Friday, April 16 2010
Both Gretchen and I experienced screwed-up sleep schedules today. Mine began last night when I went to bed at something like 8:30pm thinking I was just taking a nap. But the nap went on much longer than most naps do. I did eventually wake up at something past 3:00am this morning, and managed to get a lot of good work done in the undisturbed hours of predawn. As for Gretchen, she woke up with "thoughts on her mind" and couldn't get back to sleep. Finally, in desperation, she took a muscle relaxer, the kind that knocks one out completely non-recreationally. She got out of bed around noon today but then didn't seem to be feeling well. She couldn't eat from nausea, and couldn't do much other than watch teevee. At first we blamed the muscle relaxer, but gradually we decided that she had some sort of illness.
I continued work on the new terraced tomato patch, expanding the retaining wall along and then into a contour to create an oval terrace. I've been having no difficulty founding the wall directly on the bedrock, which is only a little over a foot below the surface. Even in this part of the lawn, it's obvious that a layer of reddish clay had been put down on top of the preexisting surface, burying a thin dark layer of pebbly topsoil and about three inches of beige-colored clay subsoil. (The bedrock itself seems like a colorless variety of bluestone.) As with everything else about our house's construction, this evidence for the way the lawn soil was built reflects an wanton ignorance of nature and complete indifference to reaching an integration therewith. Since the lawn was built using clay (subsoil), it is nutrient-poor and an unfriendly place for plants to grow. Grass did manage to take root in it, but that probably required a large investment in chemical fertilizers. Obviously, getting tomatoes to grow in this soil will require some effort on my part. Of course, I've been aware of the need to build quality topsoil for some time. Fortunately, I have gallons of composting kitchen scraps and many gallons of composting humanure to work with.
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