Rain is Hindering and Helping

It’s been raining pretty heavily in West Virginia over the last few weeks, and I haven’t been able to get out to the mountain lately. Mainly, I don’t want to damage the dirt road while the ground is soft, but hanging out in the rain isn’t much fun either. So I have been spending time out in the DC area instead (I am not full timing out in WV).

While I didn’t expect all this rain, I am happy to say that I am taking advantage of it. Just before the rain came, I got some seed down and some plants in the earth.

The pasture land is in pretty solid condition, but its grass is designed for haying. There has been a farmer working that land and harvesting hay off it for the last few years. I am going to let him keep haying it at no cost to him. Mainly, I don’t want to have the land grow back into forest, and thats good for me, and free hay is good for him. That said, there are a few spots that were quasi leveled out, and are pretty bare. To avoid erosion, and to keep it looking nice, I went ahead and planted some grass there.

I went with a specific “no-mow” type of grass seed. This is a total experiment, but the idea is to have a few areas where tall grass isn’t around all the time. That way, its a bit easier to spend camping in tents or just laying out. The grass should only grow to about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), making maintenance much easier. Its also pretty draught tolerant. I just grabbed a bunch of the seed and broadcast seeded by hand by tossing it in the wind. The wind took it and spread it out pretty evenly.

That said, there are some pretty steep border areas around the leveled out areas. these likely will not grow grass well, so I put in some annual and perennial flower seeds. If these take, maybe I can get some bees up there.

In a very small area of the leveled out land, I also dug a few trenches and put in some onions, basil, thyme, lettuce, and two ever bearing strawberry plants. The onions looked to be in really rough shape when I bought them, so I soaked those in water for 24 hours before planting.

Putting in the onions

Working the soil was really tough, and if this experiment works, I may rent a tiller next season and get a larger plot going.

Finally, I covered the grass and flower seeds and other plants with a bit of straw. This will help protect the seeds from drying out until they can finally take. However, with this insane rain we have been having, it probably wasn’t necessary (but, I didn’t know that when I planted).

Straw for protecting the plants and seed. Picked up two of these, but thats all they had at the store. Wish I had a third.

Hopefully this large patch of earth (and another one like it) will be covered up by grass soon. If this doesn’t work, I may lay some the stone I have been collecting down into a patio of sorts.

Hard to see, but you can see some of the straw is laid down on the seed (which you can’t see).

Now we wait and see what works and what doesn’t.

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