The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tree frog in the tomatoes

Tree frog eye

When I went out to tie up the tomatoes Thursday morning, I discovered this adorable gray tree frog hiding in the crevice of one of the U-posts.

Hiding frog

I was getting ready to slide rebar down each groove to extend the height of my tomato support posts, so it's lucky I was working from the back side and noticed this little guy before he could be squashed.

Gray tree frog

With a little nudging, I was able to convince him to let go of the post with his suction toe tips and to move onto my finger so I could ferry him to another tomato plant.

I suspect the frog has been enjoying hunting bugs attracted to the eight-inch-deep water currently standing in the aisles between my chinampa beds.  I even saw water striders skating across the surface as I waded through to prune and train the astonishing amount of growth our tomatoes put out over the last week.  Water definitely attracts even more life to the garden!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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When I built my raised beds I dug out 6 inches of soil giving about 10-12 in raisef beds. Works great for normal rainfall but with 2-4 inch rain water stays for several days. Soil is mostly clay do I need to dig a trench to allow faster drainage? Live in Zone 8-9 with 40 plus inches of rainfall.

I am currently adding a few new beds in different location with sandy soil. Adding 4 inch compost, 2 inch grass clippings and 2 inch manure dug in 12 inches to where the clay starts. While this mellows will dig out about 12 inch of clay for hougal beds. a double-dug, hougal, square foot garden; did the math and should be able yo feed family of 4 with 128 sf of growing space. Gotta love math; almost as accurate as Monsanto science!

Comment by Tom Mon Jun 16 06:03:34 2014

Tom --- Sounds like you have soil prone to waterlogging like ours. In that case, it's great you're going up to keep your plant roots from drowning!

We tend to have water sit around in our trenches for days or weeks too, and the only possible problem I can see with that is if it doesn't drain fast enough to kill the mosquito larvae. (Although the water striders have moved in already, so they might be taking care of that.) Of course, it can be a little bit problematic to weed and harvest with water up to your ankle, but I just wear tevas. :-)

If you have it available, lots of wood chips in the aisles can serve as a reservoir for excess water. But if you don't have wood chips, standing water will also slowly work its way into the soil as needed.

Comment by anna Mon Jun 16 14:14:54 2014

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