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Old 10-22-2010, 07:34 PM
 
502 posts, read 880,650 times
Reputation: 616

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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, 09:18 PM
Status: "My doggies wear diapers!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Prescott AZ
5,110 posts, read 7,407,432 times
Reputation: 9190
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, 06:46 PM
 
1 posts, read 575 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, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
5,683 posts, read 9,343,401 times
Reputation: 8514
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, 07:47 PM
 
126 posts, read 81,318 times
Reputation: 253
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, 01:34 PM
 
1,268 posts, read 2,278,212 times
Reputation: 1353
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, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,601 posts, read 1,042,329 times
Reputation: 1627
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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Old 07-15-2017, 01:29 PM
 
9 posts, read 1,400 times
Reputation: 15
I tried driving a ground rod into the soil but it stopped solid at about 4' down. I'm currently running water into the hole I dug to remove the rod so I could go deeper to hopefully get a good ground for my ham radio gear. I have a seymour type post hole digger and I want to go at least 7.5 feet down. Given that the soil is so dry it looks like I may need to put several ground rods in spaced about 6' apart to make sure I have a good enough ground. I used a pick/mattock to start the hole then a narrow straight blade shovel to get about a foot down. I'm at about the 4' level and it's gotten very hard so I'm setting inside while the water hopefully soaks into the whatever is down there, caleche? I don't know. It's whitish and there's lots of rocks and clay like material. Sheesh. I lived in Oxnard where actual soil goes down hundreds of feet and I could have driven my ground rod in with just a carpenter's hammer. But their politics have driven me and my ground rods right out. Anyway, I'll have more information on my project later today or tomorrow. no working on it tomorrow (Sunday), day of rest and worship. Thank you all for the information about this phenomenon.

edit: A bit of information I forgot to add, I'm in Kingman, not far from the Walmart shopping center. If anyone else is from around here I'd like to share experiences digging.
Thanks again

Last edited by KK6LOP; 07-15-2017 at 01:35 PM.. Reason: to add location
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