Tag Archives: landscaping

Equipment Envy!

17 Jun

Yesterday I showed you what the lawn looked like before and after the sod was laid.


They brought out a nice 40 HP tractor with a special piece of equipment attached.


This is a Woods TPR 6000 Landscaping Power Rake.


When the landscaper starting describing what he would do to prepare the soil I pictured in my mind something like a PTO driven garden tiller like I have seen on the dealer’s lots. But this is really just a steel pipe with 2 inch steel fingers sticking out. The PTO spins the pipe and the fingers loosen the soil and pull out the existing vegetation. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? That will never work!



The first pass looked like this.


But after 3 passes it looked like this, WOW! All the little washes and gullies were filled in and there was a nice 2 inch layer of loose soil prepared to lay the sod on.


They even used it to pulverize and level out the gravel driveway. Man, I need one of those badly! I will always have some rough, washed out places somewhere on the homestead, after all, there is very little of this property on the level, most of it is on a slope. I looked up that equipment on the internet and the average cost is $6500 dollars. YIKES! I guess I don’t need one that badly after all! The landscaper said I could rent one like that for $75 a day. At that rate I could rent it 2 days a year  for 43 years and it would still be cheaper for me to rent one, and the rental company would have to pay the repair and upkeep costs. So next Spring I think I will just rent one and smooth out the rough spots and sling out some grass seeds. That should help keep things in shape around here, more to come.


We Got Laid Yesterday!

16 Jun

That’s right, we finally got our sod laid yesterday! We have been waiting to have a dry weekend for 8 weeks so we could get our yard finished. I will admit it really looks good now, but I didn’t just do it for the looks, I needed to control the erosion occurring on the slopes running away from the house.


We needed an entire truckload of sod, I’m glad I didn’t have to lay it down myself.



The sod was cut into pieces about 18 inches by 30 inches. The soil with the roots was only about an inch thick but the owner of the sod farm assured Sweet Thing that would be all we needed. The landscaper sent out three Mexicans Latinos about 8:30 am and three more came out about 1:00. They didn’t leave until 9:00 pm and they barely took a break the entire time.


This is what the side looked like before they started.


Now it looks like this, instant lawn! Tomorrow I will show you the equipment they used to prepare the soil before they laid the sod.


Much, much better don’t you think?


They staggered the pieces and laid them down like shingles on the roof.


Here is some of the crew hard at work.


This is the other side of the lawn where the erosion was especially bad. Needless to say, we are delighted with the way it looks for now. If you look closely you can see 3 sprinklers running to water the sod. The landscaper and I quickly realized we had made a bit of a mistake and we should have split the job into two parts. Why you might ask? Well, I don’t have nearly enough water pressure to run 3 sprinklers adequately at one time, let alone 6 at a time like I planned. The weather forecast is an 80% chance of rain tomorrow, let’s hope they are right. More to come!

Drainage Basin Problems

7 Feb

Some of you may remember I have 2 drainage basins installed in the ground right in front of the front porch where the water runs off of the roof in huge gushes when it rains. Well, one of the basins floated up out of the ground similar to what an empty fuel tank will do before it is settled in. The weather man is forecasting a 100% chance of rain tonight, so it probably won’t rain a drop. But just in case it does, I wanted to reset the basin into the ground so the water would drain away from the house.


I pulled back the landscape plastic sheet and raised up the basin so I could remove the soil that had washed back into the hole. Only now it was just a big ball of muck in the bottom of the hole.


I got the hole cleaned out and the basin settled back into the hole. I put some excess concrete slag into the basin for weight to help hold it down.


As I prepared to backfill the soil around the basin, I realized all I had was a big pile of muck. What a mess!


I used a 2X4 to tramp the mud around the basin, now it is sitting just below the level of the ground as it should be. Now as the rainwater drains down into the lower level of the basin, it will enter the basin and run down the underground drain pipes to the bottom of the hill and get away from the house.


Just to help hold it down until it settles properly, I placed a concrete block and a bucket of gravel on top of the basin. Not very attractive I must say. I have some large, round stones at our old house we used to outline a flower bed and I will go get them and place them on top of the basin and they will blend in as part of the landscaping. I’m looking forward to Spring so I can get some outdoor projects done!