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  #61  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 6:21 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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The peach tree in the backyard is getting new leaves/flowers...and while most of the tree looks good, one branch seems completely dead. The tree was planted about 4 years ago.

Anyone know what is could be causing this? Could it be because I pruned the tree too late? (Pruned it about 1 month ago, beginning of January, figured it would be a good time)

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  #62  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 2:52 AM
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HX, you mind if I rename this thread to something like Southwest Home and Garden?

I'm working on my back patio ... 15' wide by 18' deep surrounded by 6' fence. Currently consists of a whole bunch of decomposed granite and red clay to keep the weeds down. When you lift up the plastic cover, the dirt smells old.

As I ponder what to do with it all, which probably will involve a pond... anyone know what I'm supposed to do with something like 500 cubic feet of backfill?
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  #63  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 3:29 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Sure, rename it.
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  #64  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 5:26 AM
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There was the "SHIT" thread... maybe just combine the two.

Sean, you can do what I did with my excess dirt. Slowly spread it out along the walls of your alley and slowly put it in the dumpsters. Eventually it will be gone.
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  #65  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 5:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHX31 View Post
Sean, you can do what I did with my excess dirt. Slowly spread it out along the walls of your alley and slowly put it in the dumpsters. Eventually it will be gone.
Thats very Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape" of you.
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  #66  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 4:58 PM
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LOL, this isn't an engineered glider to perfect technical specifications. This is dirt.
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  #67  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 10:37 PM
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^ The area behind the back apartment complex's dumpsters now has some new, uh, weed control.

Who fucking knew how heavy this stuff is? I have some 40 gallon containers of sorts on wheels and I am almost incapacitated moving them when they're barely half full.
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  #68  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2010, 3:42 AM
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Soils question:

I'm going to be using some interlocking soil retaining block of 8" depth to create a 75 square foot terrace raised from grade by about 3' or so, using further instructions and materials from the supplier who made this video:

Video Link


I like the terrace to form part of the west edge of a 9' x 5' pond (approximately 1000 gallons) with a 5' vertical depth on the terrace edge preferably made of cinderblock. The other sides of the pond will be formed at a general 1:1 slope with flexible liner and I have a pretty good idea of how to tie that in with the foundation of a concrete supporting wall.

But what kind of soil wall design would be necessary to hold back the pond, the soil, and the wall of the terrace on top?

I'm thinking a cavity wall made of 2 wythes of concrete block, with 3' of geogrid and compacted soil/gravel going into the terrace side and a thick coating of epoxy resin on the pond side, but I'm not sure about the foundation width, the cinder block width, how to specifically design the top of the wall or its sides.

Thought: 6" of reinforced cinderblock on each side with a 2 - 3" cavity on an 24" foundation, then simply lay a deeper set of blocks at the base. If I can place the epoxy coating on the interior of the pond wall, I can have a kickass permeable surface on which all sorts of things will grow on that won't leak.

I'm guessing I technically need a permit but I'd really rather not to go through it because of the costs of drawing it up and having it stamped, which would well exceed the materials cost. I'd like to build this mostly myself.

Last edited by combusean; Mar 13, 2010 at 4:07 AM.
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  #69  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2010, 3:36 PM
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/\Are you thinking out loud?

Answer = um, yes?

I built a new semi-trellis and patio lights contraption. I'll post pics later to keep this thread going.
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  #70  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2010, 3:39 PM
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^ Yes what?
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  #71  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 1:08 AM
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I was answering your long crazy question
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  #72  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 8:59 PM
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So I finished my semi-trellis patio thing this weekend. It's not really a trellis at all, but more of a support system for patio lights and vines.



Here's what I did:

I took four 10' 4x6" douglas fir pieces of lumber and stained them darker brown. I put them 3' in the ground, so they'd be about 7' tall each, and secured them via quickcrete/compacted soil. (even if it doesn't look like it from the pictures, they are evenly spaced and plumbed/levelled).

To these posts I installed some wire rope (as a support/guide wire) at the tops and anchored them to a single point shakle about 9 feet up on the side of my house.

Then I bought some commercial strings of lights - without plugs (for hardwiring). and strung them along the support wires... this is for patio lighting, obviously.

Then I installed a new GFCI inside a new box on the side of my house and trenched in some electrical conduit with 14/2 romex from the house to the posts. Up two of the posts I ran the conduit and installed an electrical box and outlet - and hardwired the patio lights into the system with the boxes and outlets. I hooked it all up on a switch, also on the back side of the far post, so it all turns on an off by this switch... there are no plugs to plug in or anything.





Finally, I planted some flowering vines (can't remember the type, they're more hearty, but they're not cat's claw) that will hopefully eventually grow all the way up and cover the posts and maybe slightly grow on the wires (maybe).



We already were outside last night playing cards under the lights. It's kind of a nice but soft lighting, like an outside cafe might look like... it's bright enough to easily see the cards (and dinner or something), but it's not too bright. I think the posts give the patio area some nice verticality and break up the monolith that is the block wall, and the vines will soften up the posts and hide the conduit... and overall vines are just cool.

Well, I think it is awesome! You might see my yard on HGTV someday j/k
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  #73  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 9:52 PM
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Before: (really Phase 0)





After:



$200 cash to get two of the hardest workers I've ever seen for 2.5 hours in my yard, with the time it takes them at the dump and associated fees inclusive. My good feeling paid off--the contractor wants to hire me for tech skills part time! And it looks like they'll cut us a deal on our complex's landscaping service too.



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  #74  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 10:47 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Anyone know if there is a minimum distance that you have to keep between a patio cover and the fence/property line?

We want to extend our patio in the backyard and am not sure how close we go go toward the fence. We'll have someone do it professionally, and I'm sure they will know, but until then...I wonder if someone here knows.
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  #75  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 11:42 PM
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^ 0' for storage sheds and things of that nature last I checked. Are you in an HOA? check with them.
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  #76  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2010, 7:29 AM
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A friend of mine is an environment artist. This is what we've been coming up with lately...the thing in the center is supposed to be a fixed water feature/coffee table.






A materials mockup. The planter area will invoke images of ruins of an old roman wall--this is in its pre "ruined" phase.



The deck/terrace will actually have a curtain wall of rough textured block, built using three keystone arches over the water on 5' tall support columns. The final plan will likely involve a woodbridge over the south edge of the pond and have much smaller north stairs.

I have an architect has hooked me up before on plans for my 2nd story addition that never materialized due to the credit crisis, and he knows concrete guys that will lay it.

Last edited by combusean; Mar 16, 2010 at 7:49 AM.
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  #77  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2010, 2:05 PM
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^ Nice. What about shade? Or will your second story have same integrated with it?

I've been painting and redecorating my condo...will have pics soon.

--don
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www.aroundphoenix.com
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  #78  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2010, 10:06 PM
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Sean are you going to do anything with the plain grey block wall? I always feel like those style walls which are so prevalent in the Valley are really ugly and can drag down and otherwise lovely yard. Id at very least paint it, or get some sort of vines to grow/cover it.
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  #79  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2010, 6:59 PM
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I figure I'm going to paint the walls when I'm done. Shade will probably be accomplished with a simple patio umbrella in that middle post.

A half day of digging:



1/6th of the way to go.



There's a 1/4" plaster foundation for an outbuilding that existed from 1909-1943 back there. Underneath that, I found this:

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  #80  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2010, 8:18 PM
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/\That's awesome! I'd throw a metal detector on the areas you've dug. There has to be some cool shit buried around downtown.

In my couple years of digging around my backyard I've only found a wheat penny (I'm assuming it was dropped on the ground sometime in the 1930s cause that is the date that's on it) and some kind of buried incenerator... I dug out this thin rusted-out cone-shaped thing with a "chimney" on the top of it and it had a bunch of ashy crap in it. It wasn't more than 1.5feet wide and 2.5feet tall. I have no idea what it was.
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