Monday, December 18, 2006

Digging


This always happens!

It's still so unseasonably warm here. I left the house this morning without a coat (but I did have mittens in the car). So, what is a gardener to do when things are warm and wet as opposed to cold and frozen at this time of year? She digs more trenches.

Mapquest and other online mapping systems like TerraServer and Topozone offer aerial photos. They're not terrible high-resolution, but they're educational. The aerial above our house was taken in 1997...seven years before we purchased it, and also back when it was still a productive farm. The garden area, as I have probably mentioned before, has always been this house's garden area. The aerial photo shows it as a depression. The topographic map shows it as a flat area on the downslope of a hill. We're not talking mountains, here: just enough slope for the garden to accumulate water. There was a trench running around the south and east part of the garden. I extended it this weekend to run along the west, too, so we no longer get "water events" like what was shown in the above photo.

We have clay soil, which accounts for the ridiculously long time puddles just stick around on our place. It's the kind of clay soil that will add 2" to your height just by sticking to your boots. It's also the reason for the no-outdoor-shoes rule in our house.

Will it work? Well, the raised beds do help. (And guess where I put all this new dirt dug out of the trenches?)

3 comments:

meresy_g said...

It was 63 degrees here yesterday. I worked in the garden for awhile myself. The upper end of the garden where the black raspberries and the blueberries are gets, um, wildly weedy. So I removed a lot of the dead vegetation and made a burn pile for later in the spring. It is awesome to be out the week before Christmas in a sweatshirt working in the garden.

The County Clerk said...

I don't know what to do about the standing water either... excpet get plants that like to have "wet toes."

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

When life gives you standing water, make a wetland bog garden.

Hell... I donno.

Seems like you know what you are doing.

Carol said...

We've been having warm weather, too, until today. But I've been so busy at work, there has not been time to take advantage of the weather to do some gardening. I haven't even looked at my raised bed gardens... I'm afraid of what weeds might still growing!