Monday, September 2, 2013

Excavating the Raised Garden

During all the work on the backyard, Linda has been continuing to work in her raised garden.  The pathway across the back yard was built around the raised garden.

The sides of the raised garden are railroad ties, but over time they have settled.  Before we can put the flagstones on the path, I think we need to seriously address the raised garden.  The sides of it need to be well supported.  I am thinking of replacing the railroad ties with solid limestone blocks.

To do that, I will need to dig down to create a foundation to put the limestone blocks on.  So first, I remove the railroad ties.

Then I start digging, taking out both the soil that was brought in to make the raised garden, but also the sub-soil below it.  This exposes that the railroad ties were placed on a layer of concrete pads, 12 inches square by 1 inch deep.  We leave those in place to define the edge of the raised garden.

And digging.

Until I hit bedrock.

And then I extend the digging around the back of the raised garden.  Pulling rock out of the dirt, as well as the dirt itself.  The dirt has a nice top layer but very quickly becomes very heavy clay soil, still damp despite weeks without rain.

We continue to dig, around the edges of the garden.

and continue

and continue

Until days later, we have cleared out all the way around the raised garden, plus about half of the entire contents.

This lets us get out all the rock that is in there, down to bedrock.  Now we can see how the rock floor varies in height.  We will want to pour a concrete footing that will be even all the way around.

Finally, 21 days after we started, we have excavated the entire raised garden.