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Sucker born every minute

An obsession with air drainage led me to inadvertently create soil drainage.

A hillside was covered with evergreen huckleberry, and the shrubs had been struggling beneath a bigleaf maple canopy for years. Fallen huckleberry leaves had piled up beneath dead undergrowth and grown moldy.

I wanted to take advantage of the hillside's excellent drainage and thought little about sun exposure. Reasoning that moldy mats were an unhealthy circumstance for any kind of fruit tree I might plant, I thinned the evergreen huckleberry by 25%. I think my worst rookie mistake was pulling out the roots.

First, I...


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