First Garden too wet: how quick does your soil dry out?
This is my first real garden: did some balcony and hydroponics in apartment, but moved to a house with a nice backyard last summer. (Not a 'recession garden' nor intentionally trendy, just first opportunity.) I tilled/planted a small garden that August, but due to the lateness of planting and some pesty problems only got bush beans, green tomatoes, and radishes.
I'm planning on expanding to 20 x 30, using raised wide rows for the most part. I have a head start because I dumped 0.9 acres of autumn leaves on the area last fall, which quite effectively killed the sod. I'm planning to till, probably just this year, to break up the roots, loosen the clay, and incorporate compost. Hopefully after that I'll be able to do routine yearly maintenance by hand.
But my soil is clay, and sopping wet. Squishes when I walk on it wet. I don't even need to squeeze it to know that's no good for tilling (or planting for that matter.)
And that's before the 1-2 inches of rain that are supposed to come down today.
I have a windowful of seedlings and a box of seeds that I had hoped to plant out on April 18, but now I despair.
Is there any hope of it drying out in time to till next weekend? How long do your gardens take to dry/drain? Will a few sunny days do me, or am I looking at a couple of weeks at this point?
I realize this is highly variable based on soil type and climate, but any general guidance would be much appreciated.
Sorry for the long post! It's a bit of an introduction, as I just finished reading all 67 pages of archival forum, so(hopefully) I'm edu-micated enough to ask questions now! :)
Pictures to come.