Growing True Seed Potatoes
I'm in the Chron today, also, garden tours

Playing the Rain Game

I maintain a small garden with a small lawn. Best not to mow a lawn when wet, and, if your mower is electric, probably best not to mow when it is raining. The forecast for today was "Partly Cloudy, Chance of Showers." I called to say I would come, but my client said she heard that a storm was to arrive this morning with lots of rain. So I cancelled.

At 9:30 in the morning, it is sunny. I call and say I am coming. On the way, it begins to rain. I arrive at the door feeling foolish. I pull a few weeds in my raincoat, eyeing the lawn, which is too long, since there wasn't a dry enough day to mow it last week. It stops raining. I mow. Great gobs of cut grass accumulate in some places and have to be removed, rather than left on the lawn as clippings are normally. I have to brush the lawn with my hand here and there and use a hand edger to clip a few tufts that laid down rather than getting cut. I finish deadheading the flowers and weeding. It starts to rain again.

But after I leave, the sun comes out and stays out most of the rest of the day. If I had waited a couple of hours, maybe the lawn would have been dry! There is no way to predict and no right time to do garden tasks. This evening, it was clouded over and I thought it was raining. I had to check the pavement out the window to realize that it was not raining, and then it hit me that I have become so accustomed to looking out and seeing rain I tend to assume that if the sun isn't shining, it must be raining.

Another storm system predicted for next week. Houses are sliding down hills around here, and plants cannot be happy with the watersoaked soil. It limits the ability of their roots to respire, since there is less water in soil so wet. It can lead to roots being more susceptible to decay organisms, because they are so weakened.

Gardeners too, are suffering from the wet. I spoke to a friend who is a City gardener and she tells me that working in rain gear makes her all sweaty. In other words, gear to keep rain from gettng in prevents natural body moisture from getting out.  And then when she goes inside for a break, she gets a chill. So she got a nasty cold despite the rain gear.

But spring has really sprung, and I am seeing the purple clusters of wisteria blossoms on their vines and here and there poppies or other spectacular spring shows in gardens. Makes it easier to take than the rainy March, when the plants were not yet showing us their spring colors.


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