Saturday, April 18, 2009

Garden soup

The rain was so heavy today--I think we got something like 3 1/2 inches of rain today, and that doesn't include the 2 inches from yesterday's storm. Water was running like small streams across the grass and through the garden. The yard was completely underwater, and looked like a lake.

Our garden lies on a slope that heads down toward a small spring-fed branch running along the edge of our property. When I tilled the garden and put in a little fence, I had piled up the soil around the the bottom of the fence on all 4 sides, so we could use the fence to trellis some of the veggies like cukes and gourds. The mounded-up soil on the downhill side of the garden was keeping the water in and creating a small lake. The watermelon sprouts where completely underwater.

Can you see where I'm heading with this?

I had to go out into the rain and the mud, wearing a rain jacket, my boxer shorts and a pair of my wife's slip-on sandals.

The ground was so wet that I was sinking straight into the lawn. I trudged over to the bottom edge of the garden thinking "OK, hardly anyone actually gets hit by lightning." Of course, it's probably the guy who is out in a lightning storm holding a big metal trenching shovel that gets juiced by a couple thousand volts.

I cut three trenches and let the water drain. The center of the garden is lower than the outside so I used the dirt from the trench to make a little burm to keep the water out of the center.
After twenty minutes or so I was soaked but the water was draining and our pond was no more. A few plants had to be sacrificed and the drenching will probably kill some more, but all we can do now is wait. In the morning we will assess the damage.

Here's the score so far, based on a freeze and two floods: Nature, 3. Gardeners, 0. Mama Nature is laughing at us, and I'm thinking there's more of a learning curve to country living than I had previously thought.

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