So I have a tricky situation here. I have a small yard but big enough to where I've setup a couple 4x4 square foot gardens (in separate locations) and planted a dwarf lemon tree. I have a dwarf mandarin clementine tree that I want to plant but was thinking about moving the 4x4s together to create a 4x8 box.
That aside, the rest of the yard is pretty much dirt. Last summer, or half the year actually, I ripped out the existing plants (birds of pardadise, shrubs, rose bushes etc) because I wanted to clear it all out and not have to deal with the overgrowth - it would get so crazy at times. Now I want to install a paver or flagstone patio. The biggest problem or hindrance for me is the transportation of materials, especially when it comes to getting them into the yard. There is no gate or outdoor access to our yard (we are part of a condo unit), so in order to do anything we'd pretty much have to bring everything through the house.
What's the best approach to doing this? Also, we have a Rav4 and I estimated that we'll need probably at least one pallet of bricks or pavers to do the area of patio we want to install. As far as picking pavers, etc, we don't know yet but I'm not as worried with that. One other consideration is that my wife wants to do pavers across the entire yard. I'm thinking this may not be as practical in terms of the labor though. I'd rather do bricks/pavers where we want and mulch or gravel the rest.
At this point it's just a matter of A) the best way to transport/load the material (sand and pavers, primarily, I'd presume) and B) how do we unload and get everything through the condo and into the backyard.
1. If at all possible, see if there is any other access to the back yard - friendly neighbor maybe?
2. If you must go through the house, cover the path from front to back with drop cloths, 1/4" OSB or Ramboard.
3. Do not use your Rav4. All that heavy stuff WILL damage your car, it's just not worth it. Borrow a truck or if you must, rent one. Even better, most places will deliver. There is no reason to do hundreds or thousands of dollars of damage to your car when you can pay $20 to get it delivered.
4. Get lots of help for your delivery day. Hire some strong high school kids for $10 an hour. Unload directly from the truck and carry everything into the back yard. If you have it delivered, they will set it in the front on pallets. Moving everything at once means that you can get past the mess of going through the house and get your home back. Plus, once everything is in the backyard you can work at your own pace.
You can combine the two separate beds as long as the two dwarf fruit trees each have enough space for their roots to spread. There’s a concept called square foot gardening, which is more of an intensive gardening method than anything dealing with true square footage. It might be something to explore if you want to plant anything more. (I tried to get a link to the original book on this concept but the site repeatedly crashed my computer.)
Did you feel a quick shower? Those were my tears as I thought of the rose bushes being pulled out! If you tell me that any of them were David Austin roses, you might find yourself in a downpour as I think about all those lovely roses being sacrificed.
Seriously, I'm not chastising you, but just kidding. I do understand that sometimes shrubbery and roses do need to go if they’re not in good condition or suitable for their situation. Still, they are such beauties and it’s hard to think of sacrificing them, although I’ve had to remove some of mine after they didn't survive harsh winters.
My sister had a condo unit with a small patio with no access, so her situation was similar to yours. Her patio was only about 12' x 12', so we could easily hand the pavers over the fence, but unless your yard is small, that isn’t practical. You don’t mention whether or not you have a fence, and I assume there’s no access directly to the yard or through the garage. So I think JayBee’s advice on a paver brigade is better.
I also second his caution against hauling all that heavy material yourself. I brought home a large load of pavers in my little VW type 3 when I was overcome by enthusiasm for getting started on my garden path. Even though there was no damage to the car, I was afraid I wouldn’t make it home. I would never do that again.
Later I had to order some brick for my sister’s front porch and found a brick supply company in Detroit which delivered the brick on pallets. Believe me, it was much easier than hauling the brick myself. Call around to landscape companies and companies which supply various kinds of stone for hardscape; there might be quite a difference in the landscape companies charge vs. the stone suppliers.
I believe that I had to order in quantities of hundreds; I ordered either 100 or 200 (don’t remember for sure) and saved the extras for garden paths. You can also use any extra bricks as borders for your square foot gardens. They’ll add quite a decorative element to your beds.
The concern I would have about paving the entire yard is drainage. I have no expertise on drainage systems, but the rain has to be able to soak in, and a solid paver configuration would inhibit that drainage.
What mulching materials were you considering as an alternative? Since they won’t prevent weeds, you’ll still have some maintenance. And they will need to be replenished periodically as they decompose.
I assume you don’t want a grass lawn. If you would like some greenery, you might consider an herbal or moss lawn. They’re both low maintenance, and of course an herbal lawn would be fragrant. Creeping thyme is one herb used for this purpose.
You've already got some good suggestions here , so I'll just post this for a little fun you might be interested in
would you like to have a tree that grows lemons AND clementines on the same tree. Yep, you can do that by grafting a scion of one or the other on the other. Google tree grafting for info and diagrams on how to do it
there are what are called "fruit cocktail trees" where 3 or 4 citrus trees are grafted together. Saves a lot of space and is a great conversation
piece. You can google that also
Nona, I thought you were "pulling our collective legs" with the fruit cocktail and fruit salad tree suggestions. I'm surprised to find out that there are actually such trees.
Have you grown any? Are the multiple kinds of fruits true to their species? Despite the grafting it seems as though pollination might be an issue as sometimes vegetables (and possibly fruits) require male and female blossoms for proper pollination.
Interesting concept, one I'm going to investigate further. Here in Michigan, though, I'd have to have an indoor home for them over the winter.This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
I have a fruit cocktail - lemon, lime, grapefruit and navel and it is only about 6 feet tall. I grows them all. All citrus in AZ are grafted onto a hardy rootstock and to make a cocktail tree, they just graft limbs on.
that's easy to do, graft buds in the early spring into little T-slits to the cambium of the tree trunk. they will grow to branches bearing the fruit of the tree that donated the bud. seal/overcoat to protect the cambium back when I grafted apples in the 60s was done with a stinky mix of batters' rosin and wax. even easier to buy the fruit cocktail trees from a nursery, usually online.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
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