Sunday, April 22, 2012

Made Six More Holes In The Back Yard

My wife pulled out the sweet peas and marked off a few holes to dig.

It turns out that I was ahead by four holes, not three.

After sleeping in and going to the farmer's market, we had breakfast and I went out to dig. The fourth hole was "lost" for a couple of hours (and from the night before) but I was able to find it.

Summary: I dug two holes, took a break, dug two holes, took another break and dug two more holes. I would have dug a third but we ran out of tomato fertilizer. During this time my wife went to a friend's house to plant her garden. 17 plants in all. In heavy clay soil. When she got home she was in no shape to plant tomatoes.

I'm exhausted. It's hard to imagine why based on the text I write.

Maybe a better term for it is "scraping". Most of the time I hit asphalt, though sometime I'll hit an area that was partially cleared before. It usually takes around 45 minutes to get about 2 feet down, maybe a bit further. There's a lot of wedging, getting down on my knees and scooping out dirt, then separating the rocks and asphalt. If it's a "clean" hole, I can dig down straight in about 20 minutes. If it's a "dirty" one, the interior of the hole will flare out as I dig and chip and wedge out the asphalt (or shatter it). I'll flatten the top of the dirt pile and feel out the rocks and asphalt that I missed while pulling it out of the hole.

There's a fair amount of stress on the lower back and right shoulder. Fortunately, I purchased a shovel that is really, really strong and can take a lot of abuse.

After about 45 minutes or so I can work the hole about two feet down. After a couple of holes, I start to overheat and my back needs a break.

But...this will help the seedlings as there's no way the roots can penetrate the asphalt. Beyond that, it's my belief it will help the soil in the long run. But it's hard work!

And that's why I'm exhausted.

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