Farmer B went down to our local University of Florida Extension Office the other day to have our soil officially tested. I keep reading that having your soil tested by the pro's is the only way to go and since we skimped on it last time, I knew it was essential this time around. I expected to get all sorts of official readings back and I was giddy with anticipation. I was especially looking forward to our Nitrogen reading. Instead we got back a piece of paper that said:
Ph - 6.5 - add some lime.
Well, isn't that great? That doesn't tell me that much since we know we need to add lime around these parts. We added it last time we planted and almost everything died, so adding lime won't be the key to vegetable nirvana this time.
Farmer B told me that two older ladies work in the Extension Office and one is new to Florida. She lived in Wisconsin her entire life and moved to Florida about a year ago. She's gardened in Florida for three planting seasons now and said that she has yet to be half as successful as she was in Wisconsin. She said that her first planting included cracked tomatoes and lots of dead plants. Welcome to Florida, extension office lady. It's not so easy is it?
But as unskilled gardeners, we do as we're told. So farmer B donned a breathing mask complete with biological warfare filter and spread lime all over the garden as instructed, just like we did last time. Those are the legs of a very serious runner, my friends. Take a long look.
When Farmer B was done spreading the lime and the temperature had hit about 85 degrees, he informed me that I could just "fork it in." Forking in that much lime over our garden was a lot of fun for me. Farmer B had already chucked the mask in the trash so I was out there maskless and exposed, digging in the lime all morning. I have a blister on my left thumb, a knot in my shoulder, and I'm sure I now have some sort of lung silicosis.
But we suffer for our art, don't we? …cough.