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Monday, April 27, 2009

Garden status: 80% dug

Well, actually a bit more than that. My primary goal for today was to dig a garden over at my house across town. By hand. This would have been a difficult activity at any time, but temperatures in the high 80's (Fahrenheit; 30-32 degrees Celsius) made it even more so, and also slightly dangerous. I had to take frequent breaks for water and cooling off.

Unfortunately, I found that my sod lifter was not very effective for what I was trying to do. I wound up using a square spade to cut a perimeter for the garden, about five feet by fifteen feet, and then cut the garden int0 foot-wide strips. I then started peeling off the sod using the spade, and continued by hand - the soil is good, fluffy stuff, and let the sod go relatively easily. Unfortunately the sod came off in chunks, not neat, easily-rolled strips. I tossed these aside into a pile as I went, shaking the soil from the roots and squashing any Japanese Beetle grubs I came across in the process.

I only made it four-fifths of the way across when my designated quitting time of 3:00 arrived. So I finished the row I was on, dumped the wettest bag of partially-decomposed leaves I could find onto the newly-exposed soil, and then topped this off with the chunks of sod, turned upside-down. For now the garden looks like a chaotic mess, but it should look nicer when I'm done with it. The sod with have the rest of its soil shaken out, the leaves will be dug into the garden bed, and the worms will churn up the soil as they eat the leaves. The leftover grass will go into the composter. Assuming I can salvage my tomato seedlings - which suddenly went all leggy since the last time I saw them - I will have a garden full of tomatoes (well, tomato plants) in a few weeks!

2 comments:

concetta said...

HI!
I HAVE DUG MANY A FLOWER BED, AS YOU DESCRIBE... with a spade!... What I have "discovered" to "get the sods "rolling" is the flat part of a pick ax! ... A few good wacks to "get it going"...then roll up as you "wack away" ... some more!!! (Of course, CHUCKS and "uncooperative sod" is ALWAYS part and parcel of the job!!! ;)

By-the-way, I am "looking for" a blogger named Harold... Is this YOU???
~Monica
(Monica3 is ME) at "match"

D.B. Echo said...

Heh. And I had my mattock over there and everything! Well, I still have a 1' x 15' strip to go today, so maybe I'll give that a shot.

And, yes, you've found me! But now, I'm off to finish the garden, and mow the lawn!