Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Chosen Area for the Future Garden

After much trial and error over the past few years working to find the best location for gardening here in Southern Illinois, where the soil is hard clay and the temperature can raise a sweat just standing still, we have a new game plan.  In the past we have created raised beds and added our own soil but the heat just cooks everything during prime time summer days.   Being here now full-time I have watered daily and some days twice but that can take its toil on this aging body since I lug buckets of water from the pond to the thirsty little plants.

The above location looks intimidating and I shake my head thinking about the work that will be involved in clearing the area.   This spot will have the benefit of shade from the tall trees and the soil is rich from years of decaying forest land.   We hope to enlist the neighbor and his tractor machine to bush hog (I believe that's the term they use) clearing the area for planting.   Once he goes through with the machine I am sure there will be quite a bit of manual clean up to do.

After the initial groundwork is completed we will add as much organic compost as we can.   I have been experimenting a bit with the sludge from the pond and adding that to the soil with remarkable results.   It makes sense that this sludge would be steaming full with good nutrients - call it composting at full speed.

My concern is that it may have too much good stuff ... if that makes any sense.
Frankie is not so sure about this sludge stuff 

Two other concerns that have my thoughts occupied is the bugs that will be in this area a hundred thousand billion fold and keeping them from eating every living thing I have growing and the critters that may just happen to stop by for a quick bite to eat.   Deer are plentiful as are raccoon, squirrels, bunnies, etc. - you name it, it is probably lurking out there in the woods.

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