Thursday, July 26, 2012

Excavating the Backyard, Part 1

We are trying to clean up the backyard, by removing all the rocks and making the dirt both deep and good for growing, for example, trees. Starting from the East Side of the backyard, we first scrap off the dirt, to reveal the rocks just under the surface. We have to be careful not to break the irrigation water supply line, so we mark it on the surface with a PVC pipe and try to stay back from it.

Then we dig out and pry out as much as we can -- dirt into one pile, rocks into another. This leaves some really big rocks, so we bring out the jack hammer and break them into smaller pieces that we can move out of the hole.

Once we remove all these rocks and the dirt, we have a pit. We need to make sure that it is all deep enough.

We are staying about 5 feet away from the back fence to leave enough room to move the wheelbarrow and lawnmower from one side of the pit to the other. We are running half inch PVC pipe on the surface just to mark this "5 foot from fence" line.

We have tried to be very careful around the irrigation supply line, but notice that it is barely above a large block of rock. Despite trying to stay 4 to 6 inches away from the water supply line, the dirt next to it just fell away, so the line is very exposed (while still being buried).

We still have one big rock to remove, up near the walkway. This rock appears to extend back under the grass into an area we were planning to leave undisturbed for now but it is probably better to get it out now than to wait until later.