Sunday, July 11, 2021

Front Yard part nine

As you may have noticed, if you read this blog even on the most occasional basis, we've got two projects going on at the moment. I don't know quite how it happened (or maybe I do and I'm just pretending..?), but this scenario is not exactly ideal. Three or four would be much more like it! 

So...the last time around the perimeter fence had just been completed (not by us!) and we had just finished planting in the two upper beds. Since then, we have finished the lower bed and planted in that too - mainly flowers if you're interested. 

The last thing to figure out is the transition between the gate and the stairs there is a steep drop in the gradient in this area which we never really addressed. Our solution is to extend the steps across the gradient and reposition the boxes which house the irrigation valves. We also wanted to add two (2) more irrigation lines to serve the lower part of the yard and the upper section where we plan to grow pumpkins next year. It was a drag to dig up the valve boxes for the third or fourth time, but this time is definitely the last. For now.

The photo below is after the largest step was installed - it is fastened to the existing steps at the right side and to the supporting structure at the fence at the left. Both ends of the step sit on concrete pads which were not fully cured at the time this picture was taken.

This is the view from the other side. The concrete is contained with a mixture of scrap lumber and expandable foam. It would have been very difficult to install this step with rebar and get it level and at the correct angle. The disadvantage of concrete is that it's messy and takes overnight to properly cure.

I made a platform for the valve boxes to stand on from a mixture of scrap PT and redwood that was left over from the fence - it looks a bit like a digital "8." The platform was a lot stronger and heavier than it looks and was levelled on a bed of road base/base rock.

This is later after we installed the new irrigation valves. 

One of them will go in front of the lower bed and serve the area next to the fence and further down the hill. The other line will go below the steps and beyond the gate.

This is quite a bit later in the project after both lower steps have been constructed and attached to the platform.

The ends of both lower steps and some of the supporting structure was also set in concrete. The sections where the steps meet the platform were strong enough without concrete.

Packing up time: the concrete still needs to cure at this point.

I took the forms off the following day:

This is a couple of weeks later after the irrigation line to what will be the pumpkin patch has been installed below the steps:

I also installed another barrier at what will be the upper side of the central walkway - this one was also installed on top of concrete pads.  

Once the PVC pipe has been installed, we must wait twenty-four (24) hours for the pipe cement to completely cure. After that we tested both new irrigation lines for leaks. Since none were found, we went ahead with backfilling the trenches and the stairs.

After a break to watch the Euro 2021 final (sob...!) the temperature had cooled quite a bit, so I went back outside and installed landscaping fabric over the steps and the walkway and started re-installing the redwood caps. I need to get some more redwood lumber before the steps can be completed.

Next time around I will be doing the wiring for the two (2) new irrigations lines and (hopefully), finishing up the redwood caps. By now all three beds are looking very green:

This is a close-up of the corn and potatoes in the middle bed. So far, our fence has keep the predators at bay!

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