Posted in Plants, Progress

Speaking of regrading…

That is one of the reasons I have been so antsy now about the weather.   The more spring showers we get, the more I realize what regrading I did manage to get to last year did help.  At the same time, I want to finish what I started in other areas.

As can happen, although I had a clear plan in mind about how I would go about the regrade process, sometimes there’s that one thought or question in the back of your mind that just won’t die until it gets satisfied.

Not fun to move!
A section of the old concrete splash guard slabs that were meant to prevent erosion since the house lacks gutters on three sides.  This portion is in better shape than most of it.

I suspected that like other areas around the foundation, there were old concrete slab splash guards in the safety bed.  So back on the 9th of May, as I was diligently trying to follow my plan of shoveling all the topsoil into a wheelbarrow for later sifting to get the safety glass out (since I had to lower the overall grade level anyhoo), my brain kept screaming “I BET IT’S DOWN THERE, AND I BET IT ALSO SETTLED TOWARDS THE HOUSE!”

Then the copious amounts of raspberry runners starting tangling one too many times with my shovel, so I started pulling them back, then I was finding half buried trash, then I hit something hard and flat while digging out a rather odd broken piece of purple plastic that must have been part of a toy or play set because it had a warning message molded on it about needing adult supervision during use.

Once I poked around briefly to see if it was just a random rock, and it was obvious it wasn’t, my brain won at that point.  I started brushing back dirt, justifying to myself that if I saw concrete, that’d be confirmation and I could go back to what I was doing, right?


You can figure out what happened from there, I’m betting.

Yeah. Nice ditch I made there right next to the foundation the day before the heavy storm was due.
When you had a plan, but you don’t follow it, this can happen. (The cable is from an old installation prior to our arrival. Ignore it.)

Instead of keeping my starting area to the right side of the image where any ditch I might have caused would be away from the house, I essentially dug a ditch directly against the foundation.  Not my proudest moment, I assure you.

I wound up doing this because although I was correct that the splash guard was under a lot of sediment build up, and also correct that it had since settled towards the house, you can see from the shadow angles in the above image that it was soon to be getting dark around the time I took this image.  So there were two options: fill the ditched area with whatever because of the impending storm on its way in the next 24 hours, or leave it as is because I still had a lot of clean up to do with tools, trash, many runners needing to go in the baking bag, and cement slabs (because of course the splash guard also cracked from the frost heave over time because it was too thin) that would need to be better organized than the random way I had thrown them about while working.

I got lucky, in that the storm wasn’t as intense as predicted. Although we did get about as much rain as they said on the lighter end, it did not all come at once, so that helped.

I do wonder in a small way, though, if eliminating that hard surface that was funneling water towards the foundation also helped because now the water could seep down into the ground at least a little further away from the house instead of being directed to the foundation surface.  I wondered that because I kept an ear out for the sump pump kicking in throughout that storm, and it didn’t kick as much as it normally did for a storm of the size we did wind up with that night and the next day.  I’m not trying to justify my ditched plan, it was something I still am genuinely curious about, and thought it interesting enough to merit sharing.

I’m still not done with this corner, but if all goes as planned, the new rain barrel will be in place sometime next week.  We’re still debating how much guttering we want to install in that area for now to help funnel the water into it and its run off set up.  The guttering may take longer than the week depending on weather because that cable I told you to ignore?  It’s coming off as well, and there is so much of it because of how they ran it around outside, and so many tie off points because of the long unnecessary run, it’s downright silly.  Being silly won’t shorten the time needed to remove it all.  We also need to seal up whichever holes we don’t reuse for the gutters.  I will be so happy to have that cable finally gone because some of the anchors didn’t hold and the wire would slap against the house in strong winds, which we get plenty here on top of the hill.

We’ve not even begun the dry creek bed project the rain barrel overflow will eventually run off into along the west side of the property, but we do have a temporary swale we’re finishing that will handle such for now.  I did dig out near the two cellar window sills since both were getting damaged by how up the sediment had built, but at least that progress followed that steps of the plan better than I did with the safety glass bed.


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