Your Least Favorite Gardening Chore? Mine: Watering

On Facebook I just asked people what their least favorite regular household chore is, and my own answer was “cleaning the cat litter boxes.” That got me to thinking about garden chores and which one I hate most.

The answer: Watering.

In this, the year of renewal, the year I took out a Home Equity Line of Credit to be able to get my gardens (and home, as it turned out) back in shape or better than new, I can’t believe I didn’t even think of including an in-ground sprinkler system in the list of projects. Now there isn’t enough money left to get a watering system this year.

Why do I hate watering? First, my experience with soaker hoses was terrible. In my Des Moines garden, I laced soaker hoses(the black ones with tiny perforations) and sprinklers through the 50×55 foot back yard garden (the entire back yard was a garden). I got a Gardena water timer and a two-way valve that would switch from one hose to the other automatically.

The gardens looked great, but my water bill jumped from about $50 a month to $350.

The next month I cut back the amount of time I watered. The bill went down to $180, but the sweet peas all died (I can’t remember what else suffered). I assume that with half the amount of water going out, water from the soakers didn’t percolate far enough to give them what they needed. And $180 was still too much per month. I donated all the damn black hoses and went back strictly to sprinklers. My water bill became acceptable, and the garden thrived (for the most part).

That won’t work at my present location, though. Hoses have to cross grass to get to good watering positions, and that means the yard guys are going to move them out of the way when they mow. So it’s impossible to put sprinklers in permanent positions.

So second, I hate dragging sprinklers around, trying to position them perfectly, trying NOT to waste too much water on the driveway, going into the areas where there seem to be thousands of mosquitoes to turn the water on and off. I hate knowing that trees are going to block water from hitting some areas so I’ll have to do an extra session for a long, narrow strip. I hate that one of the sprinklers leaks like crazy and I can’t figure out why because there IS one of those rubber washers in the connector.

Third, as I’ve said so many times before, hot weather and I do not work well together. When it’s really hot – which for me is 75°F or higher, let along 90 – is when the garden needs water most and I am least able to spend time outdoors.

A friend of mine just gave me a bunch of timers he’s no longer using. He also offered to set hoses up efficiently for me. I hate to ask him to do that, he lives more than half an hour away, but I can’t think of a good way to do it myself. I’m probably being an idiot not asking him, but what can I tell you – I feel guilty about it.

Still, what else can I do? I still have so much work to do outside – plants that never got planted must get into the ground, weeds need to be pulled or zapped, mulch needs to be put down. Grant is willing to help.

So – at this point in writing, I sent him a message asking if he’s still willing to do it for me.

Getting an in-ground watering system is at the top of my priority list for next year!

What’s your least favorite chore? Talk about it in a comment.

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