Monday, March 23, 2009

The Big Dig

Last summer, our county ran really short of water, to the point of water rationing in our town. I actually had to call the Town Hall and get on the list of "people who have rain barrels" so I could have our fountains running and my gardens watered (otherwise, nosey people report you and then you have Officer Friendly showing up).

But even with 9 rain barrels (slightly less than 500 gallons of storage), eventually the water runs out.

That's when I came up with a brilliant idea for expansion. We're putting in a small sump pump ($35) that will sit in the lowest water barrel and pump water up a slight hill into a small holding pond. All of my gardens downhill from the holding pond, so we'll run a second water line that will allow the water to run down into the underground soaker hoses running through the garden.

Water plants will help filter the rain water (not as clean as you might think) before it reaches the garden, while the neighborhood bunnies and possums can also use it as a watering hole.

The photos above are the pond site, and the gardens below the site.

This is the pond form itself, approximately 2.5 feet deep, maybe 4 feet long overall.

And then there's the two of us, waiting for the hole to dig itself.

It didn't. So we are forced to dig. Digging is my least favorite thing in the world. I may prefer root canals to digging.

After several buckets of dirt (not many - we are wimps), we decide to compromise -instead of digging it completely out, we will dig it halfway, and pull the dirt up around it. Yes, we are lazy.

The next step is to set the form into the hole, and work at getting it level. I *think* the correct way to do this is to overdig the hole, put sand in the bottom and then work the form into the sand. We of course did it differently.

Last step was to use a level, and even out the form in the hole.

The next step was to call it a day, and go sit down with some tea.

After we recouperate, we'll be drilling holes for the hose connections, and digging trenches for the piping to and from the form.

I'm thinking we can rent one of those digger things for that.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful idea!! I think we have almost the same pond too .. and I did exactly the same thing as you, except I didn't bother with the level (I'm really lazy .. and there was only one of me doing the work!).
    I can't wait to see how it goes!