speaking of digging up grass....

Was I crazy not to borrow a tiller? 

Actually, a confession:  I have never used a tiller! I have always just either done the classic double-dig a-la shovel or used heavy mulching to develop new beds, and as our garden has grown gradually over many years, this was pretty do-able.

Had our purchase of this side lot finished up in the fall, I would have probably just sheet-mulched the entire area. But as it is, spring is here and all the rain has made pulling sod pretty easy.  And by sod, I mean creeping charlie.  Which probably was not the best thing to till up anyway.  This is just the footprint of the hoop house, and much of the rest of the beds will be added gradually, we just needed this area to be level and starting from scratch seemed the best bet.

Another confession involves a tiny hot tub acquired via craigslist.  I know, its not the most eco-friendly possession, but its value for physical and mental wellness can not to be overstated. And that's where I'm heading now!

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  1. Congrats!

    Tilling indeed has upsides and downsides, frankly. Like all gas-powered tools, our access to easy cheap petroleum reduces our workload (at a huge cost of course). Yet digging 25 post holes 3' into our clay soil would be done veerrry slowly if we were to have done it by hand, so frankly I was happy I had my gas-powered auger this weekend. Sure, you'd have gotten your tilling done in 1/8th the time, but then you'd be on your knees hand-sifting...is that really saving time? I mean it's what I do every time I get out the tiller.

    The hot tub though I am sure went a long way to helping your taxed muscles.

  2. I've heard that over-tilling can actually be bad for the soil--introducing too much oxygen, something like that. My beds are small enough that a light hand forking usually prepares them fine. You should feel righteous and accomplished having done yours with honest muscle and sweat, Sara!


  3. El, we have quite a few poles to sink as well, but my husband was skeptical when I suggested we rent an auger! We'll see after a we dig the first few.

    After a few more days of digging I'm resolved to the slow, quiet method. Not that I'm opposed to loud tools in general, in this case it just feels right.

    Bret, I've heard that too, and with invasives like creeping charlie and quack grass I think it can make things worse. Turns one weed into many!


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