Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Perhaps a Pond?

Thinking Out Loud:

A plastic tub or pond liner?

Pros and Cons: Need to dig a bigger hole for the tub and then need to pack the dirt tightly around the tub (if not packed tightly, rain water can fall under the tub and raise it up from the ground). Tub can crack in cold weather and cause a leak. Liner requires that all side are perfectly level around the edge or else it can leak. Also needs underlayment or sand to cushion the liner.

Pond Kit?

Ponds should be two feet deep for fishes and plants.

Waterproof pump? Solar pump cannot run a biological filter that is needed for a live pond. Maybe purchase a separate electrical pump for the filter?

Filter? Some pumps come with a built in filter down fish waste. (Need to put in bacteria?)

1" layer of coarse sand at bottom of pond

1" of fish to 1 sqft of pond surface area. Feed fish once a day to minimize fish waste. Don't feed fish when water is under 55 degrees. Put fishes in 3-4 days after pond is running. Fish eats algae and mosquito larvae.

Plant - 30-50% of pond surface area, mix of marginal, oxygenators, and lilies. Plants can be planted directly into the gravel.

Maybe no fish and no plants. Just pebbles? Then I might not need a filter...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Back from Vacation!

After three weeks of vacation, here I am again. I came back to having to pick up dog poop in the backyard. It was really stinky. Imagine having to cook dinner and smelling that stench.

Anyhow, on Monday, November 2nd, pavers started going down in the backyard.

Tuesday, November 3rd, I was not happy with the work so I had it all ripped up and redone. End of day, the pavers in the center of the yard was done, and the two gravel pathway on either side of it was put in.

Wednesday, November 4th, pavers on either side of the concrete patio was put in. Lava rocks went down.

Thursday, November 5th, the paver pathway between the concrete patio and the huge paver patio was laid.

Coming up next, mulch!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Free dirt! And Free Delivery!

So this morning, I was up early awaiting the delivery of free dirt to my driveway. I asked for four yards of dirt, hoping to fill up all the crazy holes in the backyard.

These pictures do not do it justice. This pile of dirt is much much more than it seems in the pictures. If you compare it to the size of the lawn behind it, then maybe you just might get an idea of how big this pile really is.

9AM, I start shoveling dirt

9:45pm, two hispanic men in a truck drives by as I was observing the monstrosity in front of me. The man in the passenger seat gets out of the car and walks up my driveway. He offers me their labor. I decline. He looks at me, then at the pile of dirt and said, "that's a lot of dirt just for you."

12pm, three hours later of muscle-aching labor, I shoveled and wheelbarrowed a quarter of the dirt into the backyard all by my lonesome

1pm, an extra pair of hands from the neighborhood offers to help, free of charge

3pm, we gave up for the day, with a third of the dirt left and half of the holes filled

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stage 1 - Just Muddling

When I first bought this property a couple years ago, this entire backyard was a green lawn.  My beloved dogs have managed to kill all the grass by digging holes everywhere.  Can't really blame them - there were gophers and my bloodhound has a nose that just wont quit.  This is how the backyard currently looks. In the past couple of weeks, we cleared out some of the dead grass and weed. It actually looked a lot worse before, especially during the rainy season when three feet weeds covered the entire backyard. The scorching heat from this summer has helped killed most of it.

These are some of the holes that the dogs dug up in the past two years.

Section 1 - This is the section to the right of the patio that we'll be concentrating on first. I will post more pictures to show the progress of this area.