2010-05-04 Driveway and Yards

We've had to dedicate quite a bit of time and money into getting these grounds up to standard.  In 2008, the driveway was soft dirt and so low it flooded every time it rained heavily.  It wouldn't have been so bad if it was slightly elevated or harder soil.  As it was, it turned into a mud pit with every hard rain.

So we had thinly ground limestone hauled in May 4, 2010.  They call it "crusher run" meaning the processor has "run" the rock through the crusher.  The stuff has so much lime dust mixed in it tends to settle like concrete when dry and makes runoff more difficult in wet weather.  Here's what it looked like after the first heavy rain.  Notice the soil to the right.  That's mud that washed away but left the "crusher run" behind.  Grass eventually grew over the mud that washed off.

Here's what it looked like Feb. 5, 2011 after the first heavy rains this year.  Notice all the mud is washed away leaving the bare rock.  Also notice how the drive is now so elevated it leaves standing water on the opposite side.  That water drains quickly away but used to drain across the dirt drive washing it out.  Now it's a real driveway, not a mud pit.

When we first inspected this place in 2008 there was large pampas grass on either side of the drive.  The stuff was so overgrown it was unsafe to pull out of the drive.  You couldn't see what was coming from either direction without pulling out into possible oncoming traffic.  To the right of the drive there was also a large, dead Chinaberry tree.

My son-in-law cut down the tree nad hauled it away leaving a large stump.  We tried burning the stump and the pampas grass.  The stump was there to stay and so was the pampas grass.

Here's what was left of the burned stump and another old stump that was left from a tree that was cut earlier.

On Oct. 24, 2009 I paid a man with a backhoe to come remove the stumps.  He said the ground was too soft but I insisted.  I figured if he left holes we could let the ground dry a couple weeks and he could return and patch things up.  After doing as much yard work as he could without burying his tractor he finally insisted we should stop.  I relented but I should have listened to him the first time.  Now my yard was full of holes and the rain looked like it would never cease.

As luck would have it, we had unseasonably wet weather that winter.  It rained heavily several times a week for several weeks.  It wasn't until April and May of 2010 that the ground was firm enough to repair.  I hired another man with a machine.  This one was able to haul in several loads of dirt and level the yard for the first time since we moved in.  He also hauled off the pampas grass which the previous guy had dug up for me.  Now, no more stumps or pampas grass in the front.  I also got the county to dig out the ditch so water doesn't stand in my yard so much.

Sorry I don't have a current photo but we reseeded and fertilized.  The lawn looks very nice now.

On the side, this is the way the first man had to leave my place when it was time to quit.

After the place dried up several months later I had the tall shrubs removed and dirt hauled in and leveled.  Now this, too, is nice looking lawn.  If you compare the two photos again you'll notice some very nice looking butteryfly plants growning around the A/C compressor.  They grew back.

I haven't taken current photos of the lawn so you'll have to accept this beautiful sunset photo I snapped from my front yard one evening.

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