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Old 10-22-2010, 06:34 PM
 
471 posts, read 761,182 times
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Having just recently created my own vegetable garden in my backyard, I feel like I am an expert on the topic of caliche! It's funny because most of the garden area (11 ft by 7) didn't have a lot of caliche, even going about 2 feet deep, until the section that I had mentally mapped for my carrots(growing by seed)! Urrgh! So I had to hack through the evil stuff, because I had already planted everything else in their designated spots. Note to self: always plant rooty stuff first!

Anyhow, I'm a scrawny female, but I just used a small spade with strong metal and hacked away at it. But yes, definitely water it first and let it soak because it makes a huge difference. I'm mentioning this because if you're trying to save money like I am, this might be a cheaper option. Although, make sure to wear gloves because I got so absorbed in hacking away that I ended up getting blisters on my fingers without realizing it until it was too late...ouch!

Another easier option is to have strategically-placed containers for your annuals, of course!
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Chandler AZ
4,153 posts, read 5,641,402 times
Reputation: 6681
Dig a small hole, as deep as you can. Fill the hole with water. Go into the house and stay there for 24 hours. Come back out, dig some more in the hole, fill the hole with water, go into the house and staythere for 24 hours. You get the idea...........
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:46 PM
 
1 posts, read 219 times
Reputation: 10
Will an electric jack hammer work on caleche? and can an old grandma use one?
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
4,244 posts, read 7,037,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktgracejohnson View Post
Will an electric jack hammer work on caleche? and can an old grandma use one?
hire it done.

An electric jackhammer may well weigh more than you do, and while it will go into the caliche just fine, getting it back out is the hard part.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:47 PM
 
95 posts, read 40,277 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xica_da_Silva View Post
So I had to hack through the evil stuff, because I had already planted everything else in their designated spots. Note to self: always plant rooty stuff first!

Anyhow, I'm a scrawny female, but I just used a small spade with strong metal and hacked away at it. But yes, definitely water it first and let it soak because it makes a huge difference. I'm mentioning this because if you're trying to save money like I am, this might be a cheaper option. Although, make sure to wear gloves because I got so absorbed in hacking away that I ended up getting blisters on my fingers without realizing it until it was too late...ouch!

Another easier option is to have strategically-placed containers for your annuals, of course!
Yes, reading this definitely brings two words to mind: "raised bed". I'll bet I could bang those out faster and cheaper than a jackhammer rental...
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:34 PM
 
1,202 posts, read 1,849,920 times
Reputation: 1262
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog View Post
You need a digging bar. It's a very heavy solid steel pole about 5' long, pointed at one end for piercing the dirt, and flattened a bit on the other end and possibly curved for prying rocks. They come in a couple of different formats. Home Depot carries them. They probably weigh a good 40 pounds. You pick it up and slam the pointed end repeatedly into the dirt, then pry against it to loosen it up. Dig out the loosened pieces with a shovel or your hands. It can be a long repetitive process, but it's good exercise! You can probably just use a pick as well, although they're difficult to maneuver once the hole starts getting deep.
That's what I use. They're also called breaker bars and you can get them fairly cheap at Harbor Freight (use one of their 20% coupons that are in the paper, online, and everywhere else).

To avoid wear and tear on your hands and forearms when you slam it down, don't "drive" it down while keeping a strong grip on it or the reverberating shock waves will mess you up. Let the weight of the bar do the work, like throwing a javelin downwards. Don't hold on to it and release it just before it hits or keep a light grip on it.

The trick with watering the hole works well, too. Posthole diggers don't seem to work out here as well as in clay soils.
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,188 posts, read 550,603 times
Reputation: 1156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderosa View Post
I bought an electric jack hammer with a shovel bit after seeing how easily it cut through when a nursery used one to plant some trees on my property. Got a made in China cheapo that has held up OK for home use. Should have done it years ago. A digging bar like kdog describes works pretty well too.
I've considered buying one of those cheapo China jackhammers, too. Amazon my best source?
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