Since it’s a sunny day and there’s no snow in Michigan my seasonal alarm clock rang, rousted me out of bed and sent me directly to Home Depot to buy substances in big plastic bags that I must fling to the ground around my house, soak them in then wear a complacent smirk because I am sure the premises surrounding my house will warrant a cover photo in Architectural Digest.
This is a tougher task than it sounds. First on my shopping list is a bag of dirt. Oh, the store calls it “soil” but honestly, it’s just dirt. There’s planting soil, garden soil, organic soil, organic planting soil for the garden, topsoil, potting soil and….soil. I desire dirt with which to plant plants in my garden. What’s the difference between planting soil and garden soil? Oh, about 3 bucks a bag. I saw one bag of organic soil that cost $7.98 for about 25 pounds, and another of planting soil for about 4 bucks. That $7.98 stuff must be like steroids for stems. The last thing I’d want is to be busted for juicing my geraniums. The 3 buck bag is either half-strength or they’ve mixed in crushed Cheerios like filler in a meatloaf.
I was drawn to one pallet that was almost empty. Maybe 4 bags remained. Consumers aren’t dumb. That pallet held 25 pound bags of…..soil, at a rock bottom $1.79 per. Score. I loaded my cart with dirt cheap dirt.
Regardless of how much I chose to spend for dirt, soil, planting medium, whatever you prefer to call it, my expectations for success would be minimal anyway. Being brought up in the concrete jungle of New York City, the only way you end up with a green thumb is if you stuck it in a jar of pickles in the Carnegie Deli.
When the kids were small, we converted a dog run the previous owners of our house had erected, and turned it into a vegetable garden. I don’t remember what kind of soil we used but it didn’t matter, the radishes, squash and peas we grew all smelled like sheepdog shit.
Right now I’m just hoping that sack of soil I bought for $1.79 will yield a few blades of grass to fill in some bare spots on my lawn. If it works, I may just slap some on my emerging scalp…then they can charge $125 for it and call the dirt, “Hairline Humus.”