Growing Concerns

The guy we hired to do the rototilling came to the back door, sweaty and flustered.

“I can’t take your money for this job.”


“I can’t charge you for this. Your soil is terrible — it’s all clay — and you won’t be able to grow a thing.”

He pushed his rototiller up to the street, but before he was able to drive off, I forced him to take my payment.

“You came all the way out here and did the work, so I have to pay you.”

He reluctantly stuffed my check in his shirt pocket. I wasn’t convinced he’d cash it.

Well, what the hell. The yard’s all ripped up now, so I figured I’d better plant something. The internet said “improve your soil,” so I added two yards of composted manure and covered it with a layer of hay for mulch.

So, I planted.

For a garden where nothing would grow, things are popping up like crazy. The tomato plants are heavy with fruit, the chard looks good and I’m up to my ass in cucumbers. My kale is full of little holes from some mysterious pest, but still edible.

Lots of cukes.

I’ll have the rototiller man back next year, but I’ll be sure to go easy on his prediction that my plot was doomed. No matter what, he did the hard work of getting the garden established, and the rest was beginner’s luck. And watering.

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