This is what 8 yards of topsoil looks like upon delivery.
How about next to a Jeep Patriot? Just for scale.
How about next to me?
At $15/yard, and a negotiated $40 delivery fee, it’s easily the dirtiest way I’ve spent $160. You see, I was raised in the country where soil was plentiful and free, so stomaching the cost didn’t come easily, nor did I ever really expect to have to do it (“Dad, can you just bring me a few buckets of dirt?”). But it was worth it. Add in an additional $24 in sun/shade grass seed, and I’ll call it a day (and do the hard labor myself). OK, really, I’ll call it 3 days (and counting).
Moving the dirt throughout the yard has been quite the workout. A different kind of workout than when I sledgehammered the driveway clear. More of a why-the-heck-did-you-lift-that-with-your-back kind of damaging workout.
Filling, tamping, and grass-seeding the driveway itself wasn’t even possible this weekend. I guess my goals were a little too far stretched. I spent all day (both days) weeding and carting soil to newly cleared lots in the backyard.
The backyard was neglected in this great summer of ’11. I blame the perfect ratio of sun-to-rain for the unimaginable spreading of weeds and lemon balm, of all things. The far corner of the property (behind the garage) had ended up looking like the backyard equivalent of a dumpsite. The only visible hint that I had been hoping to make this space nice again, was that I continued to maintain the edging until it finally began to remain circular.
I spent much time over the weekend clearing the land weed by weed, and bringing fresh topsoil to the site. Load after load, it started to fill in, and while it’s not done quite yet (haven’t raked and filled topsoil over on the right yet), it’s now looking like this:
Post-dirty job, landscaping is something on my to-do list for the front yard, as well as the backyard now. Of course, in the interim, the dog seems very happy to have cool soil to roll around in.
The chain link fence that separates my neighbors yard from my own had been completely coated with thick roses, unwieldy blackberry plants, and a berry-filled vine that consumes anything in its path.
We’ve begun to clear it out, trimming back the roses and berries, and almost completely removing the vines. Fresh topsoil was laid into the low garden beds lining the fence, because last summer when I did the house grading work, I had borrowed soil from other areas of the yard to make due for free. Goes hand in hand with that “Can’t make me buy dirt” mentality that I’ve finally surrendered to. With exception of the foreground of this photo, all of the beds are back up to a normal height.
An update on the dirt pile? Considerably smaller, but that’s after 3 full days of laborious activity. Dare I say we’re nearing the finish line. How about me and the dirt pile together, just for scale?
Progress feels good. What’d you do all weekend?