The south side area of the back yard tomato growing area is now complete.
I had taken out some of the encroaching grass previously (I think it was a week ago Friday) and expected it to be relatively easy to pull out the rest. Wrong. The remaining grass was thicker. It took me parts of three days to get all the grass.
Yesterday (Sunday) I dug out the south area using the shovel. Originally I had the thought of just turning the dirt but I decided there were too many underground roots to simply turn the area. So I dug it out and made a long dirt pile in the "Middle East".
The area was roughly 4 feet by 13 feet. That's a rather large area and took me five or six hours. I pulled out approximately 8 gallons of asphalt, roots and some rock. Our disposable trash can is pretty heavy from these materials. Fortunately, most of this dreck was larger chunks of asphalt -- easier to accumulate and handle. The dreck in the "Middle East" and the "Far East" was mostly smaller rocks.
In spite of the above, this area was much easier to dig than the "Middle East" or the "Far East". My wife speculated that this was because the sprinklers hit this area and not the other two. I believe she's exactly correct.
I was expecting to finally hit a sprinkler pipe while hand digging and I did. It was very near the western border of the roughly 13 foot area, maybe two inches inside the rectangle. I put a board down to mark the location.
I put the dirt pile back on the south area late Sunday afternoon. It was too windy to apply compost.
Today my wife put on amendments. I added compost and used the Mantis over a vast majority of the area. Then I moved the remaining compost onto this south area.
Based on my slowness in taking out the grass in this south area, the 9 x 9 area (which is really more like 6 x 6 with an additional area to the north, making it roughly a 6 x 8 foot area) will take much too long to process for tomato growing. I just don't have this type of time.
The remaining area (around 100 square feet or so? I didn't look closely) may just need hand turning with a shovel. If so I can have it ready in a day or two. But I'll make that judgement when I start digging. After all, I had the same idea with the south area but decided to override that based on roots underneath the ground, as mentioned previously.
In my mind, this remaining area should be the easiest to dig outside of the area underneath and to the east of the lemon tree. That's my perception...but reality could be different. Let's hope for the best.
There will be compost left after this area is complete.