dirt farming

last post was about utilizing a spade to rip up sod.  this post is about preparing the bed and planting it.

most gardeners have this really annoying thing where they correct people when they refer to the stuff you grow in as dirt, insisting that it be called soil.  dirt is something negative, as in you get dirty, dirt is something that you sweep up off the floor.  soil is something positive, something full of life.  of course by this logic soiling yourself would be a positive thing.

whether i agree with this notion or not, i too have taken to utilizing the same phases since it is so universally agreed upon.  based on this working definition, i can’t rightly call what we grow in soil, it’s dirt.  it would be an insult to soil to call it such.  it’s amazingly compacted, full of rocks, brick, metal, and you hit a hard-pan of clay about an inch down, and then it is nothing but clay.  but we keep on working it, and overtime, it yields to our will, certainly not becoming dark rich soil, but something that holds plants up while we feed them massive amounts of compost.

digging out this most newest bed ma agreed that it might be the worst part of the yard we have dug up yet.  we couldn’t even get the broad fork down a couple of inches to loosen it up, instead we utilized a shovel to loosen it up.  double digging was out of the question, so we did my best with what we could.

after digging, breaking up clods, and shaping beds we put down about 3 inches of compost.  in the end i was surprised with how good the final texture and appearance was considering what we had to work with.   with the beds prepped it was time to plant the service berry seeds that i had saved. i’m not sure if the couple of weeks that they spent in the fridge will be enough to trick them into breaking dormancy and sprouting this year or not, but it’s worth a try, and if it doesn’t work, they should sprout next spring.

we collected pulp and seeds from processing service berries though the food mill for service berry mead, and did our best to remove as much pulp as possible, but there was only so much we could do.  the internet advised that planting whole berries was a bad idea and we might cause fermentation of seeds if we did.  i’m hoping that the left over pulp doesn’t cause any of those sorts of problems.

ma used the side of the collinear hoe to make a furrow.then dropped down the seeds and pulp.then covered them and gave them a solid tamping and a quality watering.  now its just  a waiting game to see what happens.


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