Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Digging a new plot

We've had great weather the past few days, so I decided to get some gardening work done. Logan wants to put in a butterfly garden, so I found a good spot and got to work busting up the ground.

We still don't own a tiller (we are "debating" what type to get, it isn't go well), so I had to dig the plot by hand. The ground is too hard for a shovel to break into, so I got to use my handy pick-axe. If you're going to live where there is hard clay, you MUST own a pick-axe. It took about 3 hours to get the spot broken up and I'm sore!

Here is the plot after I've dug it up. It still needs more work before it will be ready to plant, but the initial work is done.

Here is a video Logan took of me digging part of the area. It is a little shaky, but I think it gives you an idea of how hard to ground is.

We still need to get the big garden tilled. I'm hoping the neighbor can do it with the tractor, but we're expecting rain off and on for the next 2 weeks, so I think it is going to be awhile.


polly's path said...

I hear you. The clay in this state!
I dug my entire vegetable garden by hand last year and felt like my body needed to get disassembled and put back together, it hurt so bad.
This year we borrowed a tiller from a family member and it was easier, although still A LOT of work and it took several, several times going over on a "shallow" setting to get the dirt to bust up.

Goodwife said...

Wow! Hard work! I'm used to my rich black Illinois soil! Not that it will help you in your decision, but we have a tiller that has it's own motor but hooks up to the lawn mower and it's amazing. That's what we use to break new ground, and then we have a Troy Bilt (that is actually my dad's) that we use for finish tilling and tilling between rows. Good luck!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yikes. My back and shoulders are hurting just watching you!
Our soil gets hard, too, but we also have large boulders and rocks very shallow. I'm thinking of doing a raised bed this year.

The butterfly garden is going to be so beautiful! What are you planning on planting in there?


Linda said...

That is a lot of work! But I feel your pain! It's going to look so good when you are done though...

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Ugh, boy, do I know clay soil! Did you amend it with anything?
What will you be seeding your new plot with?
And the benefit to all that pick-axe wielding: just think how HOT you'll look this summer in your tank tops with your exceptionally toned and well-defined deltoid and bicep muscles!! :-)

Gail said...

Like you don't have enough to do already!

I am sure it will be a beautiful garden.

linda m said...

Oh, I feel your pain! Don't know how you do it. I would be laid up for weeks .LOL

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

go Mama go! my shoulders ache just watching ya. I'm just eat up with Spring fever :-)

Christy said...

We're going to be planting echinacea, joe pye weed, yarrow, butterfly weed and bee balm. Probably some others as we come across them, but these are my favorites.

I am amending the soil as we go with compost and something called clay buster. In a few more years, I hope the soil will be good.

Looking hot is always a good thing!

Leslie said...

Oh boy, can I relate to digging in hard clay. We only have clay and rock so even a tiller is useless. One good thing are the muscles you build doing it! The butterfly garden will be well worth it, it sounds like a great project.

Callie said...

That is a lot of work. I got pretty good at swinging a pick. Hope you have a great garden after all that hard work.

helenw said...

I have never used a tiller, I do it all by hand but I always do sheet mulch and chicken tractors so it is not actually hard at all. I had pretty good soil to begin with but after 12 years of mulching I have about 12-18 inches of amazing soil before you hit the Georgia clay.

If you have to get a tiller get a gear driven one as opposed to a belt driven one - BCS is one brand, Grillo is another. Expensive but they are lifetime machines and have numerous attachments - you won't ever need anything else.

Rising Rainbow said...

I know a pick axe intimately. Here we have more rocks than dirt, close to hardpan I guess. The only way to get into anything here is with the afore mentioned tool. LOL

It's very hard work. I feel for you.