By Gene Sumi  Homestead Education Coordinator    

We all rejoice as gardeners when the rains finally come and break the heat and the drought.  But do not get too anxious to get out in the garden during this time, especially when the ground it soaked.

Rain is Great, Walking on Wet Soil Is Not

Working in the garden when the soil is wet has its problems.  Wet soil becomes badly compacted when we walk on it and we will pay the price later with struggling plant roots.  This goes for walking on a wet lawn, too.

My suggestion for being able to work in your flower beds anytime you feel you have to is to place stepping stones in strategic places in the beds.  They are unobtrusive and if placed right, will usually look a part of the garden, as if they belonged there.  But their real function is to allow you to step on them to gain access to you beds and not step directly on the soil.  The stones will distribute your weight over a larger area than your foot, like using a snowshoe to walk in the snow.

Photo:  Homemade concrete stepping stone in Susan Harris's border.

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