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Black Cat Farm
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Discussion Starter #1
I had this really nutty idea the other day. I'm one of the folks using the washing machine gray water to water my garden, which is located behind the house, right off the concrete patio. The area is flat and pretty level, approximately 48' by 45'. So the other day I was thinking, "Gee, it sure would be nice to keep all this extra water out of the septic field permanantly, especially with the lint and all... but how could I do that in the winter?" And then the thought came to me - what if I just kept doing what I'm doing? I'd create an ice rink back there! I've ALWAYS wanted a place to skate on my own property - can't get much closer than right out the basement door!

There's nothing perennial in there, and by the time freezing weather arrives, everything would have to be out of the ground anyway...

Does anyone know if this would hurt the garden? Soil organisms, tilth, etc.?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks for any input you might have on this. I know it's bizarre - I might've had a bit too much sun the day I dreamed this one up!
 

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Black Cat Farm
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks DoubleD - that was about the only thing I could think of. I wonder if I make sure the ground is frozen when I start, how much would frozen ground be able to compress? The ice won't have to be too thick, and will disperse my weight when I'm on it...

This garden is new this year - it was lawn before and the soil needs a LOT of work, so I'm thinking I might try the rink and see what happens, since I don't think the soil can get much worse than it is right now. If it really does cause problems, better to find out now than later when I've improved the soil. :shrug:

RockyGlen, I'm glad you think my idea isn't totally nuts! If I do this, I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
 

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Country Girl
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4,306 Posts
When I was little and we lived in Montana we flooded the garden every winter with the hose from the dairy barn. It made for GREAT ice skating and I don't remember anyone complaining about it compacting the soil during garden season.
 

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Just howling at the moon
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I don't know about gardens, but we would flood the hayfields every winter to freeze over with ice. May of them would end up 2 foot thick with ice. All that extra moisture would give them a head start in the spring. Plus nothing like having your own 40 acre ice skating rink.

I would think that flooding them before the first freeze would actually keep the soil from becoming compacted. The water that soaked in would freeze and expand thus expanding the soil and opening it up.
 

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Black Cat Farm
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1,357 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
wy_white_wolf said:
...we would flood the hayfields every winter to freeze over with ice.
Dad would never let us flood the yard when we were kids because he said it would kill the grass. I always wondered about that...

This is going to be fun!
 

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hmm, I think it just depends on how far down the frost level usually is for your area. In my zone (3) it isn't a problem *if* you do this well after hard freeze-as in, everything froze solid to start with.

But, on the other hand, if you drive or ride equipment over, say a lawn or hayfield, that only has snow cover and wasn't well frozen first-then you leave "tracks" in the grass. Frozen hard first is the key, I am sure.

Neat idea, but I wouldn't get it too thick and keep in mind that all the liquid that has to go someplace come spring.....it won't all seep into the ground, remember?
 
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