I was able to get back to work on the Bamboo grove -- the Cedar Allergies are gone, it's above freezing, and there was a break in the rain. It's been since like November that I was working on this. So first, we have to establish where we were. We need to put a concrete wall, with rock topping under the back fence. We will use the jackhammer to go straight down under the fence. That will provide one side of the concrete wall.
It turned out to be easier to just use the pick axe (really a grubbing hoe) to even it up under the fence. Then it's the standard approach. Staple black plastic on the fence, to provide a water proof barrier on one side. Use a high pressure water hose to spray the bedrock down, to get it as clean as we can. Then put up a masonite form for the other side, keeping them separated by a 1x4 piece of wood. I have all these bags that used to hold compost that I've filled with rock to use as sandbags to keep the forms in place. Then mix up the concrete (I use just 80 pound bags of ready-mix) and shovel it in, removing the 1x4's as each section is filled with concrete. After a couple days, remove the forms.
Another day of mixing up just mortar and using it to put cut limestone rocks on the top, to make it look better than just concrete. Let that dry and we are done.
Now we are ready to fill the space in with dirt. We have a big pile in the bamboo grove, but given the amount of rock we have taken out, we will need to bring in more.
March 6 and 7, 2010
I spread the dirt pile around and filled in much of the area, but still need more for the complete area. I've been mixing in all the leaves from last fall as I shovel the dirt back, so there should be some organic matter mixed with the soil. It's a very heavy clay soil and still very wet. It was marginally reasonable to shovel it in this condition -- it seemed with every shovel full, more stuck to the shovel than was moved. But the forecast says more rain tonight and tomorrow, so this is the best opportunity in a while.