More landscaping

I mentioned in last weeks post Cam does stuff at super fast. It's definitely a good thing. But here I have some landscaping updates and no "before" pictures really.

Next to the propane tank, the previous owners planted forsythia bushes. They were literally 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It was difficult to walk around that corner of the house without hitting them. After a failed attempted to pull one out with the rope and the truck, Cam chopped them with the chainsaw.

As you can tell in the picture, the dirt area is how much space they covered. We gained back a ton of lawn. Unfortunately, the propane tank happens to be a huge eyesore. It looks worse than when we started so maybe it's good I have no before picture :)

We toyed around with the idea of a better looking fence around the propane tank. But we nixed that idea because we already have so many structures in the backyard. So for now I'm thinking a smaller plant to cover it would be good. Or at least something functional. I was hoping to plant some blueberry bushes here but it may not get enough sun. If that doesn't work I think we'll do some sort of ornamental grass maybe.

Update #2 is another chopped tree and more lawn space.

After the stump gets chopped down the rest of the way we will level out the last 10ish feet of lawn behind the shed as best we can.

#3 is more of a garden update. I've been looking for a natural way to preserve the cedar fence without it putting a bunch of chemicals in the soil and consequently our food. From web searches it seems linseed oil is the best thing. You can buy boiled linseed oil from your local hardware store but it has turpentine in it to help it dry faster. So not any more healthy than a staining your fence. I ordered this linseed oil from here.

 Here is a before. The fence is naturally graying and I don't think the oil will help too much with that but it does preserve the wood for longer.

Here is the after. I finished the outside but still need to work on the inside. You have to work around the weather as this stuff takes 4 days to dry!

Garden beds have compost!

The compost was finally ready on Saturday! Cam and I worked on the garden from 9am to 9pm. We had a couple breaks here and there but it was mostly work. The kids even pitched in a bunch. It took 3 loads of compost to fill the beds. I mixed in some peat moss too to lighten things up.

We did 4 x 10's made of 1inch cedar plus the mound you see next to the fence is a "raised bed" of sorts just without the wood. I'm putting tomatoes, cucumbers, and tomatillos there to grow up the fence.

 You can kind of see in this picture we finished the chicken wire which covers the bottom 3ft for the small critters.

I bought this organic fabric to use as ground cover for the tomatoes. When I opened it I realized why it was on sale at Lowes. It was paper! Along with the ground cover idea, I got it so that the kids would know not to step there. But since it's paper it needs to be covered with mulch. Thus defeating the purpose I got it. Sigh.

As you can tell from the pics about it was almost night. I was feeling so behind on my planting I put on my flashlight and worked for an hour in the dark to get my seedlings I started inside in the ground. I got some good protein by sucking in some of the bugs(not on purpose of course) that surrounded my headlamp haha :) Today I'll be planting more seeds directly in the garden. I'm so happy to be making progress :)

So close...

The fence is so close to being done! The 4x4's need to be trimmed down to be level and then we need to finish adding the chicken wire to the bottom.We are making 2 more raised bed boxes too. Ignore the mess...

So the other news is our local compost facility is not selling compost right now because they are waiting for the test results they do with each batch to get back... they told us 2 weeks until it's ready?! Which as you know is forever in summer garden time. Hopefully it's happens sooner than they say. But for now we'll make sure we finish the last of the to do list. I'm super excited to get my hands in the dirt again and enjoy fresh veggies!

The fence building begins

We finally got the start of the fence up this weekend. It has required a ton of planning time and of course some unexpected bumps along the way but it made me so happy to see it finally taking shape! It's nice I have a handy hubby too. I pretty much sat back and watched him work with the occasional verbal guidance from me and help holding this piece of wood or that. Sweet job right?

 Posts are in the ground. After some research we decided to use pea gravel instead of concrete to anchor the posts. Pea gravel helps the water to drain away from the post so it will last longer and according to some forums we read will be just as sturdy as concrete. Hopefully it's true :)

 Cameron's job wasn't all bad because he got some new tools out of the deal. One was a Kreg Jig. We definitely think it was worth it.

He also picked up this angle grinder from the pawn shop. It worked beautifully for cutting the cattle panels.

We didn't really realize how sloped our little garden spot still was until we started putting up the panels even though it totally looks level. It's a good thing because it will drain well. However, it forced us to do a step down with the panels because I don't want a 20" gap between the wood and the ground of the lower panels and a 3" gap on the other side if that make sense. We did opt to keep the wood off the ground by a few inches so it doesn't rot as much. I will be adding chicken wire at the bottom up to the wood and burying it a foot to keep out rabbits, moles, ground hogs... and any other animals that are looking for a snack. Hopefully all this work will be worth it :)

  (Ignore the skewing of the camera. The posts are straight and it is level. Promise!)

All the wood is Cedar. One of the biggest reasons I garden is so I don't have to eat chemicals on or in my food. So untreated cedar was the only way to go even though it's pricy! I don't think I'm even going to stain them because of the chemicals in that even though it would look pretty.

p.s. I drafted this post a while ago and forgot to post it. We are almost done with the fence now. Just a few things left to do. I'll be sharing pictures soon!

Getting ready for a fence

The garden area is finally filled and level. 

 Here we staked out were the fence will go. In case your wondering the upper area of grass is slightly sloped and we will eventually level that out by adding some dirt and maybe sod if the bermuda doesn't grow through. Its kind of hard to describe in words but it will be a more terraced look.

 To dig the fence post holes we rented an auger. If you are familiar with the area and our soil you know why! All was going well until we ran into a little problem...

If look close in this picture you can see it. The auger made a nice hole in our septic leach line. Major bummer! Thankfully it's just in the drain field and was completely dry inside from what we could see. Cameron just ran to the store to grab some more pipe and couplers to fix it. Got to love those unexpected surprises!