Where Does the Soil Go?

Funderland Amusement Park

Funderland Amusement Park

I just spent an hour and a half mixing batch after batch of Mel’s Mix and trying to get my raised bed planters topped off so they’re ready for planting.

The thing is, when we finished putting up the last planter, I filled all three new ones with Mel’s Mix. Now, when I’m getting ready to plant, the mix is down by a good 3 to 4 inches!

I wouldn’t gritch if piles of dirty clothes or dishes did the same thing… Or stacks of magazines, waste baskets, or piles of bills… if YOU know what happened to all the Mel’s Mix, I’d appreciate it if you would let me know!

I use a big trash basket to mix the components of Mel’s Mix (2 parts peat moss, 2 parts vermiculite, and 1 part each mushroom compost, barnyard compost, and cotton burr compost.  Occasionally I mix in compost I’ve made from our yard and food scraps. Then I carefully drag the trash can over to the garden and even more carefully lift up the trash can and distribute it on the raised bed box. Then I move the mix around, delighting in the joy of playing in the dirt until I pronounce it done, and then repeat the process. After an hour and a half of this, I’m taking a rest.

Also in the mix of my day is working on a mosaic on a glass bowl in the shop. I do it one narrow band at a time, carefully propping the bowl between a bottle of water and a scotch tape dispenser to keep it from rolling. If I do too many tiles, the slope of the glass causes the tiles to quietly slide down, coming to rest in a spot I didn’t intend. I’m taking my time, doing one ‘row’ a day until the bowl is covered. Then I can do the grouting all at once. I’ll share some pictures of it when I get the tiles all glued on.

In my art room I’m working on some presents I’m making for next Christmas. I know it’s a bit early to be thinking about NEXT Christmas, but I’ve always bought things I like for people when I find them regardless of the time of year. Particularly when I’m trying to MAKE something, I want to do it when I’m excited about the project. :0)

My sweet husband is in the shop, slaving away to get our new used riding lawnmower ready to be used. As he works, he’s finding more things that need his attention. (We’re discovering that, although the guy who sold us the mower told us about the leaking tire, he got creative about the things that were ‘new’ on the thing; the air filter, for example.) My husband just bought what he thought was a spare filter, discovering that the filter that was on it was in the worst condition he’s ever seen. It starts well, though, and my husband likes the way the mower is  laid out. It’s not nearly as difficult as some designs to work on. He found a manual online that shows him good exploded diagrams so he can see what parts are there, and it makes sense to HIM about how to do what it needs.

He bought a new mini-tire changing tool because the tire we bought is too small for the one we have.  Even after he made a stand to bolt it to the floor in the shop, it took both of us to get the old tire off and the new tire on the wheel. It turns out that tubeless tires are difficult to get onto the wheel with a good seal so they don’t leak.

It’s time for lunch. I’m going to go out to the shop, roust my husband, and then figure out what’s up for the rest of the day.



Filed under Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

8 responses to “Where Does the Soil Go?

  1. When you mix soil with compost of different kinds, all will fall down by time. If you placed it loose to give it air for breathing, it will fall down short time after, but it is good, that it fall down by itself. Better than if you press it too tight, then you risk fungus.
    It seems like, you are having an active day Linda, enjoy 🙂

    • What you say makes sense, Irene. I have to say I still consider it somewhat miraculous, given that it happens so fast, over and over again. I DID have an active day, and I felt good that I made progress in many areas. :0)

  2. Sounds like it ‘settled down’, that the air incorporated in the mixing gave way to the weight of the soil. It will likely go down further once the earthworms start making their way through your sweet mix. Happy gardening!

    • Hi, Melissa. I think you’re right. It just amazes me that I can top off the beds over and over again and the soil ‘settles down.”

      • I know right! And every year is the same, the raised beds seem to need just a wee bit more. What’s that about? 😀

        • I have regular planters around the yard, plus raised bed planters in our square foot garden. The soil simply settles. I add more. It settles again. I’m wondering if there is a limit…:0)

          • Understood. I have the same wonder. Raised beds don’t wash away, one of their best qualities, but they are literally a bottomless pit of soil it seems. Lovely to share garden anecdotes with you. I traveled to your blog via a tweet by the gorgeous Irene, fyi, and will most definitely return again!

            • I look forward to sharing more gardening adventures with you, Melissa. How lovely that we share admiration and affection for Irene, a wonderful, talented, and kind woman. Thanks for writing. It’s a pleasure!

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