Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Importance of Drainage Holes During an Apocalypse

Last Tuesday Savannah was visited by torrential downpours. Rumor has it people were kayaking instead of jogging and, having seen how deep the streets get when it rains, I believe it. I've also seen pictures. On the news. Seriously.

It will never be said that here in the South, we're ever at a loss as to how to have fun!

Kayaking, however, was not on my agenda. It was my off day and I intended to stay cozy and dry with a good book and a few murder mysteries on the tube. The rain kept coming down, splattering the windows and blurring my vision, narrowing my world to just a few feet past the walls. The lane was a creek and the main street a river.

The day before - which had been sunny and warm - I'd returned home from work eager to plant several new herbs we'd bought over the weekend. We have precious little space and sunshine but I just HAD to have basil, rosemary, and dill. I spent a wonderful afternoon pottering about in the dirt, primping and preening my tiny, baby plants.

This memory trickled in as the rain showers dwindled. I wondered: did I plant them securely enough in their new homes? Perhaps, I thought, as thunder rumbled in the distance, perhaps I should poke my head out and see how they're faring.

THIS is what I saw:

SOUP! Not happy little plants, dripping with nature's bountiful rain. Those plants in the pots were up to their top fronds in murky sludge. I rushed out just as it began to rain again. Every time I tried to upend the planter to drain off the water, the plants moved with it, threatening to spill over onto the ground. Thunder grumbled and heaven decide I needed a shower. A hard, pounding shower. I tried in vain to drain the water a couple more times when...

...I suddenly remembered...

...that I'd forgotten something...

...very important...

i'd forgotten to drill holes in the bottom of the planter.

(image found HERE)

In that moment of panic, my mind was clouded with getting drainage holes in the pot. I admit I wasn't very smart about it but all turned out well and I didn't lose any fingers. There may or may not have been box cutters involved....

Finally, as the rain poured and the water rose around my ankles, I calmed down and began to rationalize the situation. The smartest (and sanest) thing to do was to put the little plants in individual pots until the rain subsided and I could drill holes in the bottom where they belonged.

I went inside to take off my soggy sweater only to have the cat decide it would be a FANTASTIC time to bolt out the back door. I couldn't grab him with my muddy hands so I had to herd him back in with my foot. He didn't like it, but thankfully he backed up and let us both in out of the rain. Why cats want to rush out of doors in the most in-climate weather is beyond me. I thought they hated being wet?!?

Cat inside, dry, and slightly pissed, sweater shed and creating a puddle on the floor, I returned to what was quickly looking like a scene worthy of Genesis or Gilgamesh. The plants needed no cajoling to relocate. I scooped them out of the pool, squeezed as much water as I could from some soil, and tucked their water-logged roots into new pots. Pots with drainage holes.

* Aside: WHY, Home Depot, do you sell pots WITHOUT drainage holes????? *

I let the new, organic soil swimming pool gather more water and went inside. A warm shower, fuzzy socks, and cup of tea later I was rather proud of my bravery. I could have been struck by lightening (doubtful) or washed under the wall into the lane (highly doubtful)!

The next day, the sun came out and the world dripped awake. I spent the morning wringing out soil, spreading it on the potting table, and letting it drain. The pot was dumped of the murky soup and I hope all that organic goodness does the weeds under the potting table some good. I turned the pot over and LO! There were little circles that, if poked with a nail, popped right out and gave the pot the most lovely row of drainage holes.

Insert grumbling and feelings of stupidity and inadequacy here.

So far, so good. The plants like their new home and appear to be thriving:

The moral of this story, kids, is to always make sure your pots have drainage holes in them BEFORE you load them up with soil and plants. Unless you enjoy wading in natural ponds to squeeze water out of handfuls of dirt. I wonder if all that organic goods I soaked up through my feet will make me grow any taller? At any rate, I deserve an award for "Plant Mom of the Year"...

...or at least "Plant Mom Willing to Risk Her Life in Global Flood Apocalypse to Make Sure Baby Plants are Safe".

Yeah. There's got to be an award for that.


  1. Glad it didn't drown your plants. That does seem dumb to sell planters without them.

    1. Me too! It had holes that needed some plastic bits poked out of them. I'm still trying to figure out why they just don't go ahead and do that for you...ah well!

  2. Sounds like drainage holes are important even when the apocalypse is not nigh. I will think good thoughts for your herb babies.

    @Kathleen01930 Blog

    1. Thank you for the good thoughts! And yes, even without a flood of Biblical proportions, drainage holes are a very good thing!


Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and give a little read to what I have to say. Don't be shy! Leave me a comment and let me know you were here. I respond to comments here to keep the conversation going. Make sure you subscribe to updates if you want to know when I've replied to you <3