Re: [gardeners] Tuesday in the wet and mud

George Shirley (
Thu, 07 Nov 2002 06:34:03 -0600

Yes, to a minor extent. Over there it was the dust. Every day we had a
dust storm from about 11 am to about 3 pm. Realize that the sand there
is aeolian, wind blown, and is round and silty, ie very fine in most
cases. If you drove or walked off into a hole full of the dust you might
not get out. Learned to recognize it while driving 70 mph across the
desert and swing around the dust holes.

We have a rich loam on top of layers of clay. The geologists tell me
it's a couple of hundred feet down to a rock. Surface rock formations
are 3 or 4 hour drive north of us.

Yes, most chemicals that were spilled in the plants hereabout years ago
went into the water sands, some as deep as 200 feet. Fertilizer gets
washed out of your garden pretty quick. One reason we've not tried to
stick to closely to an organic gardening style. We use both dry and
liquid fertilizers to "pep" up our plantings and use lots of organic
matter to keep the soil receptive.

Most houses here are built on a concrete slab, the ones down on the
river bank that were built that way have all been torn down as FEMA
refuses to insure them anymore. Now there are only "camp" houses up on
stilts in the low areas. I've only seen one or two houses built on piers
in the last 30 years and those were usually owner built as piers are
cheaper than two or three cement trucks full of concrete.

We have an excellent Civil Defense organization in this state and every
Parish (our version of counties) has a "Gravity Drainage District".
People who are there to keep the big ditches open and flowing to the
Gulf. One about a mile from our house is being concreted as they can get
some dry weather. Flows directly behind our church and looks like a
river, 20 feet deep and 50 feet across. It was full this weekend so it
moves massive amounts of water. That's only one of about 10 arteries in
our town that move water. When it gets this wet you had best plan for

George wrote:
> George, were you plagued with sinus problems while you were working in
> the Middle East...?  Wasn't it very hot and dry over there?
> I am impressed with the amount of public preparedness which exists
> in your area. But tell me, just what kind of soil would allow 5 or 6
> inches
> of rain to drain in half an hour...?  Does that mean that any fertilizers
> or chemicals would be washed down and away, almost instantly...?
> Does your house stand on concrete blocks?
> Penny, NY
> .
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