Monday, May 1, 2017

A Very Muddy Work Day

What happens when you have just one day set aside to rent a sod cutter to get ready for your raised beds, and it rains for days and days before that? Lucky for me, I now have this experience and can answer the question.

  1. The sod cutter wheels get caked with mud and fail to grip, so it requires some man-handling.
  2. The sod is much, much heavier than it would be if given a few days to try out.
  3. Carrying the sod to its resting place for composting turns your husband into Mud Man.
Aaron completely covered in mud, thumbs up
I just pulled these clothes out of the dryer. They're amazingly clean.

We stripped the sod from a roughly 65' x 6' area. I have an in-progress picture, but won't get another one until we dig out the bits that refused to be cut and it dries up a bit. Currently, we've just created a mud pit. It rained all day the day after we did this.
The bed on the right up against the retaining wall is home to about a half dozen raspberry plants, and a lot of weeds. We used some of the cut sod to smother the weeds and mulch the bed. The area in the middle will soon be home to eight 6' x 3' raised beds.

The upper garden is much further along. On April 23 I completed the prep and planting of the bed along the fence. What was once a forest of weeds and unwanted landscaping plants is now home to 50+ garlic plants, 200 onion plants, and 21 asparagus crowns.

Last week we had a landscaping crew on our property for two days, working to clean out the overgrowth and weeds around the property. Part of what they did for me was clear out a roughly 800 square foot area that will become the main part of the upper garden. I got two areas planted on Saturday - the strawberry/rhubarb patch (24 ever-bearing strawberries; rhubarb was existing) and the pea patch. I planted two 7-foot rows of peas along both sides of the temporary fence, and around the two tripod structures I found on the property. There's still room for another row, so I think I'll plant radishes here on the next dry day if I can find some seeds in my stash.

I also spent a lot of time this weekend potting up plants. In fact, my phone just died because I was down in the basement so long listening to podcasts, so I don't have any pictures. I'll have to save those for next time!

Head on over to Our Happy Acres for Harvest Monday to see what other gardeners are harvesting, prepping, planting, or preserving!


  1. Clearing sod like that is never easy, but I can imagine how hard it was when wet and muddy! Hopefully it will dry out quickly and you can resume work. We got over 2" of rain this weekend so I won't be doing much here for a couple of days either.

  2. What a horrible task, I don't envy you! Well worth the effort though, it looks like you are going to have a big fabulous garden.

  3. That looks like a ton of work! I'm sure the amazing garden you are going to have is going to be worth it.

  4. You're doing a great job. It's really hard work establishing new garden areas all the clearing that has to be done and then reshaping the land. It's hardcore.