Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Rock 'n Roll
In the last post, I had just move 20 tons of dirt. In this post, I moved another 8 tons of river rock around to the hardscape portion of our landscape project. In the areas where you can still see dirt and landscape fabric, we'll cut away the fabric, plant with bulbs, annuals and other things that will probably change on a yearly basis and mulch with woodchips. It will hopefully be more manageable to keep weeded than the entire area.
Moving rocks sucks let me tell you. Because we didn't want to dump a load of rock on our nice dirt areas that we would have to pick out later, I had the guy back up his truck to the area inbetween the two beds, (and also to the area behind me when I was taking this picture) and dump the pile on the sidewalk. I could effectively rake the gravel about five feet out past the edge of the pile but after that, I had to go to shovel and wheelbarrow to get it distributed. It certainly wasn't as easy to scoop and move as loose sifted dirt was and my body was punished. I would scoop half a wheelbarrow full, rest a minute, scoop the other half, dump it, rest a minute, rake it, rest a minute and then go back for more. I ended up spending two half days working at it. I should note that when I took the above picture, all the rocks were covered in rock dust making them a uniform gray color. It has since rained and washed off the dust so that they appear multicolored like river rock does.
My new grass is starting to poke up in the first areas I planted. A lot has changed in the grass seed department of home improvement stores since the last time I was in that area. You could but grass seed in-bedded in mulch, grass seed mixed with mulch, grass seed with mulch and water absorption 'stuff' and grass seed labeled for planting in the spring, summer or fall. I've always just bought a bag of grass seed and sowed it into the ground without any troubles. So I declined to buy any seed with all that other crap and save my money for other things. At the time, the ten day forecast was mild and dry so I didn't have to worry about it washing away either. I sprinkled the fall mix grass seed that I bought, lightly raked it in, watered it once a day and about ten days later it looks like this. The rest of the grass seed I planted about five days later so it still has yet to germinate. I fertilized it all a bit even though it was planted on rich river bottom soil and I'll keep watering it from here until freeze time so that it can get some established roots. Hopefully by spring, it will be looking pretty good.
The nice thing about having two acres of land and being on the edge of city limits to the point that most people assume I don't live in city limits, is that I can get rid of burnable project debris pretty easily. In the bottom of my ravine, I toss all my sticks and yard debris that accumulates during the year. During the wetter spring and early summer months, it slows down the water so it doesn't wash the bottom of the ravine out so badly. In the fall, I burn it and this fall, I took the opportunity to sneak some scrap boards and wood products from my garage reorganization project on top. It doesn't end up in the landfill this way and the ashes fertilize my lawn. It also got the fire hot enough to burn up the old landscape shrubs that we ripped out and were still a bit green. Since everything is still green here, I was able to burn it a lot later than I normally would. I try to get it burned while things are still green so I don't have to worry about setting my lawn or nearby woods on fire. So after moving 28 tons of soil and rocks, it was nice to spend a few hours sitting on an oak stump watching my fire burn. I need to start building some proper fires in my fire pit now that it is starting to get cooler out. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting and watching a fire do its thing to wood.