Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dishing the dirt

When we first got our patio installed, the surrounding ground looked like this (right). That ragged slope is formed from several blocks of sod that we dug out of the area where the patio now is, which we stacked up around the edge to build up the ground to the required height. They're stacked about three high closest to the near corner of the patio, then the stack drops off gradually in all directions. This helped make the overall slope of the yard near the patio a bit less precipitous, but it was still rather uneven and tricky to walk on.

As of last weekend, however, it looks like this (left). Basically, we just scooped up dirt from the big pile we had left over from the excavation stage, dumped it over the terraformed areas, spread it out, and stomped on it until we had a relatively smooth slope. With the new dirt layered over the old turf blocks, the slope is now less steep and more even than it was before—but unfortunately, the bare dirt doesn't make a terribly stable surface. Eventually, we'll seed it over with grass (ideally a variety that can compete well with our stubborn lawn weeds), but according to the lady in the garden department at Home Depot, we'll need to wait until fall, because grass doesn't germinate well in hot weather.

So while we wait for planting time, we'll probably have to go through several rounds of building up and tamping down the slope to get it nice and firm. Fortunately, we've still got plenty of dirt left to work with. Unfortunately, there's no way this slope is going to use up all of it, even after multiple rounds of adding a little more each time. I guess we'll end up pushing the rest of it up onto the hill behind it, to hide itself among the weeds and forsythias. By the time we get around to replacing those weeds and forsythias with something else (which will probably be our next big landscaping project), the extra dirt should be fully integrated into the hillside.

Too bad we can't make the remaining concrete chunks disappear into the landscape just as easily.
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