It’s raining today, following rain yesterday and the day before. When will it end?
Here in Emmaus we’re having a rainier-than-usual spring. The mud is slowing down my gardening projects at home. At the Organic Gardening test garden, we’re still waiting to till some new beds for squash, cucumbers, and melons. Turning wet soil is never a good idea; it damages the structure and porosity of the soil. Clods result.
As eager as I am to get on with the task of soil preparation, I have to remind myself that all this rain does wonders for plants. I can’t remember a spring when the tulips lasted so long, or the grass grew so lushly. It would be petty of me to grumble at the rain while surrounded by the beauty generated by all that moisture.
Gray skies and high humidity also facilitate transplanting. Two weeks ago I moved a foxglove that had already sent its flowering stalks 18 inches out of the ground, and it didn’t even notice. I couldn’t have attempted such an untimely transplant if the weather had been hot or sunny. Weeding is easier, too, when the soil is wet. Even weeds with long taproots slip right out of the oozy soil.
So bring on the rain. The tilling can wait. —Doug Hall