Wednesday, July 06, 2005

how gardening is like warfare

first, one must set a perimeter. overwhelmed by the vastness of the chaos, not until i laid out a raised bed did i begin to even attempt to conquer the enemy.

second, defend the area from enemies foreign (canine) and domestic (weeds). one dog can wipe out months of work in moments. a fence takes hours to erect and is priceless.

third, the enemy will broadcast his signal (or seeds). wafting on the winds are all manner of enemy invaders. like hanoi hannah they take root within the perimeter.

fourth, mulch is like soldiers, without them forget about winning the war. they are essential to maintaining hydration and shielding the soil from enemy intrusion and the sun.

fifth, amend the soil. organic matter is the key to revitalization. the cast offs from my kitchen (and that of my dear long suffering friend), become the nutrients which friendlies feed upon.

sixth, tend the area diligently. a little time spent every day is more managable than laboring for hours to undo what a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands has done.

seventh, after a rain enemies come up easily. the roots of the enemy are deep and vast. water requirements are minimal, they seem well nigh invincible, except after the rain when they loose their stanglehold on the earth.

eighth, remember one man's weed is another man's wildflower. define your terms. establish your criteria and stick to it the best you can. my goal is to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. butterflies are particularly drawn to the natural flowering plants of the area, or the "weeds" as most call them. many of these weeds are sold for gardens, scouting the area has allowed me to recruit these friendlies and sow them into my garden.

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