Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yard, Fence, Gate.

Yeah, I've been hell on wheels when it comes to the garden. Interior trim be damned, I'm out a trim nail gun for the time being and you gotta make tomatoes while the sun shines.

I've about ruined my back, but I've learned a few important lessons I want to share.

First of all, any piece of cr@p land with dirt on it can be a garden. I just came back from Home Depot's garden center and they have a demo out on a concrete slab that is growing lush and beautiful 3" grass on it. On concrete. Yeah. With the right chicken wire, you can have grass growing on your walls.

With today's technology and fertilizers (organic and man-made) there is no such thing as a non-green thumb.

That being said, we had cr@p land with dirt on it. The first time we tilled the soil, we unearthed the dormant weed/grass seeds that had been waiting for decades to see the sun.

The original state, just as a reminder, was this:

Big tree, no sun.

Just a chain link fence, millions of seed pods and the most godawful invasive weed-shrubs you can find (right side of picture, on the East side of the yard.). We've dug them all up, killed them, insulted their ancestry, and we're STILL getting little new creepers coming out of the ground like little fingers of the dead.

We took down the Catalpa tree...

But then we still had the stump... which stayed as a fire pit for over a year.

When we needed to put up the fence, it had to go.

Unfortunately, there was about 70% more to this stump below ground than above it. The picture above is with the stump dug out and half of it already removed.

Then we sank a 12' 4x4 and put up the rest of the fence.

OK, now to present time: We have the new dogeared wood panel fence completely up in the back yard. The elaborate sliding gate we had planned on has been put on hold. We needed a gate pronto, and we we're having a hell of a time finding the right tracks, wheels, etc. for the earlier design, so that plan is on hold for now. The good news is that we can re-use the same materials if we need to rebuild anything.

So we settled.

We took a regular 6x8 fence panel, reinforced it with metal nailers at the corners, then used 2 turnbuckles to keep the panel square and used it for the larger panel on the south side of the gate, added mojo hinges, a cane bolt, a latch and a $30 wheel with a spring. This one swings outward.

The other gate panel had to be built from scratch, with 2x4 PT lumber and individual slats we'd salvaged from the other panels when building the rest of the fence. We used one 2x4 diagonal cross brace and another turnbuckle. It swings inward.

It's not great, the right side is a bit wobbly still, but it works.

Now that we have a secure garden, it's on to planting. I think that's worthy of another post altogether.

I've been very very busy.

*PS a quick note on the first image in this post... I made 2 shelves with leftover fence rails on the gate by cutting the slat to size and screwing it sideways onto the gate panel structure supports with 4-5 screws each. Makes a great place for seedlings, light tools or a wine glass :-)

1 comment:

Fence Philadelphia said...

looks like you had a fun time with that fence project!