One afternoon last week, Tim txt’ed me that we had a project for Johnny at a co-workers house that evening. Once again I thought he was crazy. This time it was because it was wet and rainy. Tim had overheard Matt talking about his raised-bed garden project in his backyard. Matt has grand plans for 6 raised-beds made from concrete blocks stacked 3 high with the garden in the middle. Over the prior weekend, he had dug trenches by hand for two of the beds as a footer for concrete blocks. Tim saw the pictures and told him Johnny could help with the digging. Since it had taken Matt both Saturday and Sunday to dig these two beds, he happily accepted the offer. However, Tim didn’t really expect Matt to want to do it that evening. But Matt really wanted to get the project underway so off we went.
Call Before You Dig
One of the first things I asked Matt was if he had “Called Before You Dig”. He replied that he had them come out last fall for a different project. He was absolutely positive that no utility lines or power lines are buried in the backyard inside the wooden fence. The only thing we found buried in the soil were tree roots and worms.
If you have never called 811 and found out what’s below ground in your yard, please do so before starting a digging project. It’s Free! Once they come out and mark your yard, take pictures of the markings so you’ll remember where all the lines are the next time you want to dig!
Wet! Wet! Wet!
Indiana has had an usually warm and wet March and beginning of April. It had rained earlier in the day and was forecasted to rain that evening. The ground is basically clay so the trenches that Matt had dug over the weekend were full of water. Against his better judgement, Tim decided to dig the trenches because Matt was so eager to proceed with his plan. We did get the trenches dug but made a mess in his backyard. We also left ruts in his front yard and down his side yard. Matt seemed happy with the sacrifice.
Since Matt had cut the sod, it was easy to scoop up a long length of it at one time. However, it would often fall out the side of the bucket and back into the trench. I realized that we could have used a thumb on the backhoe bucket (don’t tell Tim -he might want to buy one). It would’ve help lift up the dirt clods and deposit them in the middle of the excavation area. A thumb may be in our future.
Mud Stuck in the Bucket
I also thought of a new attachment for the bucket – it needs a trigger like the old ice cream scoops so that the operator could use a lever to force the muddy stuff inside the bucket out. This would have been a tremendous help. Tim kept having to shake the bucket or use a shovel to clean it out. What do you think? Doable?
Tim says there is a better answer for this problem. He says BXpanded makes a Trencher Bucket. For more information about Tim’s backhoe bucket, and what he would differently if he had a second chance, check out 1023e/1025r 260 Backhoe Optimal Bucket Size.
Tim and I make a great team. In this particular project, we worked together to move the tractor so Tim didn’t have to re-position the seat every time he wanted to move forward a few feet or to the next trenching area. The tractor was in low gear. I was probably going less than a mile per hour and had a good place to hold onto. We thought it was going to rain again any minute so doing this saved us a lot of time. Overall, it was safe and effective.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
The full video of this project is here:
Project Complete – Not Really
We got the trenches dug for Matt before it started raining again that evening. The rain filled the trenches to overflowing so he decided to run a drainage tile down the back of all the beds. We were not able to help with this part of the project since it’s been too wet for over a week now to get Johnny back out to play (I mean work). We did wash him over the weekend but that was about all we could do with him.
Our part of the project was complete; however, Matt still had a lot left to do. Check out Matt’s Blog to see the latest on his garden bed project.
Tim’s Super Cool Boots
Ok, one more thing. I’m sure you were all mesmerized by Tim’s boots! He has worn this type of mud/snow boot for his entire life. They are warm, waterproof, and comfortable. They last for many years. In our case, they last 10 years or more until the rubber finally gives out. They are not good for running! However, they are great for muddy conditions like we had at Matt’s house, or in snow.
You can get your own pair of boots by clicking the link to the left. However, I’m not sure that you can be as cool and handsome as Tim. (Perhaps Tim got his hands on the keyboard for this part of this article???)
Thanks for reading and watching!