This fall/winter has been unseasonably warm and dry. Despite that, I’ve had to deepen drainage around the garlic and may also take a shovel to one end of the big tunnel’s ditches. I got the tractor/tiller stuck at the south end while I was incorporating some of the leaves I had spread on top. The water level seems to be less than a foot from the top.
My big concern was the new field at Dan’s which is at the bottom of the valley, right next to the canal that carries the excess away to Bader Beach on the west side of the island. The advantage of this quarter acre of land is that it stays moist all summer, so hopefully I won’t need to irrigate. The disadvantage is that, even in this relatively dry winter, the field got half submerged when we did get heavy rain for a few days.
Walking on this worked up soil meant sinking in almost to mid-calf. Not only is that bad for the soil but it pretty much precludes the construction of anything on top of it including high tunnels.
While stewing about how busy I would be in mid-spring when things might dry out sufficiently to begin building while simultaneously needing to prepare soil and plant tomatoes (etc), I completely forgot about cold weather (which has also been rare this season).
But it’s here now. While staging building materials on Friday near the work zone, I took an expeditionary walk atop the soil and, to my surprise, did not sink in. The soil was just barely frozen. I could actually drive the unloaded tractor/dumpcart over it.
This means that I now have a window of opportunity to get some work done albeit in more uncomfortable weather. The forecast for this week has freezing lows and, given that the temps at 220m average a couple of degrees colder than the weather station, my bigger problem might be the extra work of getting through a few inches of frozen ground or dealing with snow. So far there’s been only a light dusting.
But I’ll take it. All other projects are now on hold.