Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Root of It All

We started Project Garden today, thanks to an unlucky turn of events that prevented us from going to Tahoe this weekend. But it was a lovely day (on and off), featuring a trip to Berkeley Hort and quite a bit of digging, so it all worked out ok.
Testing the pH of my soil at Berkeley Hort
Lookin' neutral!
There is a corner of our yard that is currently not being used, and our landlord said I could use it for a vegetable garden (yay!)  - and hey, it's about that time of year...time to get this garden party started! The plan for today was to get a couple of plants and some gardening tools, and use the rest of the afternoon to prep the soil for planting (to be done tomorrow or next weekend). 

The patch of yard - See ya later, Nasturtium.
I would have kept you, but man, you grow like weeds,
and I want room for vegetables!
Once the Nasturtium was cleared, we started digging. Unfortunately, we ran into a little bit of a problem. Do you see it? There, just past the green bin? 

Misleading picture, since this is actually at the end of
an hour or so's work, and not when we discovered the
problem. But at that point, I was covered in dirt and not
about to go get the camera.
It kind of looks like a pile of dirt...

...but it's not.

It's a giant tree stump! Granted, we knew the tree stump was there. But we didn't know it had massive roots, submerged over a foot below the surface. Roots up to 6-8" in diameter! We would be happily digging away, scooping up little roots, feeling very good about ourselves, when suddenly we'd hit a giant root and shout something along the lines of "HOO BOY!" or "THAT'S A BIG 'UN!" and marveling at "the SIZE of that thing!!!" We were able to uproot a few of them, but then we hit...the motherlode. 

This thing is massive!
And it has a friend,
just out of frame at the bottom of the picture!
As our Yard Waste bin filled with branch-sized roots, we realized that this was a bit out of our league. We emailed photos to our landlord, and are awaiting advice from him; we may need to call in a professional, and we'll need his approval (and maybe help with payment).

Guess we won't be adding new soil/compost to the dirt and getting it all ready for seeds tomorrow...any tips for massive stump and possibly root removal? It's really looking like we have to call the pros in on this one...

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