Once I decided to kill more grass, I called my mulch guy to ask if they delivered top soil. He said yes. I got excited, and I asked him for three cubic yards, as soon as possible. That was two weeks ago. A snow storm was on its way at the time, and his dirt was still wet from the last snow. “I’ll call you when the weather is okay to deliver,” he told me.
Thursday afternoon, I was on a run on our second consecutive warm, sunny day — the first sunny days in what seemed like weeks. My phone rang when I was about 10 minutes from home. It was my mulch guy, so I stopped to walk, and panting, I answered the phone. Maybe he could deliver that day!
“Hi! I’m calling about your top soil, the weather finally is clear – ” he said.
“YES!” pant pant. Very excited. Grinning.
“We’re about to get another six days of rain -“
“Can you deliver it today?!” I said. In my excitement, I kept interrupting him.
“Yes. Today is the only day. I’ll be there in 30 minutes. You want it at the top of the hill, yes? I’ll meet you there.”
He delivered it in the late afternoon. I covered it with a tarp as the sky clouded over. With six more days of rain on the way, I wondered when I’d get a chance to spread it. If only I could get the cardboard down and the dirt on top of it, the rainy days would be perfect to water it in and get the cardboard good and soggy so that it will start breaking down at least a little bit before I want to start planting. With potted seedlings, I can dig through the cardboard for their roots to get into the earth. I’m worried about sowing seeds though; if the cardboard is still too stiff and new, and I sow seeds in the dirt on top of the cardboard, their new roots won’t be able to penetrate it. The sooner I can get the cardboard over the grass to kill it, and under the dirt and rain to start breaking down, the better chance my seeds will have.
Yesterday, I couldn’t stand not taking advantage of the coming wet weather. So despite gross gray skies, rain, and a constant drizzle, I decided to go ahead and lay down the load of cardboard I’d collected from a nearby recycling dropoff. The soil was sodden and heavy, and I’m lucky I didn’t throw my back out as I shoveled, wheeled, dumped, and spread. It was pretty grueling work, and I was glad when I was done. Today, I sip coffee at the window and watch with glee as rain soaks my work.
I need maybe one more load of cardboard to finish off the area for my bed. Hopefully by the time I get to that final load, the soil will be drier. And spring will be that much closer by then!
2 thoughts on “Soggy day to move dirt”
Ouch! My back hurts just reading this! It will be worth it, though.
If you cut through the cardboard, the grass will come up around the plants you put in. Better to butterfly the root ball, if needed and the roots will make their way through the cardboard. The key to success is keeping the cardboard intact long enough to actually kill the grass, and to have DEEP enough soil, mulch, compost over it to support the plants. Good luck.
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