I was driving to work the other day, radio tuned to my usual sports talk station, and the airwaves were all abuzz with chatter about opening day for the 2016 baseball season. It made me think of the work (dedication and sweat), thought (planning and strategy), and emotion (the thrill when the work pays off) that comes into play in both gardening and baseball. Baseball fans and gardeners alike have soul touching experiences that are triggered by simply stepping onto the landscape where they get to play.
The feeling I get when stepping into my garden every day (whether at home or at work) is the same feeling I get when I step into a major league baseball park. Walking into a beautiful flower or vegetable garden is a breathtaking experience. A baseball stadium is similarly awesome. In baseball the venue is a "ballpark" where the grass is called the "outfield" and the "infield". It’s an area tended with care, a magnificent site, and a joy to the senses. Gardening and baseball... I could contemplate the similarities of these two passions of mine for hours on end.
Preparing for the next years' garden is a gardener’s "off season". The fields lay fallow, the trees dormant, and the garden is at rest. During the winter we plan what to plant next year by reviewing the successes of last season (basil = pesto and caprese sandwiches, tomatoes = salads, snacks and sauces, onions, cilantro, and peppers = salsa, chard = steamed veggies, and kale = green smoothies, etc). We think about what we want to adjust (more compost for the strawberries and raspberries, plant lettuce under Agribon for the cooler fall season or early spring) and what kind of amendments the soil needs. Finally, we do a tour of the garden to see where we need to fine tune, alter or update the drip system.
Winter presents a similar scenario for baseball players and teams as it's their "off season". To be successful, players need continue to hone their skills. If teams have finished in first place, they still must look for replacements for players who have left. The coach works with the players, scouts look for new players, the general managers explore and execute trades, and the players need to take a break. They go dormant for the winter and return with a renewed energy just as perennial plants do in their "off season".
Spring is a magical time for gardeners and ballplayers. The air is warming up. Working the soil and planting seeds gets gardeners outdoors with an air of hope and excitement. Trusted seed sources are tapped. Our bodies are tested. Spring training is a time of renewed commitment for baseball players, too. They go through all of the drills and the strongest and most skilled get to play on opening day!
Spring and summer is when gardeners must pay attention, when our commitment is put to the test, and when all the preparations hopefully pay off. We must keep an eye on each plant’s development. We need to make sure that our drip system is doing what is needed. Feeding the plants through your drip system by using a fertilizer injector will optimize your efforts. Pests and critters have to be dealt with. We keep our eyes peeled for soil deficiencies and disease. And then we get to jump for joy when the first tomatoes appear, the first head of lettuce is ready to pick, and when the chard and kale are ready to steam.
Baseball players need to keep their minds in the game all season long, stay loose, hydrated, and strong. As gardeners we also need to stretch and drink water before and after working in the yard. Ballplayers have a regular routine and stick to it, taking batting practice, fielding ground balls, catching fly balls, running regularly and stretching on the field. They need to endure a long season of extreme effort. I stretch in the garden, play catch with the grandchildren using lemon cucumbers, ride my bike, and take walks regularly. Staying in shape and having fun too are very important.
Autumn is harvest season when our crops mature and ripen. This is the time we fill our harvest basket and enjoy those fresh veggies on the dinner table. It’s also time to dry, can, or freeze fruits and veggies for the long winter. We get to share or show off our bounty to family and friends. And don't forget the thrill of entering the county fair competition for biggest pumpkins, tastiest and most beautiful apples, award winning jams, or sauces and salsas with the hope of snagging the top prize.
For baseball, autumn is heavy with excitement for the playoffs and the World Series, the fall classic! After training, coaching, and competing, the best teams with the best players and the best teams compete for the top prize.
DripWorks mirrors both of these pastimes by offering the best quality products in the irrigation field backed by the best and most knowledgeable employees in the industry. We pride ourselves on careful strategic planning (DripWorks Garden Planner) for the next year, and hard work year round.
Wishing everyone a winning 2016.
The Dripworks Team