Am I going to need a boat?

So... strange question to put out there. I’m planting fruit trees after my last spending spree, and I dug 3 holes only about a foot deep and 3 feet in diameter. It’s backbreaking work picking through clay, so I took a break. When I came back, all the holes had quite a bit of water in them, as if someone had watered them.

There was no rain yesterday, but there certainly has been a lot of rain lately. Does this mean that I dug a mini-well and the water table is only six inches or so from the surface? 🤔


  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    A good friend of mine had the exact same thing happen to her. She has clay soil. She dug some spots for trees and the holes all filed in with water. She has an artisinal well that's only about a foot deep that she told me has never run dry.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @Megan Venturella Your drainage is poor. If you plant there your roots may not be able to get air and will die. I had this happen with a peach tree and I lost it.

    See how long it takes for the hole to drain That will let you know if you have a real issue

    If it drain slow you can try other places, add drainage to the hole and area around it or make a swale type planting area. Your land is quite flat or level isn't it?

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    Oh, dear, that sounds like a problem. Take good care of your little trees (shade, water etc) while you sort this out.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭

    This site explains how to do a perc test. You may want to consider this. It's helpful for plantings, gray water systems, and rainwater. @Denise Grant

    When we dug post holes for the goat yard the holes would fill in with water. It's amazing how much water the soil can hold.

    Digging is difficult in heavy clay soil. I concur.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @Hassena We had to do perc tests for a sewer system. Its also good to know how your water drains across you property. I have a mix of areas that drain and areas that old water. I put a small pond in the area that holds water, lol

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks! I planted one tree and of course it’s been raining nonstop since then. I may have to build it up or get creative somehow. I’ll check in the morning and see what the damage it. It’s so funny- I’ve worried for years m California about the lack of rainfall and now I practically live underwater! Here’s a shot or from the “lower” part of the property. The creek must have flooded. There’s sand on my clay!

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Sound like you have a high water table. In the winter, our soil has a lot of clay and when I try to plant something, yes the water fills up the hole.