My neighbour asked me if I was planting tomatoes this year.
I said sure!
She said where?
I said, hmmm well I'm still tilling but I planted them over there last year so anywhere but there I guess.
She said do you want some seedlings? I've got some left over.
I said SURE!
So I followed her over to her lace and behind the house to their machinery sheds (yes, plural- sigh...) and greenhouses (yes, plural- sigh...) and she offered me 200 seedlings.
And if I didn't use them she would throw them out.
Well, I'm a sucker for that sales tactic so I went out and tracked down A's husband to ask if we could use his spare tilled rows (on the half of the land he has assumed on the plot his wife and I are borrowing- it's a tangled life around here!) and he said sure but he was busy and couldn't plant them.
No problem! I will do it said I.
And then I worked out what time I'd get home (5:45), when it gets dark (7ish) and what's involved in planting and watering in so many seedlings and I called A to help me out.
I loaded up the truck with my hole puncher and watering cans and 100 litre tank and seedlings and set out. And A was waiting with her tomato seedling spacer (a long piece of 2x2 with stakes nailed on at 50cm intervals allowing you to punch holes for 5 tomato seedlings at a time- genius!) and a tomato seedling dropper. This is a cool doovalacky that you drop a seedling in the top and stick the prongs in the ground and then pull the handles apart and it digs a hole and drops a seedling in and releases itself all in one cool move.
They're very cool. And expensive. And I have a very bad track record with breaking things. I did NOT want to use it!
A insisted though. There was no way we'd get them all done by hand. It was easy. Well she assumed it was. She'd never actually used it herself but she'd seen her husband do it.
And I gave it a go and it did save time and make consistent holes but it was a little unwieldy and I wouldn't call it easy exactly, better than without for sure but I was just really nervous. I spent 200 seedlings worth of gardening seeking reassurance- are you SURE your husband won't mind? It's quite expensive and he really needs it..... Hmmmmmm...
We finished up in the gloaming and A wanted to pick asparagus next door before going home while I had to get back to the kids so I packed up all the tools and checked where to hide- I mean return- them so we wouldn't be busted.
Just my luck I got back at the same time as A's husband.
I said good evening and explained:
"A and I planted the seedlings. A supervised everything. A brought these tools. A instructed me on correct use. A asked me to return them. I was very careful." (I'm such a wimp!)
"Eh?! You used this planter?"
(Oh lord! I KNEW we shouldn't have used it!! I KNEW A didn't ask!!!)
"Yes, A brought it as we were low on time. I was very careful. A instructed me on-"
"Heh heh! How did you manage to use it? It's broken! The spring's gone and it doesn't release properly!"
Oops. Oh well. Hopefully he gets it fixed by next year and I get to try out the super easy seedling planter for real!