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Spring Showers MAY Bring May Flowers to the Garden

17 Mar , 2018  

Spring has sprung with a vengeance – flinging us from 40ºF to 84ºF in the blink of an eye. I have stare-downs from the kitchen table with the garden gnome. Is it just me, or has he moved since I last mentioned him here? I’m pretty sure he does that just to freak me out. I wonder if he’s getting help from my husband.

I’ve said it before: I have a black thumb. I kill silk plants. But despite my best efforts – despite the once-in-a-lifetime snowfall and hard freeze we had here in Houston this past winter, and the fact that I haven’t come within 15 feet of that herb garden since last November, the oregano, dill, Italian parsley, and peppermint all appear to be thriving. I probably shouldn’t tempt fate, but I picked up some habañero pepper and “ornamental Thai pepper” (that look suspiciously like my nearly dead pequin pepper) plants, and it’s time to brush off the blanket of dead live oak leaves and declare it the season of rebirth.

Not too shabby for a gardener who hasn’t got a clue, eh? I just stick green things in the dirt and hope for the best. I scatter random seeds and hope for the best. This year, I threw in some basil, radishes, marigolds, and passion flowers. Add decent potting soil, water, and sunshine. Water regularly but sparingly – and occasionally hit the local peanut-farming squirrels in the face with a spritz from the ol’ sprayer nozzle. Before you call the SPCA on me, know that the peanut farmers lie in wait for me, just above my pequin pepper tree, and pelt me on top of the head with peanuts. They do not deserve your mercy.

Apparently, garden spray nozzles suffer the same way drip coffee makers do from minerals in the water around here. Though it still works fine, our 9 pattern sprayer is covered in a fine layer of calcium. Looks a lot like our adjustable shower head.  Its days are numbered – not that it’s going to break, but it may need a good, long soak in white vinegar. So when I got a chance to add the Gardenite 10 Pattern Metal Triggerless Thumb Control Nozzle to my arsenal, I jumped at it. In a field of organic brown and green gardening implements, my new metal nozzle stands out with its bright red baked enamel finish. What a fun color, eh? Harder to lose in the grass, too.

It’s not all that different from my husband’s, but it does have 10 patterns to his 9. The grip is rubberized and feels nicely balanced in my hand. Unlike many other nozzles, you use your thumb to control the water pressure; you don’t have to squeeze the trigger like you’re pumping your own gas. It’s much easier on your hands, but doesn’t provide much strength training.

You may be wondering what on earth all those patterns are for; after all, when we were kids, we just blocked the stream with our thumb to back up the flow and make it come out in a harsh, semi-circular, spray pattern before aiming it at a friend’s face on a hot day. Now we have ten patterns and easy, thumb-controlled pressure flow – it’s like going from a $0.99 plastic water gun to a Nerf Super Soaker. You’ll find serious gardeners talking about how you can use this for everything from gently washing the toy poodle to “sluicing a wheelbarrow” to washing the mud off your ATV, but I’m here to tell you all you really wanted to know about those fancy patterns:

  • Full, Stream, and Center: pretty much normal hose mode, with slightly different amounts of water coming out.
  • Jet: I tried, but the stream of water did not quite blast the 737 on its approach to IAH; you may still need a dedicated pressure washer for some tasks. At full pressure, aiming just above the 8′ fence, I can water the entire back yard from my patio chair.
  • Mist: My favorite, although I have to watch for stray tentacles and things to emerge from the other side; this is the setting most likely to produce rainbows.
  • Vertical and Flat: The difference in how you hold the hose when your thumb’s blocking it – up and down vs. side to side.
  • Angle: Similar to using your index and middle fingers to cover the hole in a “Peace sign but I don’t really mean it” pattern before turning the hose on a friend.
  • Shower: Perfect for those hot summer days, this is the garden gnome’s favorite setting – a light, gentle, rain-like soaking. I use it to fool the plants during a drought.
  • Cone: When you want to water around a single bumblebee without disturbing it. (I recommend practicing this maneuver on house flies or mosquitos, first, to avoid swarms of angry bees.)

I resist an urge to gloat. My husband might ask me to water all the landscaping. With that thought, it becomes “our” nozzle. I can share. Or challenge him to a Romulan water hose duel. Nozzle set to Angle…



10 Responses

  1. Anklebuster says:

    Holly, only you can make a garden hose sound like a wondrous (adult) toy. LOL
    I really did wonder what all those intricate holes were designed to do and you did not disappoint.

    Enjoy the herbs!

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Muahahahah…then I have succeeded in my goal for this post! You know how few reviews I ever do; it’s got to be the real me, or it’s not happening on THIS blog. 🙂

      BTW, the nozzle’s less than $10 at full retail, and is all the incentive I got for writing this. I didn’t even include an affiliate link for it. I consider it a “writing prompt” and had a blast (literally a BLAST of water!) writing it. Now you’re making me want to try it as a shower head replacement…

  2. rummuser says:

    We too have had unseasonal rain during our mid spring welcomed by us city folks but screwing crops of our farmers. Climate is playing all kinds of tricks the last couple of years.

    • We have two seasons here in Houston: hot and humid; hot and dry. That’s about it, except for the three days of freezing temps we get around the end of January, usually, and a rare, miraculous dusting of Christmas-time snow every few years. (It very rarely coincides with Christmas day; it’s usually a few days before.)

  3. Chenden says:

    Funny that the weather is quite stable. I’d love for the rain to begin but I can’t complain if it’s late since we are enjoy what we have now.

    • Not sure where you are, but here in Houston we’re right on schedule with spring. Of course, our version of “spring” is like 80 degrees and climbing steadily through the rainy (thunderstorm) season!

  4. Fin says:

    Well, spring has only just sprung where we are up in Northern Minnesota. The Ice on the lake only just left us last week!

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