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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Covering the Ground

Two days after we had a major snowstorm, Saturday was a beautiful spring day in Utah, with temperatures in the 60s. For me, it became the first Saturday yard work day of the year.

Main Project: Planting ground cover border along the back edge of the house.

Cost: About $30 at home depot: $5 each for five plants; $2.50 each for two bags of bark (I actually bought three and used one and a half bags to mulch around a couple of trees, leaving a bag and a half for this project)

Time to complete: About an hour and a half (plus shopping time, which was a while for me because I always get stuck in Home Depot, looking at new ideas, calling Christine to ask about this or that, and comparing my various options)

Tools needed: Shovel, rake

Plants: Prince of Wales Juniper, Juniperus horizontalis; an evergreen ground cover that has a feathery appearance; mature size: 4-6" tall, 3-6' wide; a nice juniper evergreen scent; a key selling point from the card attached to the plant: "Feature: Low maintenance."

Site prep: This space has actually been reserved for some plants for probably three years. I removed the previous growth about that long ago, and then two years ago a neighborhood boy did a work project for me--placing a 2x4 pressure-treated wood border along the edge of the grass to give a straight edge to the lawn. I had also moved dirt here from elsewhere in the yard to build up the area a little. (When we moved in, we had a "negative slope" here; meaning the ground sloped toward the house. This caused a problem during a huge rain storm one year. Rain water drained toward the house, leaking into the basement through tiny cracks in the foundation.) On Saturday as I planted these plants, I decided I had added too much dirt here, so I moved about four wheelbarrows of soil to another part of the yard.

What I would have done differently: I should have bought some sort of compost or fertilizer to use when I planted the ground cover. I didn't think of that until too late, and I was pressed for time and didn't want to go back to Home Depot to get some fertilizer. So I used a bit of Miracle Gro potting soil that I had in the garage--not enough and not the ideal compost, but I'm sure it will help a little. I also could have used one more bag of bark. The bark here is a bit thin.

Future projects in this area: This border is not reached by our sprinklers, so I need to work up a watering system. I will probably do a drip system of some sort, with little bubblers/drippers placed next to each plant.

Before Picture:

After picture:

1 comment:

  1. Looks great Jeff! I'm envious of your nice weather. We are up to the 90's in Southern Nevada.