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Save your Soil

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Independence was pounded last night with a heavy rainstorm. This morning the ground was littered with dead tree branches and leaves that could not hold on.

I found something else that the storm had torn up. This year, I lost three trees to the pine beetle. I do not know which species was the culprit - mountain, southern, western - but like all the other pines in Independence, the trees are gone. The areas under them which have absorbed years of pine sap, cones and needles have not established a thick ground cover. The rain eroded soil from these areas.

There was a significant amount of black dirt deposited on the driveway. Using a flat spade, the mud was easily scraped up and carried back to the spots from whence it came, being careful to not destroy the young grass that was still hanging on. There were also sand deposits. Rather than mix all materials into a blended soup, water flows actually segregate deposits - black topsoil, clays, sands, rocks.

Do not just wash down your driveway when there is a mud flow. Perhaps the dirt comes from upstream, or is in the street. Spring to action while the dirt is wet and pliable. This is top soil that is precious.

We have the Soil Conservation Service – a branch of the USDA established just to do what you can accomplish in 5 minutes.

"Since the achievement of our independence, he is the greatest patriot who stops the most gullies." - Patrick Henry 1777

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