in #gardening3 years ago

The solution is simple once it becomes obvious.

The hardest part of actually doing something is starting.

Sitting at the computer and typing is not considered "productive" work around here, especially when there is a ton of rocks I have dug up over the past week in clearing an area to expand our garden plot. Rocks are lying around and have to be moved somewhere so the best way to dispose of them is to use them to create a border around a mostly non-productive planting area. That means picking them up and moving them to where rocks are needed.

Rocks are heavy. Deceptively heavy. The more you pick up, the heavier they get. Pick one up, put it in cart, haul cart, pick rock up and put in place. That's at least two pickups for each rock.

So, over the next five hours of the morning, I picked up and moved rocks. Each load weighed about 100 pounds. There were 22 small wagon loads of rocks! That's 2,200 pounds picked up two times!

As I unloaded one rock at a time, I placed it around the edge of the area we had finally gotten several plants to grow in the rock-hard white clay surface near the side of the pond. I had to transplant a small clump of bamboo and it took a pickaxe to break the surface.

By the time I got that far, it was already 88 degrees (31 C) and my shirt was wet with sweat ("perspiration" sounds better, but I was undeniably sweating.)

This little fellow could not find a place to hide, so I brought him with a load of rocks (no fare charged) and placed him in the leaves inside the his new home where it was shady and moist. I made him a little fist-size home in between two rocks and apologized for his inconvenience.

I relocated two water lines to the irrigation sprinklers and moved the sprinkler heads for better distribution. I also brought two loads of shredded leaves and grass collected from mowing the lawn and not-lawn and spread it to cover the ground. That will keep the surface cooler, provide cover for earthworms, and will retain moisture in the hard ground. The worms love soft earth and will tunnel through it and within one year we will have rich organic soil to nourish the plants instead of bomb-proof clay.

The downside of moving anything at all around here is that whatever it is, is someone's home. I hate that part. Prying a rock up always reveals a small colony of some sort of creatures scrambling for shelter, of ants collecting their tiny larvae, worms trying make themselves alert and get away from the burning rays of the sun. And all that time I'm destroying habitat like a demonic presence from another world spreading mayhem to smaller creatures.

The results are not as grand as I had envisioned, but adequate for the job of holding the mulch in place around the plantings and slow the water from running away with the topsoil.

I doubt anyone will notice the hidden rocks masquerading as a containment border around ground mulch.

Hide them in plain sight! Diabolically clever, Mr. Holmes!

Images by @willymac


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I think it looks great @willymac, and just so you know, you've earned a special place in my heart reserved for those who care about frogs, ants, bugs, worms etc. You really did make my heart smile with this one today! Thank you :) and rest up; I'm sure you'll be feeling all of that rock moving tonight!

oh brother. nobody cares about freaking bugs, worms and ants.

Ummm...err..Excuse me, Mr. Texan......

hahha! sorry sir willymac..MOST people don't care about bugs, worms and ants! lol.
it's her fault she just brings out the orneriness in me!

Most people don't care about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, either, and that brings out the same orneriness in me, so I can understand how you feel.

haha! sir willymac who in the world is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and what did they do? I could google it but I don't always trust the stuff I bring up online.

Oh, he was just an author and aviator who wrote some pretty decent stuff. The Little Prince being one.

Like bugs and earthworms, though; not to everyone's taste.

Actually, my Ex did her college thesis on him, in French, and I "lived" with him for six months. He died in WWII, in 1944.

Thank you, @lynncoyle. I seem to have been born with the ACG&S syndrome: (All Creatures Great and Small). I was infected during an encounter with an elephant when I was a wee lad😇

The work was not bad other than getting very hot. I tried to sign a form at the vet's office the next morning an could not manipulate the pen because it didn't weigh 30 pounds and the results were illegible. At least I'm getting good finger exercise!

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I am sure the toad doesn't mind, LOL! But your work looks good, the habitat will adapt too.


Thanks for the compliment, @smithlabs. Yep, the habitat will improve greatly with a thick covering of mulch and occasional sprinklings of water.

Toad probably did not even notice but it does have a decent rock home now!

Toads are cute, and eat bugs; I would have done the same thing. You do make a lot of good habitat, both accidentally and on purpose,so don't worry, it is a net gain!


Yep, the new bed is going to be a good place for critters. The sprinkler system keeps it nicely moist while everything around it is baked rock-hard. After I gar 4 or 5 inches of grass and leaf clipping on it, it will begin to hum with happiness!

I keep checking on the photo of Merrick and Lincoln. Love it!

You were right on the dogsofsteemit, they really liked it too, ROFLOL! They gave it some kind of award, so they thought it was too cute.

I like the page, and will keep posting on it, thanks!

I could tell this was going to be a good habitat, you will get a lot of nice bugs here! I have a friend who lays a sheet of plywood on the ground for a week or more. Then he flips it over, and when he walks over to that plywood, his chickens come running for the treat.


Told ya so!

I like the plywood idea. It sure doesn't take long around here to draw a crowd of critters!

Do you have chickens? I've been debating on whether or not I should get some (again). Used to have a dozen buff orpingtons and then the raccoons and foxes whittled them down to extinct.

Not out on the land we bought yet, but once there, I may try quail. They have eggs that are smaller, but I understand that they are a little more wary than chickens, and they are hard on ticks.

They are also supposed to be quiet (which helps with foxes) and low profile for SHTF conditions.

You need to shoot some raccoons and foxes!


I can't even raise turnips without something trying to eat them!

Thank you for created the new planting bed. It looked great.

I hope you like it because it is very doubtful I will move or change it any time soon.

Hi there @willymac how are you? Good to see you back on :)
About the post, I loved the determination and hard work you put in the task.
Two things which are backbone of any project and are considered compulsory to finish any work on time and according to the requirements.

Carrying that much weight is super cool. More power to you @willymac
Stay safe out there and Have a nice weekend

I am a little behind in my replies, so forgive me. I had a young cousin and his wife visit yesterday and we talked through most of the day, and that meant no Steemit, but the day was well spent with a family member.

The short project turned out okay even though I had to work in the direct sunshine most of the time. It did not take as long as I had thought but it was tiring work. I finished on time, met the requirements, and was on budget (which was $0). I have more mulching to do and will have plenty of material as I vacuum and chop up the leaves. A thick layer will make a home for earthworms near the surface and they will make little tunnels that allow water to soak in and soften the hard clay. That will attract more small creatures and the ground will soon be enriched and will support healthy plant life as well.

chopped leaves and grass mixed together is called "gardeners' gold" around here!

Thank you for the compliment, my friend @hananali.

That's true, we intend on giving materialistic gifts and stuff but time is the biggest gift we can give someone, relatives mean family and family deserves our time , well done on that...steemit can wait no problem.

That's one really good technique, how you can make things turn in your favor with a spending of as much as nothing, wonderful.... Most people would kill those earth works on purpose wherever they would see them but this proves a point that Nature hasn't created anything without any purpose.

Gardeners gold? After that hard work gardener deserves some gold too :D

You're welcome @willymac
Hope you had a wonderful weekend with your cousin 👐

Nature never does anything that is without a reason and never does anything that is harmful to the environment. We can blame people for those things.

The garden gold is the best overall fertilizer for plants because it returns nutrition to the ground and adds organic material that is food for worms and micro-organisms that generate soil health. Some people throw grass clippings away, showing a total lack of understanding of its value, or because of their lack of caring about their surroundings.

A friend jokes that I must have been a worm in a previous life. At least I think he is joking.

That's true, nature does everything for a purpose but we people are the ones creating some mess always.

Am not sure if gardeners or general public are this much aware of the techniques or procedures being used in the west, I am learning new things here :)

Hahaha am not sure if he's actually joking but it was a nice one :D

As humans, all we have to do is to look at where nature is being successful and then copy her. Instead, we seem to prefer cutting trees and destroying a forest so we can build houses, pave roads and parking areas after giving only a little thought to the damage we have done,

That's true,nature created it the right way, we shouldn't change nature in a way that it damages us in a long run. I agree to what you have said

There are over 8 billion of us and the Earth is not getting larger. We need to learn how to behave correctly with our host planet if we expect it to remain a suitable home.

My friend, @adarshh, has a very excellent post concerning man's place in Nature that I recommend highly for you read. It very eloquently expresses the thoughts you and I have shared and I have found it useful in guiding my thoughts. You may also.

This quoted from his post:

Nature is the mother of all blockchains. It is a ledger that has been in the making for billions of years. Each event is an aggregation of all the events that preceded it. A simple cause-effect analysis would be dead wrong because of the interregnum between happenings.

Nature and its commandments

sir willymac! brilliant strategy once again, moving out those rocks and creating that wall. Tons of work but man it looks great. You guys had that many rocks in the soil?

We only have the big rocks wherever you want to dig. They seem to know in advance and bunch up there! We are along the edge of a glacial path during a previous ice age and it pushed a lot of rubble around here. A mile from here, you can't even find a pebble; only sand.

ahhaha! oh I see, wow so it's just a matter of location but at least you are putting all those rocks to good use!

You know what they say about real estate: Location is everything!

Using them to prevent erosion and hold the mulch in place was the best option and a lot cheaper than buying fancy pavers that would look out of place even if I had them.

sir willymac! oh I understand because the look of the yard and everything is a rustic one right?

The more my surroundings look as if they grew up and are a part of "here", the more comfortable it is for me. Most houses look as if they were put where they sit and are surrounded by plants and other enhancements that are not part of this environment and it makes them look out of place.

Also, I picked up every single rock and moved it to its place in a border or small wall, so each is a piece of the story of my existence.

very true sir willymac, very true.. yes that's a wonderful way to landscape and make your house look like it's more natural to it's location.

Yes, because they are hard workers who could do what they wanted to, unlike some rednecks who only brag about being very creative but are in real very lazy to go out :D

hahahaha! well it IS true that I try to work smart instead of hard and sometimes that can be perceived as laziness, so good point hananali!

I tried to tease you too ;) I knew I had a point and an opportunity to do so :D generally rednecks are lazzy people?

oh it was great, you did a great job of teasing me, very good hananali! very impressive. lol. are rednecks lazy? not generally but all kinds of people are rednecks so it just depends on who it is just like any segment of society.

I tried to tease you and am glad you got it too ;)

So what you are saying is that whoever is lazzy in any society he/she can be called a redneck of that society? :D

howdy again hananali! about the not all rednecks are lazy. they are just like any other group..some are and some aren't.

How are you @janton how was your weekend?

I know lazzy people are in each group, I am lazzy too but I am not a redneck. I was just teasing you

Happy to make your acquaintance, @willymac! I will be following you now. I know what it is like to have lots of rock and terrible soil on a homestead! With plenty of work, we manage to make things better. Thanks for helping out the Creator's small creatures!

My pleasure in meeting and following you also, @cecicastor.

I think good gardeners usually have a different world view when it comes to belonging to a small patch of mother earth. Small creatures included.

@willymac Thank you for not using bidbots on this post and also using the #nobidbot tag!

That looks great! I have been avoiding outside except for early mornings. The high temps make it miserable. But the falling leaves whisper of cooler days ahead.
A little frog comes to cling to my bedroom window at night. My dog hates him.

Thank you, @headchange! Even better, it's functional and the ground is softer now that the water is staying in place long enought for it to soak in. The plants and critters will be happier.

Fall is my favorite time of year. Fewer bugs, cooler air, and beautiful colors make being outdoors easy. I mostly try to avoid summer.

We have the small tree frogs that often cling to window panes, too. My dogs checked them out and decided they were not interesting because they didn't move.

Well I applaud your dedication to get all those rocks moved. I have similar projects that are on hold for a few weeks. Cooler days will help a lot.
I expect some cooler days coming up. Sadly it is because of hurricane blow off so the rains will come. The garden plants and the frogs should love it.

Yes, we have everything on hold while the hurricane makes a decision on where to go next. I feel as if I'm wasting time by not being active outdoors but getting prepared for wind and rain has priority. Remembering Hugo a few years back make all of us here remember that it not just a TV event and that fallen trees, no electricity, and high humidity makes one miserable. So, we wait for it to be over and hope the cleanup will be minimal.

I am pretty lucky to be just outside of the zone where heavy impact is expected. The prediction here is possible power outage high winds and flooding.
But only a few miles over they call for power outage that may last for weeks.
Hope you weather the storm in safety.

So far we only have rain. Lots of it, but we needed the water, so that's okay. Only a little wind but Florence is sitting in the middle of the state and may do anything.

That gives a whole day to sit and play on Steemit!

Three dogs are curled up, snoozing away with their noses tucked in. We just have to wait it out.