Saturday, August 8, 2015

Over-watering Your Garden

Last Thursday, August 6, 2015, we had some good company. Richard and Sabrina Nunnery came up from San Diego and were driving through. Their daughter, Sarah, who lives up in Salt Lake City, just gave birth to a baby boy, Maddox. They passed through on the I-15 North and then came back down on the I-15 South and gave us a good visit. They brought grand-daughter, Mercedes, with them who is about Nicole's age. I brought Presley too so the girls Mercedes, Nicole and Presley could play together in the yard, and the adults could carry on a grown up conversation in the kitchen.

We started talking about gardening. I mentioned that my tomatoes were not doing so well. I thought maybe July had been too dry and windy of a month to promote any plant growth. I had watered the plants daily. Sabrina said, "You're watering them too much..." That never dawned on me. I guess I expected that tomatoes would need the same amount of water as my flowers, but they don't. I noticed that when I came back from San Diego (gone a week), the tomatoes and flowers appeared to be happier. I was not there to water them. I admit that I have a tendency to hover. I'm a total helicopter mom, maybe a little over kill. My daughter is extremely independent little girl. She doesn't hug or kiss me good-bye. She just runs off. I'm one of those that like, not in a desperate way, but in an overly energetic way cannot understand the idea that "less is more."

I think that "more is more," so I go on about my duties as if doing more will make everything all better, but it doesn't. There's a point where you've got to Kenny Loggin's it and be the Gambler, "Know when to hold them, know when to fold them... Know when to walk away, know when to run..." It's all about timing and amount of water. That part I'm horrible at! I should know that I should stop hovering. All that over-watering is killing the plant and backfiring. I went to San Diego, and the plants were doing great when I got back. Maybe I need to get a life. Maybe I need to go on vacation more often. The plants are happier when I neglect them more.

Happy Neglected Marigolds 

I have been getting little yellow tomato blossoms. I really want to have some home grown garden tomatoes this Fall so it might be in my best interest to let things go a bit. They won't die if they go without water. There's no need to pick and pull at things. Sometimes it's better for the plant if you just take a deep breath, exhale, and leave them alone to do their thing and grow.

Not just plants, kids too should have their room to grow. I always try to cook everything for Nicole. I cook full meals too. She eats two bites and then throws the rest away.  Hours of work cooking and she only eats two bites? My goodness, this is tragic. She is 10 years old. She knows how to make herself a snack. So now, instead of hoovering or cooking all day long, I tell her, "Make something to eat for yourself." She looked at me funny, and didn't really know what to do. After awhile, Nicole got hungry and made herself food. She didn't need me to cook her a four course meal. She could find something to eat all on her own. She knows how to cook simple things, but I always buzz around her, doing everything for her that she has no idea how to do things for herself. I realize how unhealthy this "hoovering habit" of mine is. I must end Nicole's dependency on me so that she can grow and learn to be self-sufficient, that she can make herself a sandwich and a cup of juice.

I am self-sabotaging myself by doing too much. Although I believe some people like being spoiled occasionally and waited on, it's important that I check myself before I wreck myself. I'm too much in GO mode that I don't understand the word STOP. My tomato plants were slumped over. I know when leaves turn yellow it means that the plant has too much water, but the soil looked dry and so I watered it again. I should not have done that. Now I'm experimenting more with maybe letting the dirt dry out. I realize that tomato plant roots spread themselves out and hold water well with in the root. This is my advice to gardeners... of course don't leave the plants too long without water, but know when to stop. Your garden and your whole life will be better off.


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