Monday, June 10, 2013

No more grass....

Yesterday, we hired some local gardeners to bring out a sod cutter and remove our dead grass.  We had planned on doing this ourselves, although everyone who has been through this program says that this is the worst job ever, and if you're going to hire one thing out, it should be this.  We called over to Home Depot to find out about renting a sod cutter, and it would have been 89 dollars for the day.  Plus, it won't fit in a vehicle, so we'd have to rent a truck and trailer to bring it home.  We might have been able to rent it for four hours to save 25 bucks, but all in all, we figured we'd need plenty of time.  By the time we added it all up, it was going to cost us 150 dollars for the tool/truck rental -- and that was before we put in any labor of our own (plus dump fees for getting rid of the dead grass).  So we called a couple of places and were happy to hear the quotes - 350-400 dollars, which was entirely reasonable.  And best of all, they said they could do it the next day.  So now we have this:
yep, just dirt.  Our neighbors are also doing their yard, and they have only dirt, too, so we aren't embarrassing anyone too much!  This week we have to do a check on our irrigation system, which we will be converting to drip, but we do have at least one leak in the pipes near our neighbor's house, so we are going to fix that.  Then rototill and amend the soil. 

In the meantime, we went to a plant selection class, and as everyone was arriving, signing in, etc, there was a name and phone number projected on the screen, with the title: Free Dymondia.  We wrote that right down, and after class, we went by and scored 8 flats of dymondia.  Here it is in our holding zone:
 We also planted some up by the front of the garage, and around our labyrinth plot.  I spent the rest of the week digging/weeding/conditioning the soil, and now we are here:

we are busy tamping down the paths, and we picked up some paper to lay down a weed barrier.  Because this labyrinth won't be there forever, we are trying to do this as cheap as possible. We did pick up some plants, all the parats that are outlined by white flour are going to be planted, and the paths will be covered in either gravel, decomposed granite, or mulch, whatever we can score the cheapest (or free!  I love free!)  I have lots of plants around the yard that we can move over, or divide and put pieces here.  And I have to finish the surround of dymondia.

Originally, I had marked out a slightly different plan, but Dale said he wished we could figure out a plan where we don't go in, then just turn around and walk the same path out, so this one has an entrance and exit.

We fiddled around with the original plan until we got it to work out, then test walked it a few times.  I like this one, it starts off with a lot of zigs and zags, but as you walk it, the runs get longer and you end up more relaxed.  Ha, now that I look at that diagram above, it looks vaguely biological, like intestines! 

We also made a few kokedama, moss surrounded plant balls suspended from strings.  One of my students created a how-to video in our technology class, and I've wanted to make some ever since then.  (here's the video tutorial:

So that's where we're at.  Tomorrow I hope to get the paper down on our labyrinth path, and maybe get started on the front yard as well --

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