It’s still so unseasonably warm here. I left the house this morning without a coat (but I did have mittens in the car). So, what is a gardener to do when things are warm and wet as opposed to cold and frozen at this time of year? She digs more trenches.
Mapquest and other online mapping systems like TerraServer and Topozone offer aerial photos. They’re not terrible high-resolution, but they’re educational. The aerial above our house was taken in 1997…seven years before we purchased it, and also back when it was still a productive farm. The garden area, as I have probably mentioned before, has always been this house’s garden area. The aerial photo shows it as a depression. The topographic map shows it as a flat area on the downslope of a hill. We’re not talking mountains, here: just enough slope for the garden to accumulate water. There was a trench running around the south and east part of the garden. I extended it this weekend to run along the west, too, so we no longer get “water events” like what was shown in the above photo.
We have clay soil, which accounts for the ridiculously long time puddles just stick around on our place. It’s the kind of clay soil that will add 2″ to your height just by sticking to your boots. It’s also the reason for the no-outdoor-shoes rule in our house.
Will it work? Well, the raised beds do help. (And guess where I put all this new dirt dug out of the trenches?)