move the things that had come out of the wagon, and then I had to figure out how to make the wagon move. It was loaded well beyond my capacity.

I offloaded the rocks. That helped. Then I took out four of the plants and slowly dragged the wagon to the front bed. It occurred to me that being this organized may not have been such a good idea. I emptied most of the wagon so I could slit open the compost bag and shovel it out onto the spot I was going to put two of the perennials.

I remembered that I had to finish by 4:00 because I had a meeting at 6:00, so I went back to the house to get my watch. It was already 2:30. I had spent nearly an hour just getting ready to work.

I cleared a place and dug the first hole, slicing through a bulb – it seemed there were prior tenants. So I covered them up and tried another spot. There, I discovered some low branches that were in my way, so I took the time to prune them off and haul them into the woods. Finally I got one plant in the ground and checked the time.

Time to clean up. I began to see the difference between organization and efficiency.

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