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I’m happy to report I got all of my tomatoes — 14 plants’ worth — in the ground before Memorial Day this year.
I can’t remember all of their names, but I made acquaintance with Mr. Stripey, Yellow Pear and Cherokee Purple among the heirloom varieties, and Yellow, Big and Better Boys among the hybrids.
With all of these plants, I hope to show something for my effort come harvest time.
That brings me to my next topic — bear with me, now — superheroes.
I don’t believe many women work in the comic book industry. If they did, there would most assuredly be one more backlit hero standing tall, hair tousled in the wind, among comic-book classics like Green Lantern, Wolverine, Spider-Man and Arrow.
There would be Mattockman.
Because of the greatest non-motorized tool ever invented for outdoor use.
The mattock — that combination ax, pick and hoe on one handle — is my go-to garden implement.
I’m befuddled by home-and-garden magazine pictures of crisply dressed women in dainty cotton gloves and a trowel gently fussing about an already picture-perfect flowerbed.
I don’t know what Eden they live in, but on my rocky rural ridgetop, the mattock — combined with a pair of brown jersey gloves — is the most useful tool in my springtime arsenal.
I use it to blast through remnant roots from a maple that was cut down long ago.
I can scrape away weeds or grass easy peasy to create a new planting beds.
This wonder pries rocks from hard, red clay like a champ.
And have you ever tried to chop out a football-sized tuberous root from a poke plant?
As much as I love my mattock, the only thing better might be having someone of superior ability using it for me.
The way I see it, Mattockman wouldn’t even have to wear Spandex.
He’d look every bit as heroic to me in a T-shirt and faded jeans.