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Help!! Rusty looking mud?

 
Posts: 12
Location: California Sierra's
forest garden
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Hi all...Newbie here... I have been having to trench the water coming into my food forest since we have had all this rain here in California. Our garden sits with hills on most of three sides. One slope is the biggest problem because I still have mud across the area. I went uphill and dug around to see if I could find a spring. There is an area with large rock with lots of wet above so i dug around, left some small pits to see what, if any, would collect in them. The next day there was a little bit of water but nothing much to look at. Now I have rust colored mud down in the trenches in the garden ( in the wet area) One of the pits I dug uphill has the rust, the others not. Now what do I do?
 
pollinator
Posts: 433
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
31
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No worry really!  That is typically a bacteria colony that oxidizes iron and leaves some orange slime around - nothing toxic or bad about it, but it can plug up piping in extreme cases.
 
gardener
Posts: 948
Location: Issaquah, WA
740
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The Primative Technology guy used the orange rust-mud and smelted a small bit of iron out of it.


 
pollinator
Posts: 292
Location: Stevensville, Montana; Zone 5b
56
hugelkultur forest garden food preservation
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Unfortunately I don't have a photo, but my spring has tons of orange sludge from bacteria oxidizing iron. Another sign is standing water that has an petroleum like sheen on top--looks like you spilled gasoline in the water--but is actually just the same bacteria
 
Geraldine Mitchell
Posts: 12
Location: California Sierra's
forest garden
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Thank you!! I had seen the shine on the water and was trying hard to not be worried about it! Happy to know that if won't hurt my plants and soil. Now it I could just find our where the dang water is coming from...
 
gardener
Posts: 5946
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Start looking for water standing up hill, if there is none then you just might have a slow flowing spring area there.
 
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