The Zen of Weeding

I spent most of yesterday weeding three of our eight raised garden beds. These three were the last; most of the other beds have been planted with peas, tomatoes, herbs, peppers, onions and garlic. After the winter, and into the spring, clover and oak shoots and other weeds have sprung up.

Once the weeding is done, the cow manure is spread into the soil, and we plant. That last is the reward for yanking up all those pesky weeds. Stones and twigs have also been tugged out of the gardens, and the remaining beds are just about ready to go.

You wouldn’t necessarily think of weeding as a zen exercise, but it kind of is. While yanking out the clumps of weeds and tossing them into what I call the “spooge” bucket, it’s satisfying to see a fresh new plot emerge—all ready for planting. A garden will do that for you; you put the time in on getting the soil just right, planting and watering, and pulling weeds. Then, once things start growing, the rewards are wonderful.

There is something deeply satisfying about pulling weeds. I find myself muttering to them, “oh, no you don’t!” and “you think I don’t see you hiding behind the sundial?” and “HAH! Gotcha!”

Oh sure, after a morning of this, my back is singing the blues, but how satisfying it is to see a weed-free plot! I remember my grandmother, who at one time had seven huge gardens. The biggest one was all vegetables, and the others were full of fragrant and gorgeous flowers. She attacked weeds and rose bugs with the same vengeance; muttering imprecations all the way.

It’s funny how gardening and weeding somehow brings us back to our roots—no pun intended.

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