Friday, September 17, 2010

Yard Re-Grading Project Completed

A little while back I blogged about starting our re-grading project. I am happy to report after many, many!, hours of work it's completed.

The whole reason for the project revolved around drainage. When we started, the slope of the yard went towards the building. Now the slope falls away from the building, or in some cases is flat, which is still better.

Here's what we ended up doing:

  • We didn't water our lawn and let it die. Then we cut it super short so we didn't have grass everywhere.

  • We borrowed a friend's rototiller and did a quick first pass over the yard. Then we did a deeper pass along the edges. This took a while.
Rototilling the edges
  • Then we rented a tractor. Before we could do that, we had to ask permission from our neighbors to drive the tractor on their land to get to our backyard. It's a farm where the owners rarely ever seem to be around. We wrote a letter explaining who we are and what we wanted to do. A few days later I got a call from a nice gentleman who gave us permission to drive the tractor on the corner of their land.

    Running the tractor
  • The tractor had a huge rototiller on the back and a bucket on the front. First we rototilled the entire yard. Then I used the front bucket to move the dirt around to change to slope to falling away from the building. This, not surprisingly, is harder than it looks. I have a new found respect for how easy my dad makes it look. Here's a video of Jessi running the tractor:

  • Then we used an AC rake (image) my dad let us borrow to smooth out the ground and add the finishing touches.

  • We then bought grass seed, a seed spreader, and a banana sprinkler (image). We spread the seed everywhere.

  • We also bought straw from a neighboring farm down the road and spread it all over the yard. We read online that using straw can be helpful:
    • It protects the seeds from birds
    • It stops the seeds from blowing away
    • It traps moisture in
    • It provides nutrients when it starts to decompose
The straw to cover the seed
  • Now we are in the watering stages. Since we're just starting to head into fall & winter, the seed should get enough water. For those dryer days I'll be moving the sprinkler around to make sure the ground stays moist.

      Watering the ground
      That was our project. It was a lot of work, but hopefully it will result in less water getting under the building. We also bought new downspouts which kicks the water a couple feet away from the building instead of a couple inches. We'll find out this winter if it all worked. Here's another video of us admiring the yard:

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