Friday, May 21, 2010

Getting Closer


Sweetheart's Mom mentioned a particular type of plantain that is even better than the regular one I am familiar with.

Here is what we've been using.

And I'm wondering if this is what you were talking about, SM?

We tried to get as early a start as we could yesterday, to beat the heat. With the rest of the metal sheeting in place...

...we turned our attention to digging the French drain above the deck.

Adding a little water to make sure there is a drop in level toward the direction we want the water to flow.

That ended up being perfect. Now we had to direct all the rainwater collection off away from the pool dugout. I made this up myself, so I sure am hoping it will work. LOL

We tried to save the turf for reuse.

Now digging out a bit deeper for the pipe.

I forgot to take photos of laying the special pipe for French drains, but if you go to my tag on French Drains you can see how to do that there.

It's finally ready.

Now to cut the PVC pipe at a difficult angle. Directly above the deck is the normal French drain type of pipe. But out in the open lawn we have to have something that will support the tractor for mowing, and some way to have it out there without it being in the way of the mower blade. This is what I came up with.

Normally, cutting PVC is easy with a variety of tools, but the size and thickness made all of those ways difficult without special tools which we do not have.

I had heard of using string to cut PVC, and we found this video...


So off we went to work some magic!

Only it didn't work. The string kept breaking.

I have no idea why. I thought it could have been because we had to get a start on the pipe with the hacksaw since the cut was to be at such an angle, but we also tried it straight across on uncut pipe and that did not work either.

After about 50 failures, I was back on the internet trying to come up with solutions. But while I was gone, Michael did it the old fashioned way. Hack away at something until it doesn't exist any more.

It took a while, but it was effective. Awesome!

So we laid it in, attaching it to the drain pipe.

We tried to get it as flush with the ground as we could. The problem is that in order for it to be perfectly flush, the angled pipe cut would have to be a good three feet long. That is not feasable.

And here it is, all covered up with the remaining gravel from the pile in the driveway, and utilizing only a couple of turf squares we'd set aside. The grass will quickly grow over the remaining earth. We'll have to mow over it carefully to get a feel for how high to have the blades.

Lunchtime!!! Michael went for the dark lettuce in the herb garden, and I went to pick lettuce from the shaded bed.

Some of you wanted updates on this particular project. They are doing fine. They are a little spindly, just getting a bit of dappled light in the afternoon, but they taste wonderful. The leaves are more delicate and tear easily.

I had also taken a couple of pear tree trunk suckers, put rooting hormone on them, and stuck them in this very light and rich soil mix. They seem to be doing well after a month.

We washed our lunch outdoors, enjoying the cool water from the hose.

Then we took turns spelling each other on mowing the place, and continuing digging out the caved in banks around the edge.

I am hoping the more gradual slope of the banks in combination with the redirection of water flow will keep erosion to a minimum. I don't want to buy retaining wall stones as they are too expensive.

Now to focus on the deck. We checked to see where we were at for level on all the boards. Of course, to make it perfect we would have to dismantle the entire thing and redo it. Not gonna happen.

So instead we reset the blocks and added a support post where necessary.

And that was where we had to stop. The deck boards have shrunk significantly over the years and we needed another board to add in, as well as new deck screws. We grabbed those really quick on the way to Men's group and Ladies Night.

Can you pick yourself off the floor at the cost of screws? It kills me!




  1. I was just at Lowes yesterday looking at the price of screws! The price is ridiculous. Especially since I like the brand Deck Mate...

  2. Oh Faith, I do wish you lived closer, for many reasons, but we'd be glad to share screws, you see.... Mike and my Dad attended an auction almost 10 yrs ago( for a cabinet/ woodworker shop) and bought three storage(wooden) racks with probably 25 draws each and each were full to the brim with nails and screws of all sorts.The draws are approx. 10"x 15"x10"(deep) We figure in using all we have and even sharing with friends we still have enough for a decade or more*wink* Now any guess as to what they paid........ it was only $35 What a blessing, don't you agree!

  3. Nate,

    Yup, nearly 30 dollars for a box. We'll have to learn to make our own eventually. You are going to need a metal shop along with that woodshop.


  4. Kelle,

    What a great find!!! LOL It feels so good to just walk out to the shop and find what you need, doesn't it!

    Maybe we'll be neighbors later...? :o)


  5. The second picture doesn't look like what I have. The seed spikes I have, have seeds down about 3/4 of the way on the stalk. The leaves look like your broad leaf plantain but thinner (make sense?) I will try to get a good pic.

    The salad looks amazing. I will have a fall salad garden!

    Great job Michael!!! Nice pipe.

  6. SM,

    Thanks, I would appreciate that! :o)


  7. Hi Lady!
    The first plantain picture is waybread or common plantain or white man's foot - it is the best medicinally.

    The second picture is fingerling plantain - good in a pinch but the waybread is much better.

    Y'all have been busy - sigh - that time of year - of to the greenhouse!

    Love you both!

  8. You folks just amaze me with how hard you work and how ingenious you are. Thanks for sharing such wonderful posts.


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