Vacuuming The Garden

Have you ever vacuumed your garden?

Neither have we…until today.

It would have sounded like a crazy idea until we hired a stump-removal service to grind up some stumps near our house, including the remains of a very large Crape Myrtle.  It’s been an eyesore for years and we were ready to get rid of it.

When the guys arrived, we asked them some questions about their stump-removal process and then we pointed out the stumps we wanted removed.  While discussing the Crape Myrtle, the supervisor recommended that we cover our bay window with a sheet of plywood so it didn’t get damaged by flying debris.  When I asked him if any of the dirt or wood chips would get on the rafts in the growbed, he assured me that they would be flying away from the growbed so there was no need to cover the rafts.

Wrong!  Wrong!  Wrong!  Why did I listen to him?

This is what one of the rafts looked like last week…

And this is what it looked like after the stump was gone…

After all of the hard work that has gone into this system to make everything perfect for the fish and plants, I was a little perturbed.  Not at the workers…at myself.  I should have watched as they worked near the growbed or covered the rafts with a bed sheet or piece of plastic before they started grinding.

Actually, I don’t really mind that the top of the raft had dirt on it.  That can be cleaned.  I am more concerned about all the dirt and other unknown objects that are now in the water.

After giving it some thought, I got a brilliant idea…vacuum the top of the raft.

It actually worked…a little.  We got a little too close to a couple of seedlings and vacuumed off a few leaves; otherwise, the rafts are a little cleaner than they were.

Now we’ve decided to transfer the net pots to another raft so we can remove this one and wash it.  If there is dirt at the bottom of the growbed, we’ll try to remove that as well.

On the bright side, there were no known chemicals in the soil and we now have the opportunity to see what happens when dirt gets into the system.  I suppose you can’t keep dirt out of an outdoor aquaponic system even under the best of circumstances, so this may not be an issue at all.  We’ll see.

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27 Responses to Vacuuming The Garden

  1. Jenn says:

    It’s a learning experience! But man, I do hate it when someone creates more work for me. I hope it all turns out well.

  2. Just the title of this was so hilarious that I had to share this forward with some of my facebook buddies. Looks like the garden and fishy friends are doing well!

  3. AmySue says:

    So sorry you have to do all that extra work. Its great that you kept a positive attitude and forged ahead to solve the problem!!

  4. Nicole Brait says:

    Ditto what AmySue said.
    I’ve never used a vacuum in the garden myself but i do know pwoplw who use them to suck pests off plants.

  5. I have yet to vacuum my garden, but I must confess I have been caught vacuuming potting soil, dog hair and fallen leaves off of my deck…

  6. narf77 says:

    Lol, we used the “suck” selection on our garden blower vac right up until it sucked one too many wet leaves and decided to clog up with wet clay and lay in wait till we next used it and fire out bullets of hard clay in all directions. Not quite an aquaponics bed full of dirt, but a deadly missile that could break windows and render bruises at 10 metres…sigh…back to the drawing board! I always watch anyone working in any capacity on our property after learning the hard way about mess, debris and shoddy workmanship. I could care less if they think I am nosy or interfering. If they are doing a good job I am not going to comment. Perhaps you could use one of those cheap little portable vacuum cleaners if anything lands on the raft in the future?

  7. I’m really proud of you. Isn’t this what life is all about – little surprises. Learning to listen to ourselves. It was obvious by your writing you were not happy at the beginning. But by the end your mind opened up. Good on you, friend.

  8. I nominated/awarded you with The Versatile Blogger Award 🙂
    Thank you for your lovely blog!
    ~Jaime

  9. Best of luck restoring normalcy. It’s all about live and lean, isn’t it?

  10. I love watching your progress! I nominated you for a Sunshine Award. Check it out here if you are interested in participating. 🙂 http://easygoingorganizer.com/2012/04/17/30-minutes-or-less-rags-and-awards/

  11. Impower You says:

    Without pictures I would think this was a Dr. Seuss/ Shel Silverstein post. Sorry for your extra work, but thanks for the reminder to be aware.

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