The demise of the hoodie

Before the tomato seedlings arrived, and well before the onset of early tomato blossoms, I had to prepare the pots. This year, there would be no tomato planting under the black walnut tree.

At Paul’s, Steve and I stared at the mountain of palleted dirt. “Do you remember how many bags of dirt we need?” I asked.

“Didn’t you check the blog?” he asked.

Sheesh. At least I knew one thing: we didn’t need 800 pounds of the stuff.

We went with 14 40-pound bags, which turned out to be just right, and hauled them in and dumped them out into the pots. The bags were like carrying jelly, the rain-soaked dirt squeezing around like something very unlike itself.

To carry the bags, I clutched them one at a time to my chest. Because it was a chilly day, I was wearing my favorite, worn-at-least-twice-a-week (OK, maybe more than that) hoodie.

Hoodie, pre-washingIt’s not a fancy hoodie. It’s not even that interesting. I believe I picked it up at the Old Navy Outlet in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But it was my favorite.

Until I finished dealing with the dirt and realized how much of it had gotten on me. And then I slathered it with stain stick and tried to wash it.

And now it is stained. It has become my first official gardening garment. Because now I can no longer wear it to work (We take business casual to a new level at my job, but I think my boss would draw the line at mud-stained…), and now I can no longer wear it out anywhere where streaky dirt stains are inappropriate.

Photo credit: Steve McNutt

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12 Responses to “The demise of the hoodie”


  1. 1 Kalyn May 26, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Just perfect. Every seriously gardener should have some completely dirt-stained clothes.

  2. 2 Kalyn May 26, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Ok, it should say serious gardener, I just can’t type today!

  3. 3 steven May 26, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    I try to keep garden shoes separate from house shoes, but I sometimes forget when I’m wearing flip flops. One trip into the garden and the flip flops are banished from the house which has resulted in a basket full of them by the deck. Of course I buy them in bulk at the end of summer for a buck, so no biggie.

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener May 26, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    Kalyn, it’s probably true…and probably about time. Still…I so wish it would have been a piece of clothing that I didn’t totally love!

    Steven, I need to get some new garden-only flip-flops. It’s definitely the way to go — they’re fairly disposable, comfy, and easy to slip on and off. No garden dirt in the house!

  5. 5 steven May 26, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    The downside of the flip flops is “National Geographic Feet” I usually get the last of the dirt pumiced of by Christmas.

  6. 6 Annie in Austin May 26, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Okay Genie, there’s no guarantee on this, but I’ve had good results using a bar of Fels Naptha Soap, a very, very old-fashioned laundry aid. It’s hard to find but not impossible. Mine sits in the laundry room, wrapped in a couple of layers of plastic net [it’s probably an onion bag… some of us have to buy onions!] I get the bar wet and scrub the spot with the net-covered soap bar. Sometimes you can see the marks come out… sometimes it takes more than one scrub, rinse cycle. Sometimes it has no effect, unfortunately! Throw the hoodie in with a normal load and let it go through the cycle.

    Nothing works everytime, but this technique has kept quite a few items out of the ragbag.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  7. 7 Carol May 26, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    There are places where streaky dirt stained clothes are not appropriate?

    Keep up the good work in the garden, and soon you’ll have socks, jeans, t-shirts, and more to add to your new “gardener’s wardrobe”.

  8. 8 Captain Lifecruiser May 27, 2007 at 4:55 am

    I’m sure this will become the latest garden fashion, just wait! WE’re gonna buy already-stained garden clothes…. *giggles*

  9. 9 Katiez May 27, 2007 at 5:07 am

    Now you will enjoy the gardening even more! I wear my gardening clothes (Grey sweatshirt/grey sweatpants) so often I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t taken up a collection for me…
    But, I usually work in the garden for an hour or two…might as well be comfy!

  10. 10 inadvertentgardener May 27, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Steven, that’s why I indulge in summer pedicures — it keeps the National Geographic Feet Effect at bay…

    Annie, thanks for that tip — I’m going to try to find some of it. I’ve heard of it, but never tried it before. Great idea!

    Carol, you’re right…I’m sure this will not be the last clothing item to earn Garden-Only Status.

    Captain Lifecruiser, those clothes will only be sold in the hippest stores out there, and none of us will be able to afford them. Sigh.

    Katiez, I agree — comfy in the garden is good.

  11. 11 OldRoses May 27, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    The cuffs of all of my sweatshirts are hopelessly stained. They’ve all become “gardening” sweatshirts. My new “gardening” jeans are rapidly becoming stained on the knees also.

  12. 12 inadvertentgardener May 27, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    OldRoses, my Dad has two or three sweatshirts that are pretty much designated for working in the yard. As for gardening jeans, I always end up using workout pants that are already relegated to constant sketchiness anyway, so it’s all good!


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