I’m in a consensual relationship with my hoses. I suppose the hoses at both of my jobs consent too, but OMG, the disagreements we have and the neediness of the plants. It’s like they will DIE if I don’t do something for them. Talk about learned helplessness. I HATE being an enabler, but it’s my life. I’ve slowly been growing a career (of sorts) by keeping the little babes alive and well. But they’re thirsty—so thirsty trapped in their little containers. It’s key to keep them happy though, to live another day, and to keep them ALL looking perfect-o!
Sure, it’s an artificial system to grow plants in containers. It’s just as artificial as any other relationship we humans have with virtually anything else other than other humans, but hey, these are crops we’re talking about, inventory, so that makes this business!!!
This is the game I play during the summertime and sometimes I feel like I’m hanging on mentally by a thread. But I’m a team player and THIS, this is my sport, and it’s an endurance sport.
As much as I love plants, and as meaningful as they are to the life I’ve made with them over the last few decades now, sometimes I feel like I want a divorce.
But maybe this is just my dramatic and operatic way of life. Yes, that’s it.
Seems likely since the climax of the year for me is just about now, and then we swing back down into the cool comfort of fall.
Something I learned during the heat dome experience of 2021 was the power of simply wetting down the floors and walls of greenhouses. We do this at both nurseries in the greenhouses when we have extreme heat and it makes a difference. How often it’s done depends upon the temps.
You might think that we water the plants all day but at such high temps you can actually steam the roots. That’s a great way to kill plants! While it’s good for my asparagus harvest, it’s not so great for my ornamentals. Nom nom.
It seems like keeping them happy is a bit of an exact science tweaked by each nursery owner to fit the conditions of where plants are in their nurseries. I love the like microclimates created by benches, under benches, on a rack, under a rack, in this corner, or that one—it all depends upon where the sun is and at what time of day. Game on growers!
And this my friends is horticulture!
As for tolerating high temps, I have a lot of environmental and food allergies, but my pale skin rather loves the feel of sun. As I age, the cold weather seems to cause a lot more pain than the heat. I guess I truly understand the snowbird phenomenon now. I physically understand it well.
Skin issues are kind of a thing in my family—especially for Dad and I.
But thank goodness I don’t have the rare allergy my great-uncle Fritz did. He was allergic to his own sweat and it was a challenge for him to work in produce with his family.
But I also like to say, “My pale skin betrays me. I’m Sicilian when it comes to my heat tolerance.”
So at least I have that.
My home garden was created with intentional watering zones. The areas where I spend the most time are watered the most. Out in front of the house is the driest zone. Each area differs quite a bit.
Sure, I expect folks to mention that they’d think I’d have irrigation, but it would be so complicated when I tend to use my chainsaw to edit (and add light) and change so much. In addition to my rearranging everything often, I’m one of those people who would break her own irrigation system too. I’m careless that way. I’m so goal driven sometimes I overlook the obvious dumb things.
Oops I dug in the wrong spot!
Maybe if my garden were larger I’d think about installing one, but it’s not. Maybe someday. I’d actually like to have that challenge. It tickles my virgo brain to organize things so it would be right up my alley.
So currently I have the indoor plants, the light garden plants, the propagated indoor plants for sales, the outdoor plants, the seedlings, the seeds to collect, the regular planted garden areas, the expected as-of-yet unplanted plants—and some plants at work!!!!
“Yeah, sure I’d love to hang out with you but I have to stay home and get some plant work done.”
“No, I can’t. I have to water.”
Oh! How unhealthy these relationships are and yet we enter into them anyway…
Sure, I complain a lot now—after two separate weeks of vacation—and I’ll be leaving for another 2 1/2 weeks in the fall, but I’m ok. This is all consensual. I can say NO and leave at any time.
Yeah, I know, that’s not gonna happen.
See you next week!
3 thoughts on “Wet A** Plants: To Be Plant Positive!”
A very familiar story. Can’t leave on vacation because who will water my plants. Non-plant people look at you like your short of a few bricks in the load. I dislike being tied to this daily, sometimes double daily, chore but yet replicate it year.
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“. . at such high temps you can actually steam the roots.” Does this mean it’s a bad idea to water mid-day? I often do that after spending the cooler morning hours weeding and harvesting.
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If they’re outdoors that’s generally fine. I’m talking about plants in greenhouses where the temps are a bit higher—and this is during a severe heatwave. Normally I say water whenever you have the time.