This isn't soil - it's concrete
I started (finally) digging the garden and nursery beds for next year. The picture shows what kind of "soil" I have in this area - a mix of gravel and clay commonly referred to as concrete in most building projects. This clay layer is sitting on top of a layer of hard packed gravel so I think I've disovered a building site or area where gravel was put while waiting to fill the septic system or ??? and then filled over with clay.
My back was fine after this exercise but my shovel developed a crack from prying the soil apart. I kid you not - it wasn't digging, it was prying to get these chunks apart. I whacked them into smaller bits and added 4 cu.ft of compressed peatmoss to this 8-foot section of garden. It looks like a ton of compost and compost tea is going to have to be used here to get this soil going properly.
This was to be the home of some new cuttings and woody plants I want to overwinter in a small nursery bed but I don't know. I think I 'll keep on digging and get a few more dug and see if I can find something resembling soil rather than building material.
And I'll leave this bed alone for the winter - to give winter frosts a chance to break up the clods and next spring I'll work in compost and a touch of sand to permanently loosen it up. I'll get this soil right yet given that it is the base for a really good garden.
And I'll smile about all this work in another 5 years when I look back on it.