Even more rain and another shrinkage lesson.

by runningwaterpottery3533

   Since we had the big rain, 2.5 inches a few weeks ago, we’ve had two more rain showers of .6″ and .5″ so things are really green at my garden, especially the weeds!

   I mentioned shrinkage while making the ollas a few weeks ago. In the photo below we see shrinkage in its natural place…a drying mud puddle. Notice how the edges of the soil surface bend upwards at the cracks, like a potato chip. This occurs because the top surface of the soil dries out sooner and faster than the soil that is 1/2″-1″ below the surface. The upper surface begins to shrink while drying and the lower area remains moist and does not shrink. So, the upper surface ends up having fewer square inches in its surface area while the lower part remains ‘full size’. To compensate for the differences in the surface areas of the top and bottom, the soil curls up. Imagine if you took a sponge and dampened one side of a piece of cardboard and let it dry. It will curl toward the side that was wetted and dried. Kitchen sponges tend to do the same thing; they curl toward the side that dried first and fast.