Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monterrey Oak tree bed

We left a big space around the bottom of the Monterrey Oak for some plantings and mulch.  The landscape plan shows this as either (a) Texas Colombine or (b) Dianella variegated Flax Lily.  The person at Barton Springs Nursery says that the Flax Lily was all-season, while the Colombine died back in the winter.  So we went with the Flax Lily.

We planted 6 of the Flax Lily, in two clumps of three, and then mulched the whole area (8 bags).

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grass for the East Lawn

With the digging and dirt done for the East Lawn, the question becomes what to put down in this space.  The landscape plan has it as lawn.  The City of Austin suggested using Zoysia Palisades as a grass that needs little maintenance and is drought tolerant.  We experimented with two pieces last year and it seemed to survive, so we will continue with it.

We find several places that sell Zoysia Palisades, and using Angie's List, we decided to use The Grass Outlet.  They sell Zoysia Palisades for $200 a pallet.  Each pallet is supposed to cover 450 square feet, and my estimate is we need 800 square feet.  The total cost, including delivery is $497.95.

The first pallet covered one end, leaving space around the base of the Monterrey Oak tree.

The second pallet gets us all the way to the end of what we have worked on so far.

This ties in nicely with the new walkway flagstones.

And we had a small amount left over, as expected, so we spread that out in the small area near the Bamboo Grove behind the Jungle.

This area will be interesting, since it has no irrigation (at least so far). (Update: all this grass died.  Clearly need irrigation to get it established, at least.)

One of the main questions in this work was should we install the sod now (early Fall), or wait until next Spring.  We decided that, temperature and water-wise, now should be about the same as the Spring, and it can rest over the Winter, before going into the heat and stress of next Summer.  Plus it will give us a grass cover instead of mud for the next few months.  And, in this particular case, we were fortunate enough to put the sod down just the morning before getting 0.5 inch of rain, followed by 1.5 inches the next day.  So we are getting it well watered in its new home.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Digging up the East Lawn, Irrigation, Zone 4

Having dug up the East Lawn, and brought in another dirt to even things out, we are ready to install a sprinkler system and a lawn.  We have zone 4 of the 11 irrigation zones in reserve for this area, so we just have to plan it out.

We pick the RainBird 1800 sprinkler heads -- they have adjustable angles, plus a fixed 180 degree and 360 degree.  And we will put bubblers by the two trees -- the one that is there now and the new one to be planted.

We laid out about where everything went using old PVC pipes.

And once we had it laid out, we trenched where the lines went.

We are using a 3/4 inch PVC pipe, with 1/2 inch Tees for the RainBird 1800 sprinkler heads.  We glue all the pieces together, test it out, and then fill the trenches back up with dirt.

Somehow in this process, we ended up with not enough dirt to fill things up, so we went to Whittlesey Landscape Supplies and got two more cubic yards of dirt -- professional mix ($86.92).

This allowed us to fill in the trenches and smooth out the backyard that has been dug up. 

We moved a volunteer tree to one of the spots where we want a tree in the back yard, and also moved the two pieces of Zoysia Pallisades to close to the patio walkway (to get it out of the way of the irrigation lines).

We should let this settle for a bit, and then put down new grass.