Garden Box Construction, Part 12 (Plus a Full Day Working the Backyard)

With coffee in hand, Liz and I started off the day by going into the backyard and completing the final garden box. We began things in March, and what was supposed to be a weekend project has taken us… more like two months, versus two days.

In our defense, we did set out to build two garden boxes, not just one. But still – wow. It really has been quite the adventure (a full list of all the photos from the box construction are at the end of this post).

We mixed up the remaining soil we needed, topped off the second box…

and it’s good to go! Just like that, we have our second garden box.

You may notice a few plants in this picture.

This is actually the dreaded Japanese knotweed that’s been plaguging our backyard. It’s cropped up through our sod, and if left unchecked it just goes crazy.

Liz has gotten a spray that she uses on them, but it requires a few days (and an absence of rain) for the stuff to get absorbed and to go down into the roots. Even then, it’s no guarantee that it will kill the plant.

We were waiting on a dry period (with no rain), and some time when we could carefully spray these guys without any of the chemicals getting into the garden box soil.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the weed has actually grown up between the pond liner and the wood – in that little, little gap. These things are so nasty.

While Liz was workign on clearing our the area by our neighbor’s fence (along the east), I worked on mowing the lawn and de-thatching things.

We’ve been a bit negligent with our grass so far, and needed to fertilize and begin watering again.

Removing thatch. While most yard work is fine by me, this particular task is totally the worse. Just raking a small patch of ground, over and over again – ugh. I get tired out after like two little piles.

To make things worse, I decided to not wear my gloves out of vanity (I didn’t want to have weird suntan lines on my hands). Unfortunately, the repetitive nature of what I was doing with the raking resulted in me wearing a small little hole into my thumb. Not a blister – a hole.

After going in and patching that up a bit, I put on my gloves.

Have I mentioned I hate removing thatch?

Liz, making plans with the new garden box. It’s a bit hard to tell, but the Japanese knotweed has already started to droop a little.

Liz, removing debris from the back fence area.

Our little tractor sprinkler, making the rounds, while Liz is in back, watering the sunflowers she transported from the first garden box (those suckers got huge).

There’s way more raking to do in the yard, but I did get a decent amount removed. While our grass needs some help, I’m hoping it’ll recover – particularly now that we’re being a bit more attentive.

I don’t think I mowed low enough the last time, so after adjusting my lawnmoer height today – I’m hoping that helps. Ditto for the de-thatching, fertilizier, water, and extra seed that Liz put down.

Moving forward – after I mow, it looks like I’ll have a bit of raking to do, at least until the lawn starts coming back more. And I will definitely remember to put on a pair of gloves before doing so.

The yard is starting to shape up! Hard to imagine that, once upon a time, it used to be, quite literally, a jungle out there.

Garden Box Planning Mode
Garden Box Construction, Part 1
Garden Box Construction, Part 2
Garden Box Construction, Part 3
Garden Box Construction, Part 4
Garden Box Construction, Part 5
Garden Box Construction, Part 6
Garden Box Construction, Part 7
Garden Box Construction, Part 8
Garden Box Construction, Part 9
Garden Box Construction, Part 10
Garden Box Construction, Part 11

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Just wondering what “de-thatching” is for and how your lawn gets thatched in the first place? I live in a temperate country where we don’t get snow in winter, and we use a catcher on the lawn mower for the clippings, I’m not sure if that has anything to do with the thatch.

    Angela T Reply

    • The “de-thatching” is to get rid of the excess/dead material that accumulates on a lawn. I think some amount of thatch is good, but too much can block water and sunlight from reaching the grass.

      I’m honestly not 100% how our lawn got like this in the first place. At the very start of winter, we mowed one final time – and I was told to cut the grass as low as possible (I also use a catcher on the mower for clippings).

      Liz was saying that we should have mowed the lawn one more time, as the grass ended up growing a bit more before the cold arrived.

      Once we got snow, I think much of the grass ended up getting covered and died – resulting in the thatch? I need to do a little more research as to the cause, because I would love to avoid this work again in the future, if possible! I’m seeing that clippings (if you use a mulching mower) do not cause thatch – but I’ll still probably collect the clippings anyhow.

      avoision Reply

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