Dry Dirt Farm

 

HERD ABOUT IT?

by Ana Grarian

 I mowed the lawn today. Yeah, I know, big deal.

But it is a big deal.

This year.

In CNY mowing the lawn is usually a weekly event, bi-weekly in May, and sometimes semi-weekly in August. May be just hitting the high spots for a couple of weeks, like around the well, over the septic tank, or where the downspouts empty. Not this year. I think this is just the third time I have mown all year.
The ground is still bone dry. I pulled out the Queen Anne’s Lace and Chickory that we have been allowing to grow, just to have some green in the yard, and to hold the soil in place. Just below the surface leaves the soil is dust.


I weeded today too, a job that we normally struggle to stay ahead of. I normally get up in the cool of the early morning to pull weeds before the sun breaks over the hill making it unbearable. We haven’t had much in the way of cool mornings this summer. Fortunately we haven’t had much in the way of weeds either.
I planted my upright pallet garden with carrots and bush beans today. Now I have to figure a way to keep it moist enough to sprout those seeds. The one big lesson I have learned this summer is how much more water a container garden takes. I have to develop a system that will supply water little by little to my barrels and pallets, though for me the runoff is used by the plants growing from the ground at the foot of the planters.. I also need to develop a transport sytem to carry water from the lake. My rain barrels are fine as far as they go, but by definition you need rain to make them work.
City gardening is a learning experience for me. I guess I should get out the calculator and figure out what it would cost to adequately water my plants. I am hoping for a long, long fall, in the hopes that my plants will actually produce a significant amount of food.I don’t know if the brussel sprouts will make it, and my kale and swiss chard are just starting to really break out. In the meantime I will keep my eye out for more really big pots, and the soil to fill them. My best plants are in containers of five gallons or more.