Do you know how to use a hose? I bought a new hose — a Swan Weatherflex Hose — and it came with instructions.
Now I may not be the smartest person on the block — I know for darn sure that I am not the smartest person in my family, but then the people in my family are pretty darn smart — but by George, I’m quite certain I know how to use a hose!
Somebody suggested — and it wasn’t me — that to eliminate truly dumb people, we should simply remove all the warning labels from products and let nature take its course. When it comes to instructions on a hose, I have to agree. I wondered if somehow there might be some hidden surprise in that length of plastic, so I read the directions. And here’s what it told me:
- “Remove the plastic ties and uncoil the hose.” Okay, I was going to do that anyway.
- “After uncoiling the hose, stretch it to its full length.” Got it.
- “Before using the hose for the first time, run water through it.” Uh, wouldn’t that be the same as actually using the hose?
- “Do not run hot water through the hose.” Well unless the faucet has somehow become intimate with the water heater, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
- “Empty the water out of the hose when you are done using it.” How? And why?
- “When hose is not in use, store it inside.” Uh, like, “honey, be careful walking through the kitchen. I brought the hose in for the night.” “Well, okay, dear, if you want to bring it in, but it is NOT sleeping in our bed.”
I hadn’t gone to the nursery to buy a hose, although I’ve been needing a new one for over a year. No, I had gone to check out the peach trees. I came home with a peach tree, a hose and three berry plants. The raspberry plant also came with instructions which were somewhat confusing — evidently the plant is to be pruned back almost to ground level in the fall when it is finished bearing, but then it said that the berries come on last year’s canes. So if it is cut back down to the ground, where are the canes for it to grow berries on? I found the answer on the ‘net: I prune back last year’s canes and this year’s canes will have the fruit. Okay, I’m getting the hang of this.
Now that I’ve checked a couple of websites, I find that I should have been choosy when picking out my raspberry plant and made certain the one I was getting would do well in this climate. As far as I could tell, all the raspberry plants were the same variety and I was choosy. I chose the healthiest looking plant in the batch. Reading the ‘net, I find that different varieties bear at different times with larger or smaller crops, larger or smaller berries and longer or shorter bearing seasons. I could have gotten a classic red Summit, a Brandywine or a Golden, all of which are “ever-bearing” which means they have fruit all summer. Mine had no name attached; it just said “raspberry,” but that’s just what I wanted. I don’t care what it’s called as long as I get to pick those berries.
The website also said that raspberries hate wet feet which might mean it isn’t getting off to a great start because I made sure the ground was good and soggy as I gently placed it in the hole I’d dug. And I no sooner got it in the soggy ground when it started to rain. Oops. However, this is the desert and I know that in a couple of days the sun will be blazing down and that soggy ground will dry out very quickly.
So hey, isn’t a good thing that I have a sturdy, reliable hose? One that won’t mind staying outside at night.