No sooner do I head out to the garden than I’m forced to trek back into the house for a glass of water to ease my woozy head. I’m good for maybe 30 minutes at a time — that’s not enough to get stuff done.
Stuff is the landscaping work that I haven’t had time for since May — shuttling rocks for raised beds and walls, and digging out paths and sitting areas. I’ve learned the hard way not to push myself when the humidity’s high: I wind up so worn out that I get even less done while I take a day or two to recover.
So, when it’s so humid I sweat sitting still, I’ve resorted to mini-tasks to boost my sense of accomplishment. At the end of the day, though, I’m still drained with little to show for it.
I have to remind myself of what I did get done while Kevin was out of town for two days:
• Deadhead marigolds and weed the small patch of lemon and lime basil — marveling at how different the plants look from our standard Genovese variety.
• Prune and tie up tomato plants — since we have 25 total, all loaded with heavy fruit sets, this involves several breaks for refreshment.
• Snip edamame pods, then take refuge inside to blanch and shell the individual soybeans (two hours of work yielded just shy of a quart — how depressing!).
• Pick zucchini, then head to the kitchen to cut them up for the freezer.
• Check on the progress of the grapes and, in Kevin’s absence, squish a few Japanese beetles.
• Hoe weeds popping up in the middle of the A-frame support the cucumbers are just starting to climb (we held off planting them at the height of the drought, so they’re a bit behind).
• Haul gray water from doing dishes in the sink to thirsty mums and pansies still recovering from the weeks of no rain.
• Weed the winter buttercup squash, which is finally starting to run and will soon be able to shade out competition with its large, broad leaves.
• Search in vain for tiny parsnips and rutabaga that don’t seem to have germinated, weeding stray tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos that popped up instead from the compost I had added to the bed.
• Glean black currants remaining on the bushes to add to the free-from-a-friend yellow plums we started juicing when Kevin got home (not a bad combination — adds some oomph to what’s otherwise a rather bland nectar).
After listing everything off, I felt less like an overheated, bloated slug, so we decided to drive to Canandaigua for groceries and treat ourselves to an icy concoction at Starbucks.
Why not? It’s too hot and humid to do anything....