Thursday, September 13, 2012
Got up to 100 here today. I expect it Fall to arrive like gangbusters any day. Thought it was here last week. * No rain yet. One drizzle, doesn't count. That's not unusual in my area. Last rain was.... June? Will be glad when the rains start. Watered all of the newly planted trees, after applying a thick compost mulch. Labor of love, and maybe a new generation will benefit from the oxygen, shade, and beauty, some day, so a little water invested now is a good thing. * practicallygreen.com) Today I built a raised bed. For engineering simplicity, I used 2X6s that were 8 feet long. Cut some in half, so the beds are 4ft by 8ft. Somewhat like these from Rodale Institute, with modification. They are 2 timbers high, which makes them a foot deep. On the bottom, I screwed on chicken wire. That's to keep moles from tunneling upward and disrupting the plants. Then bottom liner of cardboard and old cotton factory-made quilt that was about to disintegrate. That's to keep perennial weeds and thistle from growing up through the new soil. Eventually the bottom will degrade, so the beds will be connected to the underlying soil structure, which is good. I think. I filled it half full today. Then wore out. The filler is about 3/4 topsoil and 1/4 yard debris compost. Roughly. I get the compost at a composting center locally, $25 per cubic yard, which is what my truck holds. The dry soil is too hard to dig. I made use of mole hills, filling my wheelbarrow with the tops of mole hills. There are many, many, many, many of those. The moles make the topsoil nice and granular and loose in their hills. I figure they are bringing up minerals too, from the lower layer of soil. Thank you moles. We also had a fence put in, and the post holes were surrounded by the finely ground 'waste' soil, so I used that too. Watered it in, mixed together, watered in, mixed, and raked.