I want to start preparing my backyard vegetable garden for planting here
in suburban Boston, but we've had quite a bit of rain in the last week.
How bad is it to rototill while the ground is still wet?
Short answer: Very.
Longer answer: It does depend on just how wet it is. At the muddy
extreme, a small rototiller may just bog down. If it's drier than that
but still wet enough that the soil stays in large or small clumps, you
end up with a collection of clumps that subsequent rain tends to flow
around, not through. (A lumpy soil is also harder for plants to sink
programmer, author http://www.midnightbeach.com
and father http://www.midnightbeach.com/hs
I'd have said you'll know when you start.<g>
Seriously, you really need to wait until the soil crumbles more than
clumps. If you can turn over two or three spades full and then easily
rake it "down" then you are probably okay, but if you have problems raking
it, then it's too wet. With that said, I'll add that much depends on your
My garden had idea conditions for rototiller earlier this week and I
wasn't able to do it. With three days of rain, some of it rather heavy, I
will be waiting another week or at least three or four days with no
significant rain even with the excellent drainage in the garden. Though
I'm impatient, I've learned it's better all the way around to wait those
extra days. In addition to being more difficult to plant in (much more
effort required), it's also much more work to run the tiller when the soil
is too wet.
Just my thoughts.
You might want to lay black plastic garbage bags over future
garden(currently lawn). Eventually is kills off grass and weeds from
lack of light and lack of ran> I just did this last week which was
good, cause we had seriously soaking rains. I dug up a 4'x4'x8" patch
today and added my amendments, tore up the sod, tilled under and such.
If I hadn't covered the area it would probably be somewhat muddy
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email)
Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound
2nd year gardener
On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 14:33:54 -0400, Rick Charnes wrote:
If your ground is almost entirely sand, not too bad. If it's anything
else, suicide. Not only will the immediate results dismay you, you'll have
to redo the job once the soil has properly dried.
Find something else to do while the soil dries.
DON'T DO IT!!! It will destroy your soil structure, turn it into a
bunch of clods and just make a mess and be a horror story to try to
control the tiller in it. It would be easier to just spade up what
you need for now if you must work it.
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