We went through the end of September, all of October, and now the beginning of November with zero rainfall along the Gulf Coast. Bill Finch says the ground is now hard as a rock, and it’s fall planting time!
Bill says the drought is bad for water pipes, as the ground dries up, cracks, and separates. But it’s even worse for plants, and even Bill has lost some long-lived bushes to this drought.
Water acts as a lubricant in soil, getting between the soil particles and allowing movement. Without water, there’s lots of friction, turning the soil hard.
So how do you dig in hard dirt like this? Well, a little water would help, but it’s not necessary. What’s needed is a garden fork, not a shovel or pitchfork, and a wiggling motion. Put light pressure on the fork with your foot and move the handle side to side. In very little time it will work its way deep into the soil.
Bill says using this technique and trickle watering, which we’ll talk about next week, you can keep your fall planting on schedule.
Learn more about fall planting and the drought by calling Bill’s radio show Sunday mornings from 9-11 on 106.5FM or email firstname.lastname@example.org.