Thursday, March 2, 2017

one woman, one shovel, two yards of dirt


My stab at model making lasted one day. I finally got my yard of the 'magic' caney soil on Sunday and I've been shoveling dirt every day since then.

I drove to the pit and watched as the guy scraped it off the surface, the 'surface' being 8' to 10' below the actual surface. This dirt is reddish blond unlike the expensive vegetable mix from last year, and has no organic material in it at all. Even so, the guy said I shouldn't have to add anything to it. I'm a bit skeptical though. When I got back and started shoveling it out into the raised bed I found that his idea of 'fluffy' is not the same as mine. While it most of it was crumbly, it was also very cloddy and had clay in it. So while I was shoveling I would toss out the clods if I couldn't crumble them and the clay and then when I finally emptied the truck I used the heavy rake to comb out more clods from the raised bed.


I dumped the clods and clay in a sinkhole by the fence that's been developing for the last year or so.

I finally got it all shoveled out Tuesday and it wasn't enough to fill the bed, barely 2/3s, which I knew because I had calculated I would need 1.6 yards and being the skeptic that I am, I decided to go get another yard of the expensive vegetable mix that burned everything I planted last spring. So that's what I did Tuesday afternoon. I figure if it's as hot as last year (though the lady said this was a little different mix and no they didn't have any complaints last year), mixing it in with the caney soil should make it OK.

Back to square one.


A little more than half the second yard and the new bed is finally ready to plant. I mixed the two dirts together and then topped it off with the new dirt as it had settled some during the turning. The rest will go in the big raised bed to top it off and in the other around the potatoes which are coming up but not even a fourth of what I planted.






17 comments:

  1. So what wood is that on the sides? Does the aluminum siding hold up and spring out? I used to do all of these a few years ago when I was younger and more crazy.

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    1. The white is vinyl. the corrugated metal is nailed to 2 x 4 supports which are already rotting at the bottom. we'll see how long they last. next time I'll use treated wood or western red cedar. both types want to bow out so I got some rebar and pounded it into the ground on the outside right next to the sides of the beds every four feet on the white one and every six feet on the big one.

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    2. Hubby and I used cedar from the Amish. A rough cut at a better price than the more commercial sites. After 5-7 years we are needing some replacement or fixing.

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  2. Your muscles must be awesome. We have that light kind of sandy/clay soil at the farm. I add in lots of peat, gypsum and shredded leaves to the beds. Also throw in raw compost (veg etc.) and let it break down. Manure too and I guess, everything but the kitchen sink. Then the planting and weeding/watering, and the damn deer feast on all the hard work.







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    1. Well, if I didn't have muscles before, I should now. luckily, no deer around here.

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  3. That soil doesn't look particularly fertile, but I guess that probably doesn't mean anything! We have very clayey soil. Some plants do well in it, surprisingly.

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    1. it looks much better since I mixed in the other dirt with loads of organic material in it.

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  4. You make my bones ache when I go to bed at night. Be careful you don't get 40 bushels of tomatoes from new dirt, like Mom did, one year. Then she went on vacation. Every night Shelly and I drove from Mentor to Akron and back, and started processing. Ditto three weekends. At 20 quarts a bushel, do the math.

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    1. I must say, I've been sleeping very well!

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  5. You better get a lot of nice food out of that bed because you have a whole damn lot of sweat equity in it.

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    1. right?! off to the feed store to see what they've got.

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  6. I always add sphagnum and sand. I used to always buy two shovels at a time and write his and hers on them.

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  7. Can't wait to see the benefit of all your hard work come spring.

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  8. Freezing here again! Wish I could go out and play in the dirt ....... My sciatic nerve is trying to bring me down. I still have some residual neuropathy from my bout with shingles. I have meds, but I hate to take them. They make me a little "foggy". I always sleep good when I work outside.

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  9. What a thing of beauty that raised bed is - hope the seedlings appreciate all your considerable efforts! Had to giggle at 'fluffy'!

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  10. You're really working hard. Hope your garden is bountiful.
    We have clay here. One step up from cement:)

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    Replies
    1. the very reason I'm doing raised beds now. our dirt is black clayey sticky gumbo.

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I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.