Monday, March 27, 2006


"A poor drainage area is usually defined as an area where water will sit in puddles for several hours after a heavy rainfall."

When this picture was taken, it had not rained in 4 days.

As you might guess from the lovely cover crop of weeds and standing water, this is our garden spot.

Everywhere we went, my husband ogled piles of dirt. "Look at that dirt! That's good dirt. Where do you think they got that dirt?"

I feared he'd have a wreck and I'd be left tearfully explaining to police officers that dirt envy did him in.

When piles of really good dirt suddenly appeared at a neighbor's, it was the last straw. We screeched to a halt. An investigation was conducted. We obtained a telephone number.

And voila!

I'll never use the phrase dirt cheap again. Dirt is actually much more expensive than you'd think.

Stay tuned for part II, The Quest for Compost...

The ducks, who were very interested in the whole process.

Opening quote from Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.


Lacy said...

Hee hee hee-- your garden is a LITTLE bigger than mine! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

This sounds just like something my husband would do. Dirt envy and dirt connoisseurs ... !

robin andrea said...

That's a lot of dirt! It's going to be quite a garden. Looking forward to your resolution of the compost quest.

MamaHen said...

Hey, that does look like good dirt. Yeah, the last time I bought a load of gravel I thought I was going to crap because everybody has gone up due to gas prices.

Anonymous said...

When our subdivision was built, the first thing done was to scrape the topsoil from the ground. This was carried to a field a mile or so away. Then the houses were built. Then the houses were bought. Then the realtor said "You really should spread a layer of good topsoil on that ground before you lay sod on it!" So folks bought back topsoil that had been on their ground originally. I'm in the wrong bidness!

Jenn said...

Heh. It's not the dirt that costs so much, it's the trucking - but yeah 'dirt cheap' is an oxymoron...

Anonymous said...

I see the ducks were playing the part of middle mangement. How did they do?

R.Powers said...

The ducks misunderstood. They thought you said a "DuckTruck" was coming, not a "DumpTruck". They said to speak more clearly next time.

Rurality said...

Lacy it's almost TOO big, for me anyway LOL.

IGO - glad to hear someone else's hubby has dirt envy. :)

RD it really needs to be raised quite a bit! We really should have started on making our own compost last year.

Annie, it's practically rock-free, but does have a good bit of clay. We'd thought about getting the gin trash for organic material, but decided that would probably have too much pesticide residue in it for a veggie garden.

Pablo - that sounds so typical!

Jenn, yeah this guy charges $65 an hour for his time so that's a big part of it.

Nio they taunted me by making noises in the water that they are standing in, in that picture!

FC, LOL! You may be right.

Anonymous said...

Good job on taking care of that poorly draining area!

Ours was on a slope, which meant that soil could never naturally accumulate - it just got washed down. We dug out a pond at the very bottom, and rather than bring new soil in, mixed the clayey soil brought out of the hole with peat moss and dumped it on the poorly draining slope. Then brought up (literally) tons of rocks from the creek to create three terraces to prevent erosion. It's worked wonderfully - it's now a woodland garden under the maples where the bloodroots and trilliums and hepaticas and yellowroot grow :-) . With a pond at the bottom.

Pablo is right about developers. The same thing happened to us, except it was limited to our own homebuilding rather than a large tract of multiple homes. They scraped up the topsoil, left a token pile, sold the rest (which probably amounted to 95% of the total).

We thought we had covered all the agreements with the contractor but missed this one. So if you're building a home, you have to take into account everything including the disposition of trees they might cut down. Otherwise they seem to assume it's theirs to make money off of.

A live and let learn experience, I guess.