Apr 29, 2011

The Dirt Pile, The Mud Pit, and The Tornado Warning

(Forgive the blurry iphone pictures, these were snapped in-action during the ordeal)
This is what 5 cubic yards of dirt looks like.  It's actually fancy "screened topsoil and mushroom compost mix" for vegetable gardening.  I ordered it from our local garden center on Monday and it was delivered dumped next to our garage yesterday.  The pile is about 9'x6' and 4' high.  It's a lot of dirt.   The plan is to finish leveling the mud pit raised bed area this weekend, install the raised bed frames and fill them up with all this dirt.  Hopefully.

This is what our mud pit raised bed area looks like now.  It's about as level as we can get it without building a retaining wall on the far side.  From here we are fully leveling out 8'x4' sections where the beds are going to go (so they are perfectly level for proper drainage) and we'll leave the rest (where the pathways are) slightly sloped.

(Another in-action iphone shot. The weird coloring is real from the impending storm)

When we had the dirt delivered, the forecast was for nasty thunderstorms.  I had called the garden center that morning and they assured us that no dirt was going to be delivered that day and we rescheduled for Friday.  Luckily Mike was able to get home because an hour later the dirt was delivered anyway!  And at the same time the severe thunderstorm warnings were upped to tornado warnings in our area.  While NJ tornado warnings are very different from ones in the Midwest and in the South, it still meant very high winds and torrential rain.  So poor Mike had to scramble to get our dirt pile covered up and secured.  We had a borrowed tarp that was too small - it was like covering a dinner plate with a cocktail napkin.  Luckily Mike is quite resourceful and gathered plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and an old shower curtain from the basement and used those to cover the rest, securing everything against the high winds with heavy metal fence posts and bricks.  They were bad storms too - local weathermen detected "cyclonic activity" in our town that was between an F0 and an F1!  It was scary for us because we almost never get anything like that, though I know it's nothing compared to all of the F5s and other horrible storms that have devastated other parts of the country this week.

Luckily everything in our part of town was fine.  Our house didn't end up in Oz and 99% of the dirt pile remained intact.


  1. I saw the tornado warnings on TV! It was really crazy.


  2. We had the warnings here too, and it got kinda nasty. Can't wait to see your mudpit, i mean raised bed area, when it gets finished :) And I love the pic with Georgia exploring the dirt pile haha ;)