Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pile o' dirt



Somehow this pile of soil doesn't look as daunting in the photo as it does in real life, maybe because you can't see that it's really two piles. It's a whole lot of dirt - 6 cubic yards, to be precise. It was going to be 10, until lying in bed the night before it was delivered we reflected on how much work it would be to shovel and spread 10 cubic yards of dirt, which led to a hastily revised calculation and a decision that 6 would be plenty.

It's for the sloped, weed-covered wasteland at the front of the house. You may remember that we hauled a bunch of rocks from the quarry to build some retaining walls. Since then we've bought about a dozen shrubs to populate the garden - pieris, azaleas and viburnum - but we couldn't plant them until we added about 6 inches of topsoil on the flat parts and a whole lot more to fill in the areas behind the retaining walls. Hence the 6 cubic yards of dirt.

Kim did all the hard work placing the rock for the retaining walls (which is in part what aggravated her old elbow injury), and since she's now operating one-armed, it will be up to me to transfer all that soil to its new home. I'm up for it. I know the key thing is to do a modest amount every day, rather than trying to blitz it. I'm secretly quite proud about the muscles I now have in my arms, after a year of shoveling and digging and loading and hauling. And they're bound to be bigger by the time I have moved all this dirt...

5 comments:

Paula said...

Word of advice- save your back by employing leverage with your shovel. If you lever the shovel with your one hand at the end, and the other as the fulcrum point, you'll be able to shovel 'til the cows come home.

And it's the wheelbarrowing that will kill ya- don't over fill the wheelbarrow.

Run some planks over the muddy areas so you don't get stuck or slowed down by the muck.

Okay- that was more than one word of advice. Hope we get to see a picture when you're all down planting it!

Paula said...

Geez- I meant 'done' planting it. Don't want you going down planting it!

Toni aka irishlas said...

What Paula said - don't overload the wheelbarrow. It's a killer!

I wish I could say that yard work and putting in fence, gardening, etc. has made me the slim woman I was as a youth. Nah, still the round woman I have been since hitting middle age. Come to think of it, I may be rounder because I consume more beer after all the exhausting projects! :-)

Can't wait to see the finished project!

Miriam said...

Fulcrum, wheelbarrow, beer - that's great advice all around!

jeanives said...

My word of advice - hire a local teenager or two for $10.00 an hour, pizza, and soft drinks and sit back and supervise. That is a big pile of dirt.

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