So the dirt contains fungi that you inhale, and if you're immune suppressed, it can cause infection with a fungus called Aspergillus that can make you very sick. I've been there. During my first round with leukemia in 2003, I pulled just a few weeds out of the garden and ended up with surgery to remove the fungal ball that settled on my lung.
Planting is an important ritual here. My mother loved her small garden at their beach house. When she couldn't sleep, she'd relax by closing her eyes and planning her garden. Frankly, I don't like it that much, but the weeding sucks you in, and the rest, once you start, can get pretty consuming.
Katie and I went to the greenhouse the other day to pick out our annuals. I have a decent number of perennials, but I always fill in. I was looking at one empty spot and couldn't figure out what was wrong. Then I remembered that there had been a big patch of a tall plant that bloomed in fall, some kind of geranium with small flowers. No trace of it. I figure it either just died, someone pulled it out, or it just didn't feel like blooming this year.
Anyway, I started unloading the plants and placing them. Katie did the whole thing last year when I was too close to transplant. But I figured this year was different, and I wanted to dig in the dirt.
Katie asked, "Did you just decide you were going to do this or did someone say it's OK?" She snatched my garden tools and gloves.
I hemmed and hawed.
"I've gotten out there and pulled weeds. I figured it was OK. "
Katie: "So you've never asked," she said, holding onto the tools.
I called Melissa.
"My daughter and I are having a fight about the garden. She says I shouldn't be in the dirt.
Melissa: "She's absolutly right. If you're in the dirt now, get out! You should stay out of the garden at least until you're off the prednisone."
I'm not even supposed to reach down and pull a weed.
End of story...for now.