Monday, April 8, 2013

We're In Bloom and Praising Rain

We didn't get the rain Saturday night as was predicted although a few drops did fall. Mostly my Herculean earth moving and tilling efforts that kept me sore and uncomfortable until this morning were kinda wasted as I could have put some of it off until Sunday. Last night the rains did in fact start and continued on until late this morning.

Now of course my freshly tilled garden looks all inviting and smooth, with rich, black earth just asking to be planted. I am not falling for that because it's a trap. The soil in the garden is really taking shape with all the old horse manure, grass clipping mulch and Winter ash not to mention a bit of sand here and there turned into it. Perfect color, consistency, not too heavy anymore and not too light but when it get's wet. Well. The clay in it takes over and will suck you down to mid calf and claim your boots as tribute.

Usually I would be all chomping at the bit and restlessly waiting to get my seedlings into the ground by now, cursing the wet and rain... but no longer. I am a changed man were it comes to rain and Spring. Last years drought has shown me that early May gives me more than enough time for my garden to grow and produce and while I may be slowed down by wet clinging mud it is much better to be slowed down than to suffer the consequences of a drought.

I have enough concern just complaining about cold ground temps and slow blooms I will never complain about rain ever again.

So if I end up waiting half of May away waiting for ground dry enough to plant so be it. There will still be plenty of growing season after that.

Things have finally stayed warm long enough to get the local plants kicked into gear blooming-wise finally. The female Box Elder trees are so full of honey bees I thought I had a swarm already up in them. The buzzing in the yard under each of the big trees will resonate through your body it is so loud. With just a few small leaves beginning to push out you can stand under the branches and look up against the cloudy sky and see the thousands of bees flying from flower to flower. If the rains keep coming we may pull out of this drought and build back up once again.

Dandelions are now popping up too numerous to count while the Apricot and Peach trees are now totally flowered out. Next up will come the Pear, Apple and Red Buds along with the dogwoods showing white against the moist dark trunks of the oaks and hickory woods. At this rate I will also have to start mowing by the end of the week which will begin seriously cutting (pun intended) into my project time but who cares as long as we get rain.

My cousin works for a large horse farm nearby and he was telling me that when they had to dig a grave last week for a horse the ground about a foot down or so is almost like dust. On top this drought maybe over but the trees and deep rooted plants are still in danger so let it rain.

I may not get anymore earth moved. I may not be able to bust anymore brush or clear out other areas that need it. I may have to put in the 10 or so hours a week now for mowing that will be required but as long as stuff can grow it will be worth it. Soon enough August will come around again and allow more dry weather activities I have plenty of other projects to work on until then.

As a matter of fact next up is putting a new cap on my cistern which I believe I have finally worked out the details on. Anyone remember the formula for figuring the volume of an 8' x 8' x 6" tall box? If I remember correctly it would be 32 cubic feet I believe. (8x8=64) / 2 right? Simple. But it's been a long time since I had to figure how much concrete I need for a project.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. 8x8x6=216 sq feet / 9 = 24 cubic yards.

  2. Crap! Missed the inches.

    32 cubic feet / 9 = 3.55 cubic yards.

    1. Thanks sdv1949!!! I had forgotten about the dividing by 9 thing. Although the feet would have gotten the job done for what I am going to use.

  3. PP..Watch the back to Eden film here

    this is what I am going to start to work on. Papa Bear and I bought us a very nice wood chipper for our anniversary present to each other to start making this garden. I went to the local newspaper office and bought their roll ends for $1.00 each as I don't know enough people who actually take the home delivery of the newspaper any longer to have them save it for me. I've got lots of goat and chicken poop and an old worm bed I will start clearing out for some soil and a place near me sells mushroom compost for $10.00 a truckload when I run out of everything here. I don't have to deal with clay but sand..lots and lots of sand. Water runs through it like a sieve.

    I think we've lost almost all of our fruit for this year except for a couple of blueberry bushes and a peach tree. We had such crazy weather!

    1. MB - I have watched the eden film a couple of times. I appreciate some of his methods and such and picked up some tips but the overall technique isn't for everyone and would require much more energy inputs than I am aiming for overall.

      Also one of the main issues I saw with his system. It was obvious he didn't deal with underground colony and sucker weeds like morning glory.

      I do use a system pretty close to his in the raised bed area however. It just isn't optimal for long term sustainability around here in a few areas.

  4. 8ft x 8ft x 1/2ft x 1cuyd/27cuft = 32/27 cuyd or roughly 1.19 cuyd



Leave a comment. We like comments. Sometimes we have even been known to feed Trolls.