Friday, April 23, 2010

Where have I been?

If anyone wonders where have I been the answer is in my back yard working.  I think it's been over 3 weeks now since I have been to the park or a "drop in" in the morning.  Don't get me wrong we still make it out in the afternoon or after supper to the park - C Monster is not totally being neglected for the back yard.  Also he really loves playing and "helping me" in the back yard.

So the day is finally here I get to plant grass today or tomorrow.  and then C Monster is banned from the back yard for 3-4 weeks to let the grass take.

You ask what did we do?

A Box for the Garden

The first thing was to build a small box around our vegetable garden.  We just built the the wall 2 4x4 high and only along one side and the bottom of the garden.  This was really just to help the dirt stay in garden - it also ended up helping us ensure our garden fence is installed straight.

I had a hard time deciding what to do about this wall and how to build it; see we live in an area that is of concern for termites.  I looked at stone and brick but the cost was much more then we wanted in invest; that left wood.  I started researching wood and pressure treated wood. Non-pressure treated wood is really not recommended for use in the ground especially if you know that termites like your area already.  There are a few exotic wood that you can use but most of them are from virgin rain forest half way across the world.  Knowing all that I started looking at pressure treated wood.  Their are 2 kinds of pressure treayed wood available on the market CCA and ACQ.  CCA is the traditional pressure treated wood that hear all the bad stories about the chemicals used and ACQ is a new alternative that does not contain any chemicals that the EPA considers of concern to the environment and humans.  I am not going to go any greater detail but here are 2 website with loads of information.

Does Pressure-Treated Wood Belong in Your Garden?

Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA): ACQ - An Alternative to CCA

We were able to find ACQ wood both at Home Depot and Parliament Building Supplies.  I have to note that Home Depot had no clue what I was talking about and I have to call the mill that their wood is from directly to get the information; however Parliament Building Supplies informed me that they only carry ACQ wood.

Home for the Edemama

The next step was making a home for our Edemama, I decided this year to plant along the neighbors fence in addition to our vegetable garden.  This looks beautiful and also gives us a little more food.  I purchased a small border that matches our fence - this is to keep the #1 predator for our plants out - C Monster. This year I am also planning on doing companion garden; so in this patch we are also planting our lettuce and spinach.  

I also found these great spirals to use instead of wooden steaks.  I prefer medal instead of wood; as much as wood is sustainable because it will biodegrade I find I can only use my wood steaks for one or 2 years and after that they are dead.  These ones are sure to last many many years.  

Patio Stones for the BBQ & a Place to Rest
Next step was a home for the BBQ, for 5 years now the BBQ has just stood in dirt...  I spent time on Craig's List trying to score some patio slabs for free but was unsuccessful so we ended up buying some. We just got whatever was the cheapest per square foot - they are under the BBQ so who really cares what they look like. 
I also rejigged the stones we had placed last year at the foot of the tree.  I placed all our outdoor decorations up - the bench; some glass balls; lights; flower pots.

Finally we Have a Walk Way 
Last night I picked up some "fake" flagstone.  They are made from concrete.  We laided them down as stepping stones. You can't really see them well in this image because of the dirt but they are installed and we have a walk way once again.  We took out the old walk when we bought the house 8 years ago and since them well had noting. Last thing left is too plant the grass.


Looking forward to

Relaxing in the back yard while C Monsters plays in the grass.


jennifer said...

Very Helpful! I found this information about the chemicals in pressured treated wood.

Pierrette said...

Jennifer - I am glade you found this helpful

and thanks for the link