Too Much Fun Plant

Lettuce alone

I thought weeding your garden was either a myth or a rule that did not apply to me.

Then one day I noticed a little lettuce plant endeavoring to thrive amid grass and a fun-looking green plant that looks like a pile of triangles. I have always tolerated this fun plant. Big bunches of it protrude up and down the rows. I always think I am just preserving one clump when in fact I am preserving many.

Too many. Fun plant keeps not only lettuce but also broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach from thriving in my garden. So today I crouched on an upside milk carton and uprooted everything in Row 4 not identifiably a cultivar.

I used a bent metal trowel. I don’t know my own strength, nor do I know these weeds’ strength. We tussled and the trowel gave way. I have other trowels, but they are scattered around the garden, hiding, like nymphs, because another of my shortcomings as a gardener is putting my tools away. Pruning hooks, hoes, and watering cans also hide like sprites, ready or not to be discovered.

My thinking on weeding as myth is, that the vegetables or flowers ought to be strong enough to overcome their adversaries, like Baby Hercules. This is why I have low yields. I am just now realizing this after gardening for decades.

This might make me feel glum were I not so well aware that there are many important things I will never, ever realize. I hope my daughters will. Meanwhile, my wife is making a chopped salad for lunch including lettuce from the garden, and it’s almost ready.

Published by MarkGozonsky

Mark Gozonsky has been writing stories and essays since he was a music snob prodigy in early-1970's San Antonio, Texas. Since then he has written about not only music but also baseball, gardening, teaching, parenting, cycling and the... glory of love. Lit Hub and The Sun have published his work, and so has the Austin Chronicle. He lives with his wife in Los Angeles, where he teaches English to some of the nicest kids in the world at an arts-themed public high school downtown.

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