Watering should, by all rights, be the easiest part of gardening. Turn on hose, apply water, walk away.
The first time I watered the garden in front of Steve, I discovered it was much more complicated than that.
He twisted up his face. “Wait, wait,” he said. “Don’t you know how to put your thumb over the end of the hose so you get a gentle spray?”
In fact, I had planted my thumb over the end of the hose, but my resulting spray fanned out assymetrically at a high velocity.
I tried arcing the water up toward the sky so it rained down on the plants.
“No, no, no,” Steve said, exasperated now at my obvious inability to understand. “Gently. At the dirt.”
Since I’m usually the one who strongly encourages a specific way to accomplish things, I am not used to being managed. I didn’t take it well.
“Do you want to do it?” I snapped.
“Sorry.” Steve laughed. “Was I being obsessive?”
I tried a new method instead. I didn’t have the water turned on very hard, so I just squatted down next to each plant and aimed the slow-flowing stream directly at the dirt encircling the plants’ bases.
“Does this work?” I asked.
Steve laughed again. “That’s fine,” he said. “It’s just that you don’t want to wash away all the dirt.”
See, this is exactly what I mean. Not only do I have to worry about overwatering and underwatering, but I have to worry about erosion. What’s next? An irrigation system?
At the very least, we did acquire a super-fancy spray head for the hose. It features an array of possible water flows, including mist, flood, and gentle spray, which eliminates any thumb-related guesswork.