Yesterday it was in the sixties around noon, so I took advantage of the sunny weather to grab my shovel and dig out my new garden bed. I want to make sure to eliminate grass and mint roots. A couple of days ago I dug up the strawberries and chives that had spread around in the area where I want to put the bed. I lined some of the strawberries up against the wall of the house, (where I have a drip hose running all the way to the last garden bed for my tomatoes and bell peppers in the summertime.)
I laid that drip hose there last summer. I had placed a bunch of twigs and branches and other garden waste along the wall, and covered it all with a layer of wet newspaper, and covered that with leaf compost combined with the chicken compost. I placed my drip hose on top of all that, and then covered it with more dirt. I threw some echinachea and marigold seeds on the dirt. The marigold bushes grew and died, and I have two echinacea plants that have survived and might flower this summer.
I turned the drip hose on while I was working, to help the transplanted strawberries get settled in their new location. In theory all that newspaper was supposed to break down, but in practice it got dry and hard. The drip hose is supposed to drip, in theory, but it seems to have bigger holes and littler holes. There were spots on the buried hose that were obviously spraying water, which was running over the hard dry layer of newspaper underneath, instead of soaking into it. Most of the water ran into the hole I was digging.
In retrospect, I could have turned the hose down a little. After half an hour I did turn it off. I threw the dirt I was digging up onto the areas where the water was running the fastest and hardest. All of this demonstrates why I need this raised bed, because this is what happens in this area every time it rains…