Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Finishing the excavation of Zone 2

While we are trying to fill the backyard with dirt (and leaves), there is still a bit of digging that is needed for Zone 2.  Zone 2 is the area between the house and the new path, starting at the gate to the backyard, expanding out around the Chinese Pistache tree and then narrowing down to nothing where the path meets the back patio.

We've dug up all along the house, plus the area down by the patio, and out along the path up to where the irrigation water supply for the North Bed runs under the path.  That leaves just the point of the area North of the tree.

It takes several days to remove the dirt, sort out the rock and get down to the big slab of dirt at the bottom.  We want to try to avoid the roots.  We find a number of old Coke cans, beer cans, paint rags, and especially chunks of asphalt.

Finally we have the dirt removed from most of the area, and can clearly see the rock slab.

A couple of hours of using the jack hammer reduces this one big rock to a lot of smaller rocks.  We leave a section of the rock right next to the path, because part of it underlays the path wall.

Once we get all this rock out, we are able to get a couple of rocks out from under the tree itself.

 This creates a "cave" that goes right in under the tree, showing how much rock is still left. 

 Continuing the excavation, we get all the way around the tree to where we were in November 2011, finishing the excavation for Zone 2. 

The next step is to fill all this back in with dirt.  We want it to be about 4 inches below the final level.  After it settles, we will put in underground drip irrigation in this section, put 4 more inches of dirt over that, and be ready to plant.

After a couple more weeks, we have this area completely filled in.  Now we just need to wait to let it settle.