It's true. They do. It's actually a saying around here, because the soil is so rocky. Every year you clean out your planting beds and every year you wonder how you could possibly have any more rocks hiding in them. If there's nowhere for them to appear from and the rocks are so bountiful every year that you could build a serious size doghouse out of them, the only answer is truly - they grow rocks in Wyoming. I've found this to be very true.
Yesterday, Cinco de Mayo, delivered us the most beautiful day we've had yet. 70s with tons of sun and a wind that wasn't freezing, just nice. As such, I totally changed my plans for the day and (covered in sunscreen), took my butt outside to work first in the berry garden (did I mention that there's a whole separate totally fenced in berry garden?) and then in the vegetable garden.
You know what I found? Rocks. Lots and lots of Rocks. If the weather holds up today (and it looks like it might), I'm going to make a pile of the rocks that I pull out of one bed, take a picture and show you. You will not believe it.
After I remove the weeds and rocks I loosen the soil with this huge tiller thing. And no joke... it will hit some HUGE rocks about 6 inches into the soil, and then I'll have to go dig those out too before I can keep tilling.
As far as the berry garden goes, my big job is lowering the soil Ph to a more acidic, berry loving level. The soil here is very alkaline. An 8.0 or higher. Strawberries need a Ph of 6.0-6.5 to really produce at their best and sweetest, and blueberries need a Ph of 5.0!!!!!! The raspberries and huckleberries need their Ph to be somewhere in between. So - long term solution is to dig in Pelleted Sulfate, but that won't really do it's job until next year. (Check. Done yesterday.) Short term solution? 2 Tablespoons of Vinegar per Gallon of water. (Check. Also started yesterday.) And you have to do it daily until you get the pH where you want it, and then, regularly monitor it after that or the well water will drive the pH right back up.
But the strawberries are starting to come up. Their little leaves are pushing up through the soil and I'm having visions of strawberry feasts come June. Can't wait.
Now if I can only succeed at getting the other berries to produce for the first time. I think handling the soil acidity should do it.
And to top off our beautiful day? Cinco de Mayo fiesta. We had Mexican feasts for lunch and dinner, along with Appetizers and Margaritas in the lodge. Alice has "duded" (as in Dude Ranch, not "DUUUUUDE") me all up with hat and pink cowboy shirt, now I just have to pick out a pair of boots out of the gazillion pairs they have floating around the ranch. Jason has a hat. They said they have a shirt for him, too. Now they're going to order a pair of boots for him. They like their staff to have a "dude ranch" feel when there are guests here for events. :)
Still loving life on the ranch!
And Jason wants full credit for the photos of Indy. He was testing out a new camera for Mitch and I told him I wanted the photos for the blog. :)