Friday, May 18, 2012

More conundrums

I'm going to rename this blog Just a Girl With an Inability to Correctly Estimate How Much Soil/Compost/Chips She Needs. Ever since I ordered way too much soil for the raised beds I've erred on the side of less when ordering soil and amendments. I figured the pathway would call for 1/4 yard of cedar chips. Keep in mind, I didn't measure anything, that just sounded like a nice number.

I went to the wood waste place and discovered that the smallest amount they'll sell you is 1/2 yard. I asked the guy to go light when filling the truck (he did), so of course it fell short of how much I needed when I got home.

A little low

I had to go back the next day and get another 1/2 yard which got the pathway to the level I wanted.


Next up: adding drainage to the berm in the form of gravel or chicken grit, based on Loree's instructions (thank you Loree!), getting more plants in, and figuring out a way to mulch the agaves with gravel or stone while mulching everything else with fine bark mulch. Any bright ideas out there? I think I need some sort of border to divide the two mulches but I don't think bender board is going to cut it in this case.

I think I might have to build a rock wall/perimeter where the red line is. So much for avoiding the purchase of stone right now.


  1. I was very confused at first because I quickly read your title as "More Condoms." You would need A LOT of condoms to fill your walkway ;)

    I always guess incorrectly when it comes to the amount of materials we need to purchase for various projects. Even when we measure everything out and get all construction calculatery about it, it still seems to come out wrong. I don't even say "if at first you don't succeed," for us anymore, it should just be: eventually you will succeed.

  2. Ha! I think you'd need, like, two yards of condoms to fill that pathway! Less if they were ribbed.

    I really hope my dad doesn't read the comments.

  3. You probably don't want condoms as a mulch in the Agave lands, just a thought.

    As for the rock to divide the two mulch types just take a little drive out highway 30 and make a few stops along the way. A wise sprig/twig blogger once suggested this...I haven't tried it but she made it sound easy and legal.

  4. So much about this thread is making me laugh! I can't believe Ricki is an unlawful hippie! I'd probably be the first person to be caught stealing rocks off of public lands, knowing me.

  5. Hi Heather,

    Nice to see you at the RPR sale. I spent 2 hours moving and rearranging this morning so I could plant Mekong Giant Banana in a good spot. 10 to 15' in one season, says Burl, so we'll see.

    On pathway material, you might consider the crushed rock at Oregon Decorative Rock on Columbia Blvd. No grit and sounds great when you walk on it. I ordered more than I needed--second time around--and have used it all over the yard, paths, drainage, and top dressing. My stash is all but gone, which makes me so sad. I like extra compost and rocks around--just in case I need them...

    See ya.

  6. Patricia, I was so happy to see you yesterday! I actually pass by ODR all the time, so I'm happy to hear they're a good place--thanks for the recommendation.

    Do you happen to remember roughly how much they charge per yard for the crushed rock?

  7. I can't believe Loree is passing on this advice. She seemed, well, lets just say skeptical when I first shared this not-so-dark secret.

  8. I think the three of us need to take a little drive. :)

  9. Hahaha...yeah, I'm pretty awful at figuring that out. Even once I do the math that SHOULD get me to the correct answer, I inevitably have too much or too little (as you can tell from the pile of gravel in our driveway)! I'd check Craigslist for the rock before spending $$$ on never know, with all the projects going on around town right now, there's bound to be someone with extra :-)

  10. I just called and asked--since I love knowledge and couldn't remember. Geeze Louise. He rattled off so many numbers and options. Upshot, I think about $45 a cubic yard if you pick up. Additional $65 charge if they deliver...

    I also really like Smith Rock on Johnson Creek Blvd., but they didn't have the crushed rock option last time I was there, a million years ago--or maybe it was 5.

  11. You are awesome. Thanks so much!

  12. I wouldn't feel bad: we still have sizable piles of mulch, gravel and small river rock, courtesy of professional landscape crew's inability to estimate last year.

  13. They probably used those online calculators that never ever guesstimate correctly. :)