Finally a new post! The past two weeks have been insane for me. It’s all been a blur. One week leading up to my trip to Arizona, and then a week there. I’m drained, to say the least, and have never been so happy to do yard work. I love road trips, but two days where we spend 16 hours each in the car can get rough. I’m all off on my eating schedule, and my sleeping schedule.
So for the next several weeks, I’m going to share my progress with the back yard (and a little with the front). It’s pretty exciting, really. We are doing a complete overhaul. Last night, Zach dug up one of the sprinkler lines (which was not something he planned on doing) because it ran through where we want to put the raised beds. But while he dug it up, we discovered they didn’t bury it deep enough (it was buried around 2″ deep, when it needs to be 6″). In fact, there was sprinkler line running in a lot of random places in the yard, with seemingly no reason. There aren’t a lot of heads, but damn, they zig-zagged the hose everywhere in the yard. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall when they had that conversation on the best way to install a sprinkler system.
So, basically, after the yard is tilled, we will lay down a new system. One that is up to code, works, and will actually carry water to the grass…
One of my “demands” after we bought the house, was I wanted every area in the yard to be groomed and safe. I know this might seem like a weird demand, but I grew up in a “wilder” setting, as in the outdoor space blended into the woods. There were always spots in the yard that were scary, and probably contained a trillion black widow spiders. Even parts of the yard we don’t see/use often, I wanted to look nice, and I wanted to be able to access them without issues (like spiders, of course, but also overgrowth and weeds). When we bought the house, the outdoor space hadn’t been taken care of in years. It’s totally wild. That’s why we’re doing work now, so it’s all done before summer comes and we have no chance of winning the fight against overgrowth.
The first thing we had to do was move the pea gravel out of what used to be a dog run area. We are putting a raised bed there, and the area needed to be cleared and leveled.
We also have an insane weed problem there. They survive so well in that gravel. I pulled weeds there every week last year and they just got worse. Nothing worked. I used both natural and chemical weed killer, to no avail. When the gravel was moved though, they all died.
Since there was a billion pounds of gravel, we decided to reuse most of it for one side of the house. On the east side, we have our A/C unit, and that area was used as a dog kennel and they let it get out of control (there used to be a crazy bush back there, but it was removed last year.
The ground also did not fall away from the house, which might cause water damage down the line. Zach dug at the ground to even it out and make sure it set against the house correctly.
Then came the cardboard.
Why cardboard? There were so many weeds on the ground. Too many to pull, and too many for me to be comfortable slamming it with chemicals. The cardboard is to kill the weeds, and act as a buffer for the weed block so it didn’t get punctured.
It was a ton of gravel. We spent a lot of the time cleaning it up, taking out weeds and worms, but it paid off! Now it’s cleaned up, and when we eventually go back there to clean the A/C we won’t have to bring a machete to bush wack.
It’s such a tiny space, but at least that part is done. We reused the dog run gate and have this area gated off, mainly because I worry about the dogs so close to the A/C unit. And they can’t be trusted. We will most likely do the same thing to the west side of the house.
Speaking of which! Next week, I’ll blog about finishing the west side of the house, repurposing bigger rock from other parts of the yard (this house doesn’t lack in the rock department), and I’ll also talk about actually building the raised bed. It’ll be a picture heavy blog for awhile.
This week, I’ll continue to show our progress with prep work.
Until next time.