It's been pouring rain here for days and days and it looks like it will go on for at least a few more. I have 3 permaculture beds in which I have already planted:
- Keyhole garden with garlic, interplanted with carrots that have just begun to sprout.
- Huegel mound on which various kinds of greens had just begun to sprout when the rains began.
- a STUN bed that isn't raised much--maybe a few inches, in which beets, chard, radishes, and kale had just begun to sprout when the rains came.
All of these structures are multiple years old, so they have good, well established soil structure. All are currently covered by several inches of straw. I also have tomato sets that I'm desperate to get in the ground, and potatoes.
Now to my question: when the rain stops, may I temporarily remove the straw to help the soil dry out a bit? I'm worried that all of my seedlings have drowned and that I'll have to start over, and we all know you can't work in sodden soil. I also know it's a major rule of all permaculture not to leave the soil uncovered, but I'm worried that if I don't remove the straw, it will take weeks for the soil to dry out enough to work, at least in the STUN bed. And then it will be quite late to start crops. (I live in MI, and our growing season isn't that long.) But I don't want to wreck the soil ecosystem, either.
Usually soil drains fairly quickly. You may have already found this is the case. If not, you might try gently pushing the straw away from the plants so the soil can get some sunlight.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines.
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work.
posted 5 months ago
Thank you, Anne. I will try that. I don't have have much in garden beyond tiny just-sprouted plants, but I can uncover those, and I can uncover the spots where I want to plant my tomatoes. The other seeds can wait to get in the ground until the soil drains, presuming it *ever* stops raining. This may be our spring "new normal". Last year's rains drowned a beautiful English Lavender that I'd had for years.
I'm an amateur, so don't take my ideas too seriously! But my initial thought was, cover it with a tarp while there's still a downpour! This would be fraught with potential trouble (e.g., the sun comes out while you are not home and the seedlings that haven't yet drowned are steamed to death) and is probably a bad idea. Maybe cover at night only? Just wondering if less rain might speed the drying.
. . . bathes in wood chips . . .
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit