411 Home Repair
 

411homerepair.com

Latest Articles

Super Eco Home Improvements to Add Real Value to Your Modern Home

Over the past decade, people have gone from freely using resources to eventually coming to the realization that it is critical to work to conserve...

on Dec 7, 2016

5 Ideas for DIY Decorations for Upcoming Winter Holidays

The holidays are coming up and it is time to think about preparations. Most people associate winter holidays with family, close people, favorite...

on Dec 6, 2016

Things You Should Monitor in Your Home

As a homeowner, it is vital that you are monitoring your home for things such as black mold, methane gas, carbon monoxide, and radon gas. To ensure...

on Dec 5, 2016

Cleaning Up After a Big Paint Job? Here's How to Clean Your Paint Brush the Right Way!

Have you recently moved into a new house or apartment that you want to give a fresh look? Have you picked out all your paint colors and bought new...

on Dec 4, 2016

5 Fun Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Is your kitchen starting to look a bit old and tired? The kitchen is a work area and can quickly go from that lived-in look to a worn-out look if...

on Dec 1, 2016

Grading Landscapes - Part 2 (raised beds)

by Dan Eskelson on Apr 30, 2012

Please also visit Part 1 and Part 3 of this article.

In recent issues we discussed general ideas and techniques for moving soil and grading your planting areas. Unless your area is quite small, it will probably be desirable to use motorized equipment to aid this process. Though if you have *lots* of time and/or a very limited budget, the physical work of doing it all by hand will add some muscle, endurance and callouses to your body.

Many recent design clients have decided to remove at least part of their lawns in favor of lower maintenance areas. For this task a sod cutter should be rented. This is a very heavy tool that will require help loading and unloading. It's also somewhat difficult to use until you get the hang of it.

Most machines can be adjusted for depth of cut...experiment with your first cuts to gauge correct depth - remove all of the sod, but little soil. Make the first two or three passes around the perimeter of the area...this will allow you to make turns easily for the remaining work. After cuttting with the machine, cut with a shovel into manageable lengths which can be lifted or rolled for removal.

If you make arrangements beforehand with a neighbor or friend who would like to add sod to his yard, you'll have the much needed help you need for this project - a good trade that both parties should be happy with.

Another tool that is useful in almost all landscaping is the rototiller. This tool is used for cultivating planting areas and mixing soil amendments with the native soil. If at all possible, rent or borrow a tiller with the tines (rotating "teeth") in the rear of the machine. The cheaper models, with tines directly below the motor, are extremely difficult and dangerous to use - useless in fact on very hard soils. Even the higher quality, rear-tine machines can bounce out of control, so take care.

You may need to perform several separate tilling tasks for your soil work. The first to loosen the soil in order to establish the desired rough grade, and several additional passes to thoroughly mix the amendments with the soil. Don't hurry through soil preparation - it's the most important key to healthy plant growth.

Large areas may warrant the use of a tractor for both cultivation and initial grading. Those with a rear PTO - power take off - can be fitted with a tilling attachment, and can work up a fairly large area quickly. If you plan the sequence of tilling passes correctly, you can finish the work with very little compaction from the tractor tires.

Another very useful tractor implement is the box scraper, which can grade in both forward and rear directions. It also has ripping teeth which can be set at several depths, or not used at all - these work well to break up hard soil and even mix amendments if the number of passes is sufficient. With a bit of practice, the operator can lower and raise the scraper to move soil as needed.

Other common motorized equipment include the trencher for preparing irrigation and drainage ditches, the power auger for digging planting holes, gas powered drill for working with landscape timbers and numerous other small and large pieces of machinery.

With all machines, take the time to understand operation and safety...these tools can accomplish a lot of work in a relatively short time, but also can do a lot of damage in a hurry. Never operate machinery when you're tired or not in complete control of your thinking. If you're not comfortable with the power, noise or any other qualities of machinery, it is probably best to hire this work out to a local professional. If you do, check references and insurance.

Please also visit Making the Grade Part 1 and Part 3 of this Article.

Dan Eskelson @ Clearwater Landscapes, Inc.

Author

Sponsored Articles

Random Articles

3 Heating and Cooling Service Tips for a Beautiful Home

When it comes to keeping a beautiful home, many homeowners do not realize that some of the utilities they use every day may be contributing to...

Cleaning / Maintenance

Using your Garage Space for more than Just Car Storage?

Once upon a time, having a garage was very straightforward as it was simply a place to store your car at night and maybe store a few items from the...

Doors / Garages

Revealing Advantages of Part-Exchange in Home Purchases

If you hear of discussions taking place in pubs, workplaces, and kitchens all over the country, real estate is undoubtedly one among the hottest...

Real Estate / Finance

Tips on How to Professionally Clean Your Home When Moving

 Moving can be very exciting probably because it avails that rare opportunity to start clean and fresh once again. However, many people forget a...

Real Estate / Finance

How Microwaves Work

Created by a magnetron electron tube, microwaves heat food to a depth of one inch. As the heat is conducted inward the rest of the food is cooked....

Appliance / Repair

Actions

Contact Us | Submit Article | RSS | 411homerepair © 2016