In the midst of this bone dry winter we've been having (a statement that should anger the weather gods to the point that we'll get dumped on in the next few days), I decided to run out and test the soil and then work it to bring in more toward a middle ground pH than one side or the other. (You darned near have to be a PhD to understand the little soil tester machine. Hey, my brother is a PhD, I should call him.)
To start, both gardens were in the green on the scale, yet both were leaning toward the alkaline side of the scale. (Al Kaline was a great right fielder. You just can't grow tomatoes in him. Society frowns ...)
So, seeing that I had a few lonely dollars in my wallet, I headed off to O'Toole's and picked up some supplies. (See where a little money and boredom can drive you?)
I had about 18 different opinions on what I should do with raising (ever so slightly) the acidity of the soil. I decided to try some Espoma Soil Acidifier. What does it do? I dunno, but it is Organic, so it's got to be okay.
(I love that Organic argument: Hey, look, here on the ground! Arsenic! That's Organic, isn't it, so it's gotta be good for you? Yeah, let's eat some!)
Actually, the product puts a little more Sulphur in the soil, so, after application, I smelled like a recent escapee of Hell. Actually, not Hell. Maybe Purgatory, as there was but a small scent of Brimstone upon me or my rather tattered soul. (Although the dogs wouldn't come near me.)
I also put down some Espoma Garden Tone, continuing the fertilization process begun last fall.
We're supposed to get some rain/snow tonight, then more this weekend, so the hope is, that it will seep into the soil and I can dig it in next week. (That is the hope. We'll see. The other hope is that I don't drive a pitchfork through my foot while turning the garden. We'll see. I always want to have something special for Becky to look forward to when she comes home from work.)
I was also told (Opinions 7, 9, 14 and 18) that putting down a layer of Peat Moss, or, as this is called, "Tourbe des Sphaigne," oooh, fancy, will also boost the acidity of the soil slightly, as will the addition of some Cow and Compost come March.
Then, again, as my friend Leo at the Garden Center told me, "Aw, just put some fresh dirt down there and you should be fine." Which is probably true, but nowhere near as fun, and leaving me with $$ that I would likely spend in some mindless, prurient pursuit.
I did this, once, in a novel, thoroughly pissing off my mother, so, perhaps that is why I truly smell, every so slightly, of brimstone. Maybe it had nothing to do with the Soil Acidifier at all.
As for Mr. Bitterman and Furious George --
The boys spent the day at Mr. Bitterman's Alma Mater, Colorado State University, Universitatum E Pluribus Unum, where he was honored with a PhT, Doctor of Thinkology. At least, that's what they told me. It might just be a story, but I can hardly blame them. If I had the chance, I'd run up to Ft. Collins and hit New Belgium Brewery for an afternoon. The train tracks run right behind the house, I might haul out the Motorized Gandy Dancer and run up there to join them.
'Til Next Time!