Gloop

In permaculture there is a saying that ‘every problem is a solution’. This doesn’t mean that problems solve themselves, just that it may be possible to get a positive out of a negative. And so it is in our garden.

A coating of gloop

A coating of gloop

Many months ago I wrote about the fact that our garden has no topsoil – it was removed (and no doubt sold on) when the house was built more than 20 years ago. This resulted in us having to build raised beds in which to grow our crops and even a raised area for the chickens to live on, but there are still parts of the garden that are at the lower level. Unfortunately, there is a field behind us that still has its topsoil, so when it rains heavily, guess where the water ends up? It has never got high enough to flood the house, but the garden does flood and we often have standing water on the patio. And once the water subsides, we are left with gloop.

Some work with my squeegee revealed the flagstones

Some work with my squeegee revealed the flagstones

After the weeks of rain we have experienced recently, there is abundant gloop, making any transit of the patio a risky affair. Footwear with a rugged tread is essential if one is to avoid slipping. Careful thought resulted in the conclusion, however, that what we have is a resource – it’s just in the wrong place. The gloop is, in fact, topsoil from the field behind, and topsoil is never to be sniffed at. So, this morning I went out with a squeegee and an old dustpan and scraped up quite a large quantity of the mud from the paving stones, making it much safer and more likely to dry out when we finally get a period without rain. And I transferred it onto one of the raised beds, where it will provide a substrate for vegetables… what a result!

Relocated gloop: much more useful on the raised beds

Relocated gloop: much more useful on the raised beds

-oOo-

p.s. if you want a prettier picture, there’s a new square on my Masterpiece page!

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16 Comments

  1. We have gloop as well. 🙂 In fact gloop was the reason I took a dive in the vegetable patch before Christmas. (I was wearing the wrong shoes). I scrape into the beds as well… Always trying to improve the soil.

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  2. Gives a whole new meaning to “I’ve just ‘soil’ed myself”
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  3. Just as long as the farmer doesn’t ask for his topsoil back – I guess if he does you could charge him rent.

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  4. Yay! Free soil! We live in NM and the previous owners Xeriscaped our yard, so it’s nothing but rocks. If we stay, gardening is going to be a pain.

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    • Well, that’s a new one on me… I’ve never heard of xeriscaping before. I guess your only option in the short term is containers… at least they are portable.

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      • I’d never heard of it before I moved here either (and Heaven forbid you mispronounce it zero-scaping!). It’s a pain in the butt too. I thought to have all those rocks hauled away but it would cost me thousands of dollars. Blah.

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  5. I’ve got some bamboo yarn which is almost exactly gloop coloured. Do we also want a gloop square, do you think, to reinforce the permaculture principle…?

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  6. One womans gloop is anothers good soil! 🙂

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  7. Obliges you to give the flagstones a jolly good clean, too !

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