Monday, February 18, 2008

A Lucky Find

Today was unseasonably warm, which was great for us because it gave us an opportunity to get out and do some digging. It had rained most of last night and with temperatures making it to nearly sixty the ground thawed well in most places. Michelle made it out first and decided to work on the row along the fence.

This lead to a great discovery, the soil along the fence is around a foot of decent loam. It's still light on organics, but its composition is overall very good. Though we've both read up on various lasgna non-digging techniques growing up I always helped my mom make garden rows by flipping sod upside-down so that's the approach we used here. With the soil being nice and deep this was a very quick and easy process as digging goes, at least compared to what we're used to in this yard. Most of the yard has ground like you'll see below.

While there is nothing for scale the topsoil is about four-six inches thick, with densely packed sand and rocks underneath that. Since we want at least a foot of reasonable soil this mean we have a lot of rock and sand excavation which is much slower than moving around good soil. This afternoon we turned over around 148 Cubic Feet or about 5.5 Cubic Yards of soil. Last year over several days of digging we managed to turn over/create about 3 Cubic Yard of Soil in our first row.

In the picture below you can see Michelle standing victoriously before the new row along the fence. You can see last years row in the foreground, and you can see the hole I took the cross section picture in next to the wheelbarrow. I had hoped to dig out more of that, but the ground was still too frozen. It will receive full sun in the summer, but with the sun lower this time of year it doesn't get as much. We need to finish that section, because come Saint Patrick's Day we'll be planting the peas there.

Michelle did a lot of clearing of dead brush out of the woods this weekend and lined our little horse-shoe path with dead fall. You can also see a critter pile of sticks we've made. We fully accept that we're going to lose some of the garden to bunnies, raccoons, deer, skunks, and the like. We take it as a small price to pay for the privilege of looking out our back windows and seeing them in action.

1 comment:

Stoloniferous said...

Go ahead and laugh at the pile of sticks. It’s official: I’m nesting!