Monday, April 02, 2012

Yard Kick-Off!

 The weather here the past three weekends has included the following.  Temps in the 70's, temps in the 30's, rain, snow, sun, crazy wind, rain, and rain.  And wind.  All that combined makes for some sporadic yard work.  But we're on a schedule.  We have to get going on getting a yard put in.  For one, we owe it to our neighbors, who have had to stare at this dirt-and-weed fest for the past four years.  Also, we have to work in the spring while the conditions are favorable for things like planting grass and trees.  And speaking of trees, we have two weekends until a big local tree auction where we are hoping to get a lot of, well, trees.  And we need to be ready for them.

First thing on the agenda was correctly preparing our storm-water-drainage ditch.  County code requires that we have a ditch at the front of our property, lined with stones, that leads into the community retention pond (which is in the front corner of our property).  At the time we purchased our house, there were no rocks in our "ditch", and the dirt barely sloped down, so we had a lot of work to do.







Our first weekend was spent digging.  And digging.  It had poured rain the night before, so we were digging in heavy mud.  Did you know that mud is really heavy?  And sticky.  In fact when we would tip our shovel to get the dirt mud off of it, it wouldn't budge.  So we'd have to slam the shovel against a rock.  It was slow. going.  And also back-breaking.  That was Saturday.  It snowed on Sunday, and we were thankful for the break.

















The next weekend we finished the digging and also started moving some of the rocks.  The rocks on average weighed probably 20-pounds each.  Some more, some less.  Each one was moved by hand.  In fact, I can probably say with confidence that I personally touched 99.9% of the rocks, either from moving them myself, or rearranging them once they were in the ditch.  I still have rock-shaped bruises up my arms, legs, and feet to prove it.

But look!  See how pretty it is now!  It's one of those jobs where the hard work paid off and had something to show for it.  And even better, the day after we finally finished, we got a heavy rain which proved our ditch works, as the water ran through it and into the pond.  Yay!








We still have some excavation work to do in the pond, which is why there are still some piles of rocks (on the right) and dirt (at the top).










Another project the last few weekends has been to try and get the weed situation under control.  We started by burning the piles of dry brush we had all over the yard.  That was pretty fun, and for a bit felt like we were actually ranchers.




 Please note Noah's choice of hand-protection.  On the left he has a green gardening glove.  And on the right, a baby-blue snow mitten.




We were also going to torch the weeds around the rest of the yard, which were mostly dried from last year.  But then the flood rains came, and suddenly everything greened right up.

Green Weeds + Fire Torch = Still Green Weeds.

We are going to have to resort to an application of Round Up (gasp!) on all the weeds before they really get out of hand.  I am reluctant to do that, as I want to keep things as organic as possible, but with an acre of thick weeds, it's pretty much the only feasible option.

Our last project that we started yesterday, is digging the hole for our trampoline to go in-ground.  It took  us all afternoon yesterday to get things measured and staked off so we knew exactly where we wanted to dig.  But the timing couldn't come soon enough, as this is what happened to our trampoline on Saturday after some crazy winds.





The trampoline used to be right-side up (go figure!) and in front of the little step-ladder, about 40-feet to the right of where it is now.  So this whole trampoline-in-the-ground thing is turning out to be not only for looks.






And finally, moments after we staked off the will-be play area, we found an awesome play set on craigslist.  So tonight we will be picking up our new (used) Rainbow play set.  And of course we will need to put it back together, and stain it.......the projects never cease!












2 comments:

Kim said...

Looking great!!!!! Can't wait to see what more you guys have planned! K....you have to tell me more about this tree auction thing! Will you email me with info?

Snoring treatment said...

we have to work in the spring while the conditions are favorable for things like planting grass and trees. And speaking of trees, we have two weekends until a big local tree auction where we are hoping to get a lot of, well, trees. And we need to be ready for them.

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