Starting A New Garden is TOUGH!
Well, the more I get out into my new garden plot, the more I realize that it is going to take some WORK! After tilling, I thought I was going to have some pretty good soil. It was nice and fine, and it looked like it was fairly rich. But, after a couple of rains, I found that it packs down and gets pretty hard. It definitely needs lots of organic matter. That's no big deal in the long run. I plan on tilling in some compost-soaked charcoal and mulching as much as I can. Over time, I think we can improve the soil. In the meantime, I will need to rely on organ fertilizers and hard work to ensure we get some food growing.
The bigger concern for me is water. There doesn't seem to be a great option for how I'm going to get water to the garden. I don't want to use our city water. Not only would that cause our water bill to jump, but we would also have to install about 400 feet of pipe.
A well is probably out of the picture for now, too. We live in a pretty rocky area, and we would have to dig down pretty deep to reach any water. We've had someone give us an estimate on digging a well and installing a pump. He said we would top out around $7,000. That's not quite in the budget, right now.
A third option that I'm looking at is siphoning water from our pond and using it to power a ram pump. It would be the cheapest option, but it would require the use of some water catchment barrels to capture the constant trickle of water. Furthermore, it would pretty much drain our pond; which wouldn't be all bad. It would give me an opportunity to get the tractor down there to pull out some of the silt that has settled at the bottom over the decades; deepening the pond allowing it to hold even more water when it fills back up.
Regardless, my focus right now is going to be on getting some plants in for this growing season. I guess we'll just have to fight all of the battles as they come at us.
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