Posted in Creatures, Fungi, Indoor Musings, Progress

Gardening in the rain

This week has proven to be one where the showers are actually happening as predicted, unlike the last time rain was forecast nonstop and then kept forgetting to actually visit.

I’m getting better at fending off the urge to use the rain as an excuse to not be out in the garden.  Two days this week so far, I’ve spent at least some time still working when the drops weren’t heavy or harder.  Tomorrow we’re due for more, so hopefully I’ll keep this up.

I typically wear knee high-ish wellie boots any time I work on the garden now to help fend off thorns from some plants, and they keep my socks and feet nice and dry.   (The actual height depends on the boots in question as I have more than one pair.)  I used to garden a lot in old chuck taylor sneakers, but the boots have proven to be best for me.  In particular when the tread of the sneakers had worn down and the sloped parts of our yard became a bit hazardous moving about as a result, especially with full hands.  Your preference may vary, but for folks that hadn’t thought of such things, I thought it worth a mention.

Today especially, the rain was a delight.  The temperature is cooler, so the air itself didn’t feel like a sea of humidity to swim through.  The rain was instead refreshing and welcome as I puttered about.

The rain isn’t all wonderful.  It does mean cleaning tools up before you put them away a bit more work, and plant bits will stick to your gathering container, you, your gloves, etc.  If you’re the type to tidy up dropping bits like spent lily flowers that have clung to still fresh blooms or leaves, it’s noticeable extra work (especially when you get one free and it drops lower into the leaf cluster) but not the worst thing to deal with.  There are some sorts of gardening one shouldn’t do in the rain because leaf tearing and the like from bits clinging due to moisture.  I need to read up on that aspect more now that I am actually gardening in the rain.

I have realized that the times I’ve been out with the rain is when I have seen the most slugs in our garden by far, though fortunately, we do not seem to have much more than a handful.  Normally I’m lucky if I see one a day.  I do better understand some damage I’ve found now given where I’ve seen them, and I’m all the more grateful for natural slug eaters for visiting us here.  I still have not seen any snails at all this year.  I saw a teeny one last year, though, but it was indoors in our cellar on an odd mushroom that grew on a wet spot.  Unfortunately, I thought it had keeled over instead of being upright, but when I tried to right it, it broke off.  I did transport both outside to the 5′ strip on the west side where we get the most mushrooms.  I never saw the snail again, nor another mushroom like this in or out of the cellar.   I’m hoping one of the reasons is the regrading work I’ve been doing so our cellar is less wet, but I’m not an expert on such matters.

I spy with my little eye, something that seems to be moving on it!
This was growing in our cellar last year.
It's so teeeny! The background is a metal door sill to give you an idea how tiny.
This is the only snail I have ever seen on our property. Even inside as this one managed to be.

Tip for those that wear glasses if you also want to work in lighter rains: wear a broad brimmed hat.  A ball cap only helps so much if there’s even a slight breeze, despite how often your head may be downward as you work in the garden.  This is especially true even in some mistier rains.  It’s not foolproof, but it sure helps.

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