Tag Archives: Digging

Backyard Entry and other Improvements

Yesterday I worked on the backyard entryway, laying down paving stones that we had picked up a while back but hadn’t used yet. I used fill dirt from the septic project to set them in place. It was a quick project. It’ll probably need some more dirt as things settle into place and it gets rained on.

We also recently took a load of trash off to the dump. Previous owners left us with a legacy of trash to get rid of, and now that we have help (thanks to my folks and their truck) it’s easier getting rid of that stuff. We’ll still have more trips to make, but it’s been a start.

In a few days we’re tackling a new exciting project. That’ll be fun. Stay tuned!

Septic Maintenance

This is a chore I’ve put off for quite a while but finally broke down today and started digging up the septic. Unbelievably it’s already been five years since we moved onto our property. The as-built drawings from the county show a rough circle with the word “Septic?” in the general area where the septic is located. Past inspections filed with the county revealed information about the tank and the type of system, but didn’t give clear details about the exact location.

Judging based on where the pipes leave the house, and where there was a depression that I thought was where it had to be, I started digging. Around 20″ down I hit the tank. From that point I widened the hole. It was tough digging. The dirt is full of rocks but I really couldn’t believe it when I found very large rocks placed right on top of the manhole cover.

Crazy rocks!
Crazy rocks!

Given that you’d have to dig up the tank to pump it or inspect it, making the job harder by dropping big rocks into the hole hardly made sense. The ground was rocky enough already with plenty of good sized rocks!

I removed the rocks and kept working, eventually uncovering the first cover. Then I consulted with my Dad about probably locations of the other covers. With his advice and help the work went faster and we uncovered the whole tank.

Tank revealed
Tank revealed

After a lot of work, the tank was uncovered! I’ve scheduled the pumping and so that’ll be another task done once they get out and pump it. The rocks are going to be used for decorative edging different places on the property — but won’t be going back in the hole! It’ll get filled with dirt that is easier to dig, without the rocks. I’ll probably just fill it and plant new grass on the top. I’ve measured the whole tank, the distance from the house and all of that, so next time it’ll be a lot easier to locate and deal with the whole thing.

Love that sunshine!

Saturday was nice and sunny, I really wanted to get some work done but I wasn’t sure how much I could do with Xander on the loose.  He loves being able to explore so I didn’t want to confine him to the playpen (plus I can only be right around the house if he’s in the playpen– not going to haul it up the hill). On our last walk up into the orchard he had really enjoyed digging in the dirt with his hands so I thought he might enjoy digging with a spoon.  I grabbed the big pruning shears (what I call the loppers), a spoon and small bowl for Xander to dig with, and a bottle of water and we headed up to the orchard. Settled Xander down and went to the nearest tree to start pruning. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to work before he got bored with digging but I figured any work was good.

Xander digging
Digging a hole.
Xander measuring
Measuring how much dirt he'd removed.

It was amazing, give the boy a spoon and some dirt and he was completely enthralled. I was able to work on the trees for an hour and a half! I had to move Xander 3 times so that he was close to the trees I was working on but he didn’t try to wander off, for the most part he was content to just dig where I sat him.

Happy digger.
Happy digger!

I’m probably not doing the best job pruning but I’m really just aiming to remove damaged branches or ones that cross over each other and rub. After cutting the branches I hauled them all towards the path so we can move them down to the brush pile with the wheel barrow (not something I could do with Xander). I tried to get Poppy and McCoy to pose near the pile of branches for scale but they weren’t really cooperating.

Branch pile
Happy dogs!

They were however very happy that we all spent time outside in the sunshine.

Digging It

Given the nice weather lately I’ve been out digging up the compacted ground where the pool used to be to prepare it for planting. There’s a lot of rocks. Tons of rocks. Most are smallish but I’m pulling out the bigger rocks and will use them as a border. Ultimately I’ll probably divide this circular bed into quarters for planting. I’m thinking of doing more circular beds. I think that’d be interesting. I could do more beds of different sizes from a small area that might be a couple zucchini. That’d be fun.

Dirt!

I worked from the outside around the bed inward. Alexander was out playing in the grass until he decided that the dirt looked like more fun.

Exploring

I finished two of the outside rings, leaving the center still to dig. The ground is packed down pretty hard from the pool. Beside the stones I’ve pulled out I also took out concrete paving stones that had been put around underneath the pool footings and had been buried over time. I’m going to reuse those for a walkway.

Digging

There’s more to do today!

Plant Garlic

Urgency: High
Cost: $39
Status: In Progress
Description: I ordered garlic from Big John’s Garden this year. I was a little late in ordering so many varieties had sold out but I still got the Inchelium Red Garlic I wanted and another variety (was going to be Spanish Roja Garlic, but that was gone by the time my order got filled). One hard neck and one soft neck variety.

Tools Needed

Shovel, rake

Parts Needed

None

Photos

Yesterday ended up being a nice day and since I still had time before it got late I went out and started digging. Dug out the sod, dug down another layer, put the sod back in and then buried it. There are a fair number of stones in the ground, some of which I put around the sides of the bed including one big monster I hauled out. I’ll rake it out some more and get the garlic planted soon. The completed bed is 7′ x 4.5′