We are plant people, and plants are probably more important to us than the house we live in.  When we were pressured by temple authorities to move out of our last house into this one 13 years ago, we wrote into our contract that we had two years to remove plant material from the old property (the house  Sankirtan lives in now).

So I am not sure if this Dwarf Alberta Spruce has been in its current location for 12 or 13 years. What I am sure of is that this is the first time we have had such unrelenting soil moisture saturation that it is showing symptoms of drowning.

drowning Dwarf Alberta Spruce

This quince was planted here after we moved in but it is at least 10 years old. This is also the first time it is showing excess moisture symptoms, the browning leaves.

drowning quince

It doesn’t seem to be affecting the fruit yet, which can be seen in the picture, but if we don’t get a chance for the soil to dry out soon who knows?

I am also losing newly planted berries to drowning, here is one of several raspberries that have succumbed.

drowned raspberry

This is unfortunate because several of them bloomed this year. I removed the blossoms because I want the plants to concentrate on forming roots, but it was a sure sign that I would have had raspberries next year. It is hard to imagine the survivors are setting much roots in the waterlogged soils.

All this has been to demonstrate how unusually wet it has been here this spring.

The berries are even planted in raised beds. Because the ground is sloped where I planted them, I made terraces, but even on the upper sides the paths are lower than the bed except in the last bed which is the raspberry one. Plus the slope lessened there so the bed was only a few inches above the lower side path.

All this damage had happened before we had another rain which produced an inch and 80/hundredths of rain (4.57 cm).

rain gauge

One problem is that all the runoff water from the front of the house flows around the side and into the the upper side of where the berries are. This will be  a good thing if it gets dry because I could  make little mini dams to catch that water and help them through dry spells. It is a bad thing when we have what is probably the wettest spring I have ever seen here in 35 years.

Plants can take being soaked in the root zone for a while but  do need to dry out once in a while.  I know certain plants like cattails or rice can handle the constant moisture, but not most of those which are regularly grown for food crops in our area.

Yesterday, the day after the 1.80″ rain I went out and dug  deeper trenches in the berry paths to assist drainage. I should have dug them deeper but I live in this cage of fatigue where what I know and want to do and what I can do are separated, but I did get them down some. As I was digging I saw this:

algae in the paths

That’s right, that is algae growing in the paths, and this on a sloped area where it is draining constantly.  There is basically a wet weather spring constantly flowing from the moisture in the front yard working its way down hill through the soil and surfacing in the berries. I can see every uneven place in the horizontal paths because there are puddles.

After doing the trenching I finished caging the tomatoes in my garden.  They are in a higher, better drained location and flourishing. The earliest planted ones are setting tomatoes and I have at least one the size of a quarter. They have been loving the rain, if anything could use a little more sunshine.

I was tired but still went to istaghosti at the temple. Afterward I came home and was treated to one of the most exciting thunderstorms with lots of lightning and rolling thunder that many devotees had ever seen, as was commented at breakfast this morning in the temple. It was beautiful but in my rain gauge this morning is another 1.85″ of rain.

Rain in the  forecast for each of the next three days.

Gurgle gurgle.

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