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Too Much Water?  RSS feed

 
Chris Watson
Posts: 88
Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
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We're planting a veggie patch behind my father-in-law's garage. He was raised working on farms since he was ten and isn't too interested in the ideas I'm learning from this site, so to prep the area, he roto-tilled it. *gasp*

The problem is, he tilled it deep, and when we went to plant, I sank up to my calves in mud in some parts. (This was after three days of steady drizzle.) The garden has plenty of thirsy plants in it, and it gets full sun from noon until sunset, but I'm still concerned about the incredible amount of water in the soil. Any suggestions?

FYI: His property backs up to a church parking lot, about a foot higher than the garden, so the 22x15 foot garden probably has a 2,000+ sq. ft. catchment above it.
 
James Colbert
Posts: 272
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Is the area muddy? In general you don't want to plant in mud or swamp like area as the roots would die. Can you just wait and let it dry out and then plant? What about some raised beds or mounds? You can build the soil up a few feet or more and throw some mulch on it. That should take care of your problem but hard to tell without more info.
 
Chris Watson
Posts: 88
Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
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books urban
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I'll post more tomorrow. I'm very afraid that we're going to end up drowning the roots. Most of what we've planted will love the water once it starts fruiting (tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflowers) but we have to get it to that point.
 
Chris Watson
Posts: 88
Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
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Okay… I did some research, and it sounds like all of southern Michigan is saturated. It's got everyone worried. So… is there anything I can do to mitigate the problem?
 
William James
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Location: Northern Italy
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Going through the exact same situation now.

Wait until it's dry, create mounds at least 30 cm high (10 in), higher if you think it will help. Get the dirt from the paths you will be creating by digging. Make sure you keep the top-soil on top and the sub soil on bottom.

You might want to cover crop the mounds with a cover-crop seed mix. Lots of annuals that provide root material and pull up nutrients. It will help with weeds.

The other option is a "rain garden" if it's really wet. Tons of info via google on that. You basically dig deep, create your own drainage with rocks and then plant on top.

William

edit: Obviously a good solution for a home garden. On the large-scale, you would need more rain catchment in ponds and lakes; and more water uptake via trees and tree mulch. The problem is NOT too much rain, the problem is not enough rain going toward productive purposes. When you have a field of mud waiting to be cultivated, you've already lost.
 
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