One of the Joys of Maturity
The Old Guy's Garden Record
The idea for Senior Gardening came about from frequent postings I made about our garden on another web site I maintain. The idea was to create a place where folks could share garden lore via blogs and forums. While I'm still struggling a bit with the software that will eventually make that possible on senior-gardening.com, I thought I'd at least put up a record of our 2008 garden in part from those postings, loosely edited, from the other site.
We have another freeze watch tonight here in southwest central Indiana, so I've brought in my tender plant starts (since I didn't get my cold frame out and covered with new plastic this year). But spring is definitely here and actual direct planting may commence towards the end of the week...if the soil ever dries out enough.
I'm on a break from a garden terracing project - waiting for the cordless drill pack to recharge. Last Wednesday after tilling the garden, I decided it was finally time to do something about our garden runoff problem.
All I really wanted to do was put in some treated timbers to keep our garden from eroding. Our lawn slopes from a farm field through the garden and down through the yard towards a pond. The pond overflow runs across a swampy wooded area into a creek that feeds Turtle Creek Reservoir. For years the grassy area just past the garden was the best lawn on our property. That was because all of my precious top soil, soil amendments, and fertilizer were getting washed into that area.
Being somewhat anal, I decided that I really wanted to do things right and get my garden timbers aligned to a true north-south line. That involved getting out the compass and also finding the correction factor from magnetic north. I had to update Google Earth to find my exact latitude and longitude and then found the page for the National Geophysical Data Center correction page. If you're not as anal as I, you can get by with just entering your zip code. Punching in the geographic coordinates revealed a difference between magnetic north and true north of -3.004o at my house. (The value for my zip code was 3.247o.) Along the way, I found a good page of explanation for finding declination from the Compass Store.
Once I recovered from my declination delirium, I started on the project with a couple of timbers I had on hand. Of course, I ended up making two more trips to the lumber yard for additional timbers! I'm now down to drilling holes and hammering in rebar to lock the timbers into place. Once done, the project will create a raised bed of sorts that will help with drainage. If necessary, I'll add a dry sump in the center of the raised bed later. A dry sump is a trick I picked up when living on a farm. You just dig a hole as deep as possible with a post hole digger and fill it with sand! I used the technique years ago to help dry out the approach to our back door of the farmhouse. I lacked sand on that one, but successfully substituted pea gravel.
Your mileage may vary :-).
I finished up the garden terracing project I mentioned Friday in Declination Delirium with some final reinforcement with rebar. All told I ended up using three 6'x6'x8' and four 6'x6'x12' treated timbers, and 24 3/8"x22" precut rebar sections.
They don't last all that long, but when the apple blossoms come out, they're really beautiful. I think I've tried every spring for ten years to get a shot of them that I was happy with. This year I think I got it. The photo above and others are available for use as desktop photos (wallpapers) from a Desktop Photos page elsewhere.
at Senior Gardening