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Friday, April 19, 2013

Spring, a Real Manly Season.


In honor of John joining us on the "information" super highway it seems we should focus on home improvement.  Since it is spring, the weather is warming, the days are getting longer, and it is time to shake off our winter doldrums we are going to focus on gardening during this episode.

As you can see gardening can be a rewarding, wonderful past time.  There are few things that can bring more satisfaction to a man than a well tended flower garden.  Nothing brings more masculine bravado and macho posturing to a weekly poker game than the competitive, annual rites of flower garden braggadocio.

"You guys should jump on your choppers and rumble over to my place and check out my peonies, they look lovely."  One man will say as he pops open a cold beer, strikes a wooden match on his face and lights up one of the biggest, most gawd awful smelling cigars a person can imagine.

"Your peonies are such girly flowers, when you are ready for a real mans garden, climb up into the cabs of  your monster trucks and drive all over the tops of cars, mail boxes and traffic signs to check out my marigolds.  Marigold, that's a real man's flower, now."   Says another as he spits into an empty glass, slams down a shot of whiskey and plays a flush.

"Marigolds are just pest magnets, WUSS!!!!" The first man screams, breaking a sour mash bottle on the edge of the table, waving the jagged neck back and forth menacingly.

Pulling a revolver from a shoulder holster the second man yells "Why you sissy, I ought to"...

On second thought, maybe we will talk about growing tomatoes.  Food crops, that is the real point of gardening, right?

The first, and most important part of growing tomatoes is site selection.  You want an area with 8 hours of sunlight, good drainage, and low ph soil, (whatever that means).

Next you need to prepare the site.  This involves a shovel, and fertilizer and compost (not too sure what that means, but it sounds pretty rugged).  Take your shovel and mix them together, and make one homogeneous mixture, soil, fertilizer, and compost.  Ah, the smell of dirt, fertilizer and compost.  Makes a man proud to be a man.

Now, you dig a hole.  This home gardener went a little too deep.  You just want to bury the roots, not the whole garden.  Carefully place the plant in the small hole and gently cover the roots with the loosened soil.

Next, we need to water, and water, and then we need to water some more.  Oh, and don't forget to fertilize, and watch for bugs, because they love tomato plants.  So, keep your eyes open for cutworms, aphids, psyllids, leaf miners, hornworms, stalk borers, white flies, spider mites, slugs and stink bugs.  Next you need to pray it doesn't get too warm, tomatoes won't  "set fruit" if it is too warm, and hope against all odds we don't have an unseasonable frost, or too many cloudy days.   Dang, how did plants ever survive out in the wild?!!??

Maybe hunting down and catching fresh tomatoes in the super market is where the real action lies.

Don't forget to turn in next week, when we learn how to assemble a counter balance catapult from bags of fertilizer, tomato cages and a slightly used shovel.