Smoothing the back forty

Although we are in a time crunch as we work towards the end of our current large project, during the evenings and weekends I manage to squeeze in a few hours at a time to work on the landscaping in the yard. Our goal is still to be fully landscaped by mid-summer.

The big lawn between the house and the shop is the first order of business. The shaping of this rea began back when we built our shop ten years ago. Each time a neighbor did some work in their yard and had spare soil  we added to the berm, gradually building it up to the shape we wanted. The new septic field added forty feet to the length of the berm. Once the new house was comlete we took out the old and it was time to use the massive pile of excavated soild to do the rest of the shaping. We leveled it out with an excavator, smoothed it as best we could and threw down some grass seed in the fall. We would let things settle over the winter, Some areas had been filled up to eight feet and the elevations were bound to change a bunch in places. I enjoyed mowing the rolling expanse of grass this spring but I had to go slow as the lawn was more than a little rough in places.

Last week we took delivery of twenty four cubic yards of soil to top dress the lawn, taking out the humps and bumps and filling in the low areas. The first two loads disappeared in a hurry! Today I ordered three more loads. I first haul it to where it is needed and then spread it with our garden tractor with the front bucket. Once the soild is in place I hand rake it and then jump on the small garden tractor. I have welded up a very large piece of steel to further smooth and tamp the new soil in place. The process works well and in less than three hours I have done a good sized section of the lawn. The ground is smooth enough that I no longer have to hold on to keep from being thrown from the seat of the tractor as I travel back and forth so many times. 

With 36 cubic yards in place and the next twenty-four waiting it is my bet that it will take another three or four loads to get things right. The area behind the tractor is still very low and sloping the wrong way. This is where the bulk of the next loads of soil will be placed.

It is my hope that I can begin the seeding of the new lawn on the weekend. It won't be long until I can cruise of the new green grass and go to my happy place once more. Stay tuned as we wait for the green...

-grampa dan