The best gift I ever got Susan was an electric tiller that she wanted one Christmas several years ago. She’s not used it once, but I’ve used it on several occasions to reinvigorate various stale patches of earth in the back and side yards.
Today was the latest example, with about 20 square feet of dense and dried-out clay in the backyard along the north fence. First I tilled that stuff into submissive nuggets, soaked it, then constructed something of a waterstop on the low end of the slope to prevent any wet stuff from flowing away and feeding the bougainvillea and palm tree.
This morning I tilled the area again which broke up the nuggets ‘n bits and made the patch almost presentably plantable, and then hit the local nursery and got a few bags of nourishing compost, which I poured out and mixed in with the standing soil, again with the tiller.
Lastly, I dropped 13 descendant seeds saved from last year’s sole harvested pumpkin (four of which were already sprouted and the rest in straight seed form, so that at present the patch looks a little something like this (click it for the bigger picture):
Technically I should of had this done about a month earlier, so it’s hard to say if we’ll have anything at all much less anything more than coffee mug-sized pumpkins by Halloween, but who knows. With a little luck maybe this patch will pumpkinize nicely.