I've Spent The Last Three Days Gardening

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Bob Bauer
November 21, 2018 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 2 minutes

November 21, 2018

I've spent the last three days gardening in the haze. The wildfires in the surrounding hills continue to smolder. They won't completely stop until the rains come, which are now finally in the forecast. It is a good reminder how forest fires are predicted to increase due to global warming, and that us rural folks need to take steps to protect our property. Blackberry bushes burn green because they have ignitable oils in their stems and leaves, so having them close to your house is ill advised. Juniper bushes always have dry sticks and leaves under them that ignite easily so they shouldn't be growing up against your house..

Some people actually hate junipers because of their combustibility. Tall grass should be mowed to the ground, not just around your house, but your entire property. Pine needles shouldn't be allowed to get too thick because they can move a fire quickly across the terrain. Gutters are ignition points when filled with debris..

November 22, 2018

The Fall cleanup in the garden has me poking my hand weeder into the ground all over the place. I've begun to think my soil is not fluffy enough for my tiny transplants. Even on the mounds the ground is hard and I can't push my weeder deeply into it. Then I realized that this is the driest the garden has ever been. I water all summer long, and it rains when I stop. But not this year..

I got fooled into thinking the ground is too hard, when in reality it's just not wet enough. Water droplets battering the soil surface break up the aggregate composites and wash them down into the micro tunnels. That's what I thought had happened. Mulched ground prevents the hammering effect on the ground and lets the water droplets spread out and trickle down the holes, without filling them in. I may still hand turn the tops of the mounds before I plant them, but I'm going to wait to decide until after the rains come..

November 23, 2018

Rain and Thanksgiving arrived together this year. It's been easy for us to forget how important rain is to our ecosystem. It's always come through for us whether we are paying attention or not. This year we all started paying attention and wondering if this would be the new normal. We all stopped watering, and then had to start up again..

Lawns dried out, plants wilted, ponds dried up, dust began blowing about, leaves disappeared in the wind and the wildfires continued to smolder in the mountains. Now we have flash flood warnings, because too much rain at one time won't soak in like it should, but run off the parched earth, carrying top soil into the creek beds. Mother Nature has always been harsh, but now that we are altering the climate, we may have to suffer the wrath of a woman scorned..

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