We were in desperate need of a date night: work stress, family tension, travel planning, and other such nonsense slammed down on us midweek. The rainy evening wasn’t ideal for going anywhere but we were determined to get out of our routine and spend some time together.
When Alejandro arrived home, he hopped out of his car and immediately grabbed a shovel from the garage. Since we live at the bottom of a hill, we have drainage systems in place to keep our front and back yards from turning into lakes. When there is a deluge, the drain boxes get clogged with mud so he has to clear them out.
He came back with his dress pants soaked and rolled up to his knees. “Let me show you something so you know what to do if it happens again.”
Unclog drains? I know how to use a shovel. I casually followed him to the side of the house. He wasn’t talking about the drains.
Our raised beds had turned into muddy swimming pools. The tops of the plants reached their little branches up just above the water line like they were waving for help. My heart sank. We spent so much time getting the garden ready, finding a good soil mix that promoted drainage, and then we get another deluge and our little plants were at risk of drowning.
At first, Alejandro pulled out a few plastic tubes and taught me how to siphon the water out of the boxes by placing one end of the hose in the garden box and sucking on the other end like a straw. Just as the water reached our lips, we inverted the tube towards the ground and let the water drain out.
The little siphons were working but as the rain kept coming we realized that we would be there sucking on tubes until our retirement. My husband suggested buying a hand pump (like the kind used to pump water out of boats). I hurried off to Home Depot.
“So much for date night,” I thought.
|Our little heroes
About 20 minutes and $30 later, I got back with the water pump. First we pumped out as much as we could. As the water became too shallow and dispersed, we dug holes, maybe 6″-8″ deep, in the corner of the boxes and gently scraped little channels into the mud leading to the holes. The water followed the channels and filled the holes which made using the pump easier. The pump efficiently sucked water out of the raised beds.
|The next morning, you can see the channels and holes
Soon, the plants were no longer swaying in a current of water but rather standing up tall and proud on their own. Most of them. A few pepper plants needed to be supported but we could tell they’d be alright after the leaves dried off.
By the time that we finished it was 11pm and most restaurants in our town were closed. Our only choices were Waffle House, Taco Mac, and Wild Wing Cafe so we chose the later. It’s not my ideal location for a date night but the food and the company were good so I have no complaints. The date night was oddly romantic in the end. What builds a relationship better than overcoming adversity with teamwork?
We have sunny forecasts for the next few days and our garden is already bouncing back. We’re even getting a few flowers on the tomato plants!
More updates to come!