REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

In the garden, and RAIN!!!!

POSTED BY: SIGNYM
UPDATED: Saturday, May 28, 2022 19:26
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Monday, May 10, 2021 1:21 PM

BRENDA


Out for a walk in a bit on a nice, dry day. Few clouds. Need a couple of things from the grocery store.

Also got an appointment reminder just a bit ago. Mammogram tomorrow afternoon.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 1:24 PM

BRENDA


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
Lazy Sunday and a slower week coming up for me.

Me too. I DID eventually go out and weed, and over the course of the week filled up a 65-gal bin with weeds, and two 65-gal bins with leaves that need to be shredded. But mostly took it easy, didn;t cook much since for various reasons we were all doing something different with our meals, so that definitely made a lazy day for me!

I hope you enjoyed your lazy day. I know I did!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.



I did Sig. Was going to do some work on my book but I just didn't feel like it. I am hoping to get to it during the week.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 6:00 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


SIX, over here wunderground's " calendar" function - which shows archived rain and temps- is granular only to the nearest official weather station, which is usually an airport. It may not reveal the rain that YOU had at your house, especially if you were under a series of cloudbursts. Sorry.

I was trying to figure out whether the water at your sump pump is coming from ponding around/near your house or someplace farther away. The figure that I calculated from this website (in feet per hour)

https://civilweb-spreadsheets.com/drainage-info/infiltration-rate-of-s
oils
/

just doesn't match my own personal experience of watching an inch of water disappear in 15 minutes, especially since you have sand in your soil, like I do. I have a feeling, entirely unsupported by calculation, that the water at your sump pump is coming from someplace farther away. What is higher in elevation than your house, which could be a source of water?

But then, I could be entirely wrong.


-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 7:54 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


6ix, I am not sure if you are ignoring my posts.

Can you review my posts to you since 2 May?

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Monday, May 10, 2021 8:34 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Looks like I got a teeny tiny recluse spider bite.

Looked up online, no specific treatment except antibiotics and debridement and steroids if systemic reaction. Since no systemic reaction so far, if I make it until Friday without my skin dying and falling off, I'm in good shape.

Yanno, I THOUGHT I saw a tiny spider in my shirt, so I shook it out b4 I put it on. I guess I didn't shake hard enuf.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 9:40 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Ah, indeed ... weather.

I used to like dreary landscapes, all dun and taupe and gray. I found it soothing. But now thatI've lived with sunshine in my life, I'm not sure I could go back to that anymore.

Where do you go to see Sun? I only recall seeing hazy smog in SoCal.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 9:48 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


6ix, what is the deal with posting photos? You are afraid of revealing an email or geotag if posting a pic?
Or you don't want folk to see a pic of your house?

Can you draw, sketch on paper a drawing of your lot, then take a pic of your paper drawing (with a geotag from another town), and then post that?
With gutters around all your roof, only need to draw the situation at ground level.
Would be good to include basement wall, sump location, crawl space walls, attached structures resting on the ground, sidewalks and driveway, garage, that sand pit, fencing, downspouts, steps, gardens.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 9:56 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Ah, indeed ... weather.

I used to like dreary landscapes, all dun and taupe and gray. I found it soothing. But now thatI've lived with sunshine in my life, I'm not sure I could go back to that anymore.

Where do you go to see Sun? I only recall seeing hazy smog in SoCal.


When I moved here, I remember being at the crest of the Cajon Pass. It was evening, at the end of a 10-day smog siege. There were three fires burning in the south coast air basin. I could barely see the setting sun thru the murk and nothing at all of the landscape below, and with nothing but rocks and dead vegetation around me and a brown cloud below, all I could think of was I'm moving to Mordor.

But things have gotten a lot better in 40 years!



-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 11:00 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
SIX, over here wunderground's " calendar" function - which shows archived rain and temps- is granular only to the nearest official weather station, which is usually an airport. It may not reveal the rain that YOU had at your house, especially if you were under a series of cloudbursts. Sorry.



Yeah... but the weird thing is that it will tell you in a graph, every fifteen minutes, what the rainfall was, but then right below it it will say that the precipitation for the day was 0.0 inches. I only got those figures from before by hovering my mouse over the 15 minute intervals and adding them up myself. The site leaves a lot to be desired.

I'm just kind of bummed that that 72 hour precipitation map I showed you before doesn't record historical data. That thing is awesome, and they've already got the data collected. Why not back it all up?

Even if they couldn't afford that themselves, I can't believe that somebody out there wouldn't find that information useful.

Quote:

I was trying to figure out whether the water at your sump pump is coming from ponding around/near your house or someplace farther away. The figure that I calculated from this website (in feet per hour)

https://civilweb-spreadsheets.com/drainage-info/infiltration-rate-of-s
oils
/

just doesn't match my own personal experience of watching an inch of water disappear in 15 minutes, especially since you have sand in your soil, like I do. I have a feeling, entirely unsupported by calculation, that the water at your sump pump is coming from someplace farther away. What is higher in elevation than your house, which could be a source of water?

But then, I could be entirely wrong.



Well... I don't REALLY have sand in my soil. I have a sand pit in the back yard that was created when Uncle bob dug up all the dirt and threw a ton of sand down there under the pavers and never bothered with the step where you put plastic down before the sand. So it's got a really heavy mix of shit sand in my dirt where there wouldn't otherwise be any sand.

Pretty much everything is above me, except for the few blocks behind me where the people are unfortunate enough to live even lower in elevation than I do. The "main drag" street to turn into my neighborhood is probably 12 feet or more higher than my front door, and is a bridge over the ditch across the street that has water at least 7 or 8 feet higher than my front door when it's full.



I'm just finally getting to the point now where it will only go off twice in an hour, but just barely. I'd say by midnight tonight we'll finally get to the point where it's over 20 minutes OFF between 22 second ON cycles. Except for a brief shower that gave us .03 inches this morning, there hasn't been any rain since 10:30AM yesterday, when the pump was only off about 4 minutes and 45 seconds between ON cycles.


I did dump a LOT of water in the sand that went around the side and pooled up against the front porch wall though. All of that 3.5" of rain on the back porch roof ended up right down there.

When I extend the pipes down the driveway past the point it will roll off to the street, that water won't be a part of the equation anymore.

I don't know how you'd calculate that, but the gutter there is 25 feet long. I never measured how tall the roof is, but it's probably 15 to 20 feet. Times 3.5" of rainfall on that surface area... If that's how you'd equate it?



--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 11:06 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
6ix, what is the deal with posting photos? You are afraid of revealing an email or geotag if posting a pic?
Or you don't want folk to see a pic of your house?



There are people here that REALLY don't like me. I have no interest in showing pictures of my house here, particularly because there are many unique features both of the house and the land that would make it much more easy to identify than your typical house.

Just because Roomba can't post here anymore, doesn't mean he's not still lurking.

Quote:

Can you draw, sketch on paper a drawing of your lot, then take a pic of your paper drawing (with a geotag from another town), and then post that?
With gutters around all your roof, only need to draw the situation at ground level.



I did that. I spent about an hour making a mockup of the situation in a program called Paint.NET. That's the picture I posted a link to the other night, but when you hadn't grabbed it 2 hours after I posted it I removed it. It's a shame the PM function isn't going to be fixed here.

Quote:

Would be good to include basement wall, sump location, crawl space walls, attached structures resting on the ground, sidewalks and driveway, garage, that sand pit, fencing, downspouts, steps, gardens.



Yup. It has all of that. Any ideas how I could get it to you that isn't here? I can't think of one that somebody couldn't just read and follow us over there.

Maybe Haken would facilitate it. I've never interacted with him. Don't know if you have.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 11:08 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
6ix, I am not sure if you are ignoring my posts.

Can you review my posts to you since 2 May?



I'm not ignoring them. Did you see that I made a point to post that I hadn't even seen something you posted to me because you're editing old posts that I wasn't going back and reading days after you originally posted them?

I'll go back now and look them over again. Anything in particular you think you've said that I didn't read yet?

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Monday, May 10, 2021 11:23 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Maybe you missed part of what I said. You could use those pieces you already bought, to make a U-turn in your extenders.



Nah. Those are garbage and half the strength of the corrugated black pipe, if that. And those "popoid" features it has is just a potential weak spot just waiting to break on you. Plus they're super expensive by the foot compared to the pipe. I got 100 feet of that pipe for just a little more than twice what those two extenders cost me, and I measured them before I took them back and they were only 5 feet each.


Quote:

Can you run an existing solid extender through/under your porch or steps? Like around your sand pit area?


There aren't any steps back there. Wood rot and ants got to it. Just a concrete block for a step at the moment. But it wouldn't matter because steps wouldn't be in the way at all with the layout.

I really don't think there's ever going to be a way I can explain to you how the layout around here works until you see that picture.


Quote:

Regardless, I would NOT cut the downspout above the elbow, no matter the plan - cut it only after the elbow, downstream from the elbow.


So you would put the 4x3" rectangle to 4" round adapters after the elbow then?

Quote:

The drainage tile comes in both perforated and non-perf, so figure which you want. The 100' was practically the same price as 2x 50', and I wasn't certain you needed that much.


Depending on if I'm going to do down both sides of my driveway for three of the downspouts (two of them connected with either a Wye or a Tee), I might actually need more than 100'.

Non Perf all the way. From my reading, you only buy the perf stuff if you're planning on putting them underground. I have no interest in doing that. Not because of the work, but if they get clogged you can't rod them out and you have to dig them up again.

Quote:

If you brought your extension to abutt the chain link fence, I would think you could slope/contour the opposite side of the fence to drain it all away - I'm assuming towards the street in front. We really should be able to make things work without having downspouts all over the place, spread across your entire lawn.



The only chain link fence is my neighbor's in the back yard, and then a little 6' one from my house to the corner of my neighbor's fence to block off my back yard from the front yard. Unfortunately, when I had the gutters done, we made the downspout go down the back instead of between both of our houses. Knowing what I know now, I'd love to have a snake from a downspout that was on the side past the fence (not in the back yard) and hide it behind the bushes and the hastas and have it feed out past the hasta bed where it would roll of into the street in front of my house. It sucks that it has to stay in the back now. Well... either that, or I have to cut a hole in the bottom of the chain link fence to feed it through to the front.

I was thinking I could just get on my 12 foot ladder and take the downspout down and put it on the side, but then I realized that if we were going to put it on the side instead of in the back that would require the hole in the gutter to the downspout to have been about a foot or more further down the gutter than they actually put it. That was my longest gutter at 45', and the one that would require two people on very tall ladders to re-install, so that's not an option either.
--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 12:58 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Looks like I got a teeny tiny recluse spider bite.

Looked up online, no specific treatment except antibiotics and debridement and steroids if systemic reaction. Since no systemic reaction so far, if I make it until Friday without my skin dying and falling off, I'm in good shape.

Yanno, I THOUGHT I saw a tiny spider in my shirt, so I shook it out b4 I put it on. I guess I didn't shake hard enuf.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

Sometimes a previous post will show up AFTER I post! So I missed your post about the spider bite, Signy. I posted, didn't see anything new ahead of mine, and moved on. Your post must have showed up later. How's the bite doing? Getting better I trust?

And yes please, I'll be very interested in whatever you conclude about corn gluten! And do you have a link for the info about using U Iowa-certified corn gluten? And maybe a link for the U Oregon paper? I like tracking down the bits of extra info from sources.

Right now I'm still at the very, very early stages of yardwork - watering the trees, which I'll be doing monthly anyway, and getting the soil wet to make it easier to work with after it dries past the slick-sticky stage. And I don't intend to do a lot at any one time so that I don't hurt my back and have to take a lot of time to recover. I view this as a marathon for a snail ... as slow as I may be, I think eventually, I'll get there. So I won't be ready for the corn gluten for a while! But I truly enjoy learning new things. So anything you link, I'd very much appreciate.

What did you think of my overall yard plan/ look?

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 1:25 PM

BRENDA


Out for my walk. Couple of things to do.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 2:15 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
What I found is ... don't do everything bassakwards, like I did.

Plan first.
Decide what you want your space to do. (Originally I just wanted it to shade the property and house, be drought tolerant, wildlife friendly, have a walkway from drive to front door, and be pretty, but as McMansions sprung up nearby I decided I wanted to screen out the ugly view. Also, it is very important for me to imagine walking thru a space, not just look at it.)
Pencil in adequate walkways for maintenance
Decide on the theme (I have an excellent book on that you can borrow) and a "look"
Hardscape and irrigation first, then sculpt your yard

THEN you can do "total vegetation control", plant the plants that you want, and mulch!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

KIKI: I actually have a plan! that I drew up.

Mostly I want the house to be shaded in the summer and sunny in the winter, so - mostly deciduous trees around the house. And because this is a narrow city lot, mostly smaller trees/ very large shrubs (to about 25'). These I'm confident will provide shade and still let any sea-breezes through underneath them that I usually get in the evening. Of course I want them to be reasonably drought tolerant (even natives are having problems with our serious extended drought, so in my mind drought tolerant is a relative term. To me it used to mean no watering (under normal circumstances), but now it means limited watering.)

I want it to be low-maintenance. I know you're having an epic battle with weeds, as did I when I had a very, very lovely wildflower front yard.

It was full of:

which is not native but is extremely drought tolerant, and the first thing that blooms in spring that seems to be a lifeline for the also non-native honey bees
another native, but which blooms all summer
and other assorted flowers.

PICTURES REMOVED FOR FORMATTING PURPOSES

So I've decided mulch is my best friend, which I'm going to need to kill the Bermuda grass anyway. I'll be limiting my bare dirt for the native bees to more easily maintained spaces instead of large areas.

Another thing I want to use for its drought-tolerant, low maintenance qualities is a fair bit of decking and pavers.

Mostly I'll be using decking instead of concrete around the house. Decking is easier on old bones if you fall. It provides stable footing. AND it covers up the lead-contaminated soil and keeps it from blowing its lead-contaminated dust around. (That being said, I did have about 1' x 7' dug up and removed from around the house, to be capped by decomposed granite, then overlaid with decking, just to be extra-sure the lead-contaminated soil doesn't go anywhere in large amounts.)

And where I'll be using pavers is the 'lower 40' part of my back yard near the alley. By judicious use of slopes and drywells and decomposed granite underneath the pavers, I think I can keep water in the yard, and have it percolate through to the earth. Pavers will allow that, whereas a solid cover of concrete won't.

And I've decided ahead of time the little details like - do I want the decking boards to run lengthwise or cross wise? (crosswise, lengthwise looks too industrial) - do I want the curb under the fence to follow the slope or stairstep? (stairstep - there are too many different slopes and I think having it follow the varying slopes with their varying angles would look awkward, and it would also require a 100% custom-built fence) - how wide do I want the decking? (on the w side of the house w/ a 10' setback, nearly all the way to the fence, with a 2.5' gap for planting small deciduous shade trees, on the e side with a 15' setback, 7.5' with a 7.5' garden) - what trees do I want flanking the front walkway? (crape myrtle) ... and so on. OH! yeah - recently there's been A LOT of aggressive coyote activity in certain areas, like cats and small dogs being taken, and coyotes staring down homeowners in their backyards. Now, these areas abut directly to open wildland, so nobody there should be surprised by coyote presence, but the aggressiveness of particular individuals in concerning. One of the things I looked VERY deeply into was how coyotes manage fences. I probably looked at 40 videos of coyotes getting across varying kinds, from low post-and-rail to 6' block walls and 10' chain-link (around a park). And they always - !! ALWAYS !! - gain a toehold at the top before going over to the other side. So chain-link fences and block walls are particularly conducive to that behavior (which I think is instinctive - they need to have a last-minute bail-out moment in case something on the other side is dangerous). But wrought-iron fences don't provide a toe-hold, and if the bars are close enough together they can't squeeze through, and if there's a curb underneath, they can't dig under. So I'd already intended to have a 6' tall and plainer version of the wrought iron I had installed in the front installed elsewhere, which I like because it allows expansive views and lets the breezes through. But the coyote issue confirmed it as a better choice. (BTW there is more than 1 'fix' to coyote-proof block walls, if it becomes necessary.)

And I've gotten a confidence boost in my visualization abilities. Basically, I have none. It's so bad, I think if there was such as thing as anti-visualization, I'd have that. So I spent many many hours drawing to-scale perspective drawings to 'see' the end results of my various ideas. I'd considered, and drawn, what a dog-eared picket fence would look like on the west side (it would make the 10' narrow side yard very cramped and mingy-looking). But my neighbor recently installed one, and it looks about as bad a I thought. I'd say it looks exactly as I thought. The upside is, having 'visualized' it in many different permutations, I think I know how to turn it around into a nicer look.

I even have my 'plant pallet' figured out for the entire lot. There are just a few non-critical decisions left. And btw THANKS for the many ideas for native shrubs!! I've incorporated those ideas in many places. And since for the most part I have NO idea how these things will grow here (except for privet (garden thug, but useful for honeybees and birds), Catalina Island cherry and it's 40,000 year-ago parent hollyleaf cherry (I prefer hollyleaf, but both are very useful), and crape myrtle (a summer bloomer loved by honey bees, with beautiful fall color), and of course the many, many coast live oak trees that planted themselves in my yard (my area is either chaparral or southern oak woodland, depending on soil depth, I guess my particular lot is southern oak woodland) ... ... I even have alternates picked out in case my first choices don't thrive in my difficult extreme climate and clay soil. I fully intend to 'edit' my landscaping after the fact, depending on how things are doing.

But basically near the house will be shaded 'woodland' with decking patios. That's really not my favorite look, but seems to be the most useful in terms of heat-control, accessibility, low-maintenance, drought-tolerance, and wildlife-friendly checkboxes. And the rest will be open sunny space with pavers surrounded by v large evergreen shrubs.

I'll also have a couple of bird-bath 'water features' for the wild life. And I'll have a fair number of planters for some garden plants, herbs, and so forth. (The lead contamination makes for uncertain food-growing.)

If you can think of anything I should do to improve my planned habitats, or to alter my plan for any reason, I'd much appreciate it!

. You have different slopes on the east and west side of your yard, correct? i.e. slope runs from northeast to southwest. Does decking wrap all the way around? Or just east and west sides? Either way, if decking is level all the way around/ on both sides of your house, will there be a tall gap under the decking, and will the decking be supported by posts? Or will you fill in with dirt underneath, esp on the west side?

I would definitely use ipe as the deck support, even if you use cedar for the planking.

Also, how do you intend to stabilize the slope in your backyard? Soil does seem to creep downhill. Low retaining wall? Stabilizing trees/ shrubs?

I like the idea of shaded decking. It sounds friendly and comfortable! Especially with planters! (I believe you mentioned horse troughs and the idea has stuck with me since then!)

But I LOVE shade, especially looking at dappled shade on soil, walls, fences ... any surface that allows the patterns to be viewable.

Maybe this is part of MY inability to visualize, but CA shrubs, for the most part, tend to be as wide as tall, and they're full, all the way to the ground. that goes for coffeeberry, ceanothus, currants, hollyleaf cherry, hollyleaf redberry, shinyleaf mahonia, etc. The only shrub that is taller than wide in my experience is californica carpenteria which IMHO is a very pale-leaved and unimpressive shrub, and manzanita, which tends to have a more open form but is sparse with leaves.

The point being that most CA shrubs take up a lot of room but provide no effect shade. So your backyard might look sun-blasted during most of the day, and the pavers will reflect a lot of light ,and absorb and re-radiate a LOT of heat in the evening, so I think you need some actual shade trees on the "lower 40".

BTW we have a cinderblock wall on the south side of our property, and the sun-facing side (our south side neighbor) has no vegetation shading a large part of the wall, and the heat transmitted thru, and radiating from the SHADY side of the wall is phenomenal, and heats the whole southern side of our house. So heat buildup from blocks and pavers is something to be considered!

EDITED TO ADD: IF you need shade at noon, look for trees that are wide. But if you're looking for shade in the AM or PM, took for tall/ skinny trees like Canary island pine, because the low angled sun will cause tall trees to cast hugely long shadows- all the way across your backyard and into the neighbor's yard!

But as I understand your lot, it's narrow and runs north-south, more or less, so you'll need noontime shade over at least part of your pavers to keep the property cooler. Since live oak seems to want to grow in your yard, that might be a good choice. But you could also try one of the larger forms of manzanita (Dr Hurd to 15') or sambucus, which is deciduous and has a lovely structure when in leaf.

ALSO, there are lead+test kits for soil. You may not be as limited as you think for planting.



-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 2:29 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


I've been looking at Theodore Payne garden tour photos to see what I respond to and why, and spent a lot of time looking at this garden




Not achievable in OUR yard bc architectural features not the same, but if you want to look at various ideas the archived photos from 2013 onwards are here. Interestingly, I can usually tell the difference between professionally designed gardens and homeowner designed gardens. Homeowner gardens tend to be less structured, look messier, and don't have a driving theme. The best homeowner designed garden is at cynthias native gargen

https://theodorepayne.org/calendar/annual-garden-tour/
https://cynthiasnativegarden.wordpress.com/

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 3:55 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Looks like I got a teeny tiny recluse spider bite.

Looked up online, no specific treatment except antibiotics and debridement and steroids if systemic reaction. Since no systemic reaction so far, if I make it until Friday without my skin dying and falling off, I'm in good shape.

Yanno, I THOUGHT I saw a tiny spider in my shirt, so I shook it out b4 I put it on. I guess I didn't shake hard enuf.

Brown recluse?

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 4:01 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
I was trying to figure out whether the water at your sump pump is coming from ponding around/near your house or someplace farther away. The figure that I calculated from this website (in feet per hour)
https://civilweb-spreadsheets.com/drainage-info/infiltration-rate-of-s
oils
/
just doesn't match my own personal experience of watching an inch of water disappear in 15 minutes, especially since you have sand in your soil, like I do. I have a feeling, entirely unsupported by calculation, that the water at your sump pump is coming from someplace farther away. What is higher in elevation than your house, which could be a source of water?

But then, I could be entirely wrong.

Well... I don't REALLY have sand in my soil. I have a sand pit in the back yard that was created when Uncle bob dug up all the dirt and threw a ton of sand down there under the pavers and never bothered with the step where you put plastic down before the sand. So it's got a really heavy mix of shit sand in my dirt where there wouldn't otherwise be any sand.

Pretty much everything is above me, except for the few blocks behind me where the people are unfortunate enough to live even lower in elevation than I do. The "main drag" street to turn into my neighborhood is probably 12 feet or more higher than my front door, and is a bridge over the ditch across the street that has water at least 7 or 8 feet higher than my front door when it's full.



I'm just finally getting to the point now where it will only go off twice in an hour, but just barely. I'd say by midnight tonight we'll finally get to the point where it's over 20 minutes OFF between 22 second ON cycles. Except for a brief shower that gave us .03 inches this morning, there hasn't been any rain since 10:30AM yesterday, when the pump was only off about 4 minutes and 45 seconds between ON cycles.


I did dump a LOT of water in the sand that went around the side and pooled up against the front porch wall though. All of that 3.5" of rain on the back porch roof ended up right down there.

When I extend the pipes down the driveway past the point it will roll off to the street, that water won't be a part of the equation anymore.

I don't know how you'd calculate that, but the gutter there is 25 feet long. I never measured how tall the roof is, but it's probably 15 to 20 feet. Times 3.5" of rainfall on that surface area... If that's how you'd equate it?

I REALLY am not convinced that your sump times and issues are solely a result of your roof/yard water getting into your sump well. There is at least another problem or source causing your sump to keep running. I'll get to that, after I cover the topics that you are planning to dig at soon. You also might not like the solutions I will mention, but it will be for you to decide.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 4:05 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Hey JSF, you still there? Grab this quick if you are.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 4:10 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
I REALLY am not convinced that your sump times and issues are solely a result of your roof/yard water getting into your sump well. There is at least another problem or source causing your sump to keep running. I'll get to that, after I cover the topics that you are planning to dig at soon. You also might not like the solutions I will mention, but it will be for you to decide.



Oh... I'm not convinced of anything. Especially stuff that's underground that I can't see. I haven't had any new mole tunnels in going on a month after the second round of poison smoke bombs, but I'm not convinced that I killed it or have taken care of that problem either. Water downfall has been MUCH lighter this year than the last 5 years and could be responsible for the lack of mole activity.

But the current drainage has to have at least a hand in it. The entire surface area of my back porch ended up in that sand pit and snaked around the front of my house in the hasta bed, with much of it pooling in the front of the house for many hours up against the foundation.

At least I have recent data to go on now, and something to compare it to the next time we get a rain this heavy and I've got the drainage going to the street. It will be better next time... But the question is how much better? Hopefully more than negligible.



At around 9:30 AM it was 23 minutes exactly between sump cycles. This is about 47 hours after the large rain stopped, and we only had a brief 0.03" shower yesterday morning in between then and now.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 4:15 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK







Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
I've been looking at Theodore Payne garden tour photos to see what I respond to and why, and spent a lot of time looking at this garden

Not achievable in OUR yard bc architectural features not the same, but if you want to look at various ideas the archived photos from 2013 onwards are here. Interestingly, I can usually tell the difference between professionally designed gardens and homeowner designed gardens. Homeowner gardens tend to be less structured, look messier, and don't have a driving theme. The best homeowner designed garden is at cynthias native gargen

https://theodorepayne.org/calendar/annual-garden-tour/
https://cynthiasnativegarden.wordpress.com/

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.




That's beautiful. I envy you for being able to aspire to such things.

With so many problems and projects I need to be spending time on here, and already breaking that up with the need to have mowed my entire front and back lawn 4 times in the last 9 days already (at about 2 hours each now since I bag the lawn every time), I have to settle for just "clean, and weed and bug free".

I think I might split a few of my striped Hastas this year though. One or two of mine went up and disappeared over the years, and the side of my house could use a couple too. I keep saying I'm going to do it but I never get around to it.

Maybe I'll do that today since I've done nothing on this very cold day.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 4:26 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Looks like I got a teeny tiny recluse spider bite.

Looked up online, no specific treatment except antibiotics and debridement and steroids if systemic reaction. Since no systemic reaction so far, if I make it until Friday without my skin dying and falling off, I'm in good shape.

Yanno, I THOUGHT I saw a tiny spider in my shirt, so I shook it out b4 I put it on. I guess I didn't shake hard enuf.



How do you know it's a recluse? (Brown recluse?)

I know I'm the guy who won't go see a doctor to get a tetanus booster after taking 8 cents of a 15 penny nail under the back of the hand, but the idea that a friend of mine on the internet is going to have her skin necrose and fall off because she didn't get treated is worrisome.

Are you SURE it was a recluse?

I once got bitten near my eye and had a large bruised welt so bad that some people at KMart thought I had been punched in the face. It happened when I was sleeping.

That's when I started noticing ALL of the spiders I had in my house. They weren't just in the basement anymore. The ones upstairs were just daddy long legs and other non-thretening looking spiders, and likely what I was bitten by, but the brown ones in the basement were the ones that scared me.

What made me panic more was that I'd just watched the Sci-Fi move "Big Ass Spider", and the guy got bitten by a spider that looked just like the ones in my basement and he ended up in the hospital being treated for a brown recluse bite.

It turns out they just used an adolescent wolf spider and didn't put their actor in actual harm's way, which makes sense, although I couldn't help but feel that was a little bit irresponsible for them to have zoomed up so close to it before it happened. Maybe they figured it didn't matter that the five people that saw the movie had the wrong idea about brown recluses and wolf spiders.


I love wolf spiders. I figure anything that gets that big is paying rent. I'd just let them have free reign of the basement when they were here. Fortunately, I only saw one last year and I haven't seen one at all this year. I think that poison I've been putting down is finally keeping the bugs at bay.



If you can, please take a picture of the spider next time.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 7:52 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
I've been looking at Theodore Payne garden tour photos to see what I respond to and why, and spent a lot of time looking at this garden

Not achievable in OUR yard bc architectural features not the same, but if you want to look at various ideas the archived photos from 2013 onwards are here. Interestingly, I can usually tell the difference between professionally designed gardens and homeowner designed gardens. Homeowner gardens tend to be less structured, look messier, and don't have a driving theme. The best homeowner designed garden is at cynthias native gargen

https://theodorepayne.org/calendar/annual-garden-tour/
https://cynthiasnativegarden.wordpress.com/

That's beautiful. I envy you for being able to aspire to such things.

With so many problems and projects I need to be spending time on here, and already breaking that up with the need to have mowed my entire front and back lawn 4 times in the last 9 days already (at about 2 hours each now since I bag the lawn every time), I have to settle for just "clean, and weed and bug free".

I think I might split a few of my striped Hastas this year though. One or two of mine went up and disappeared over the years, and the side of my house could use a couple too. I keep saying I'm going to do it but I never get around to it.

Maybe I'll do that today since I've done nothing on this very cold day.

I just read that hastas were nature's Triple Fudge Sundae for deer.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 7:54 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
What I found is ... don't do everything bassakwards, like I did.

Plan first.
Decide what you want your space to do. (Originally I just wanted it to shade the property and house, be drought tolerant, wildlife friendly, have a walkway from drive to front door, and be pretty, but as McMansions sprung up nearby I decided I wanted to screen out the ugly view. Also, it is very important for me to imagine walking thru a space, not just look at it.)
Pencil in adequate walkways for maintenance
Decide on the theme (I have an excellent book on that you can borrow) and a "look"
Hardscape and irrigation first, then sculpt your yard

THEN you can do "total vegetation control", plant the plants that you want, and mulch!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

KIKI: I actually have a plan! that I drew up.

Mostly I want the house to be shaded in the summer and sunny in the winter, so - mostly deciduous trees around the house. And because this is a narrow city lot, mostly smaller trees/ very large shrubs (to about 25'). These I'm confident will provide shade and still let any sea-breezes through underneath them that I usually get in the evening. Of course I want them to be reasonably drought tolerant (even natives are having problems with our serious extended drought, so in my mind drought tolerant is a relative term. To me it used to mean no watering (under normal circumstances), but now it means limited watering.)

I want it to be low-maintenance. I know you're having an epic battle with weeds, as did I when I had a very, very lovely wildflower front yard.

It was full of:

which is not native but is extremely drought tolerant, and the first thing that blooms in spring that seems to be a lifeline for the also non-native honey bees
another native, but which blooms all summer
and other assorted flowers.

PICTURES REMOVED FOR FORMATTING PURPOSES

So I've decided mulch is my best friend, which I'm going to need to kill the Bermuda grass anyway. I'll be limiting my bare dirt for the native bees to more easily maintained spaces instead of large areas.

Another thing I want to use for its drought-tolerant, low maintenance qualities is a fair bit of decking and pavers.

Mostly I'll be using decking instead of concrete around the house. Decking is easier on old bones if you fall. It provides stable footing. AND it covers up the lead-contaminated soil and keeps it from blowing its lead-contaminated dust around. (That being said, I did have about 1' x 7' dug up and removed from around the house, to be capped by decomposed granite, then overlaid with decking, just to be extra-sure the lead-contaminated soil doesn't go anywhere in large amounts.)

And where I'll be using pavers is the 'lower 40' part of my back yard near the alley. By judicious use of slopes and drywells and decomposed granite underneath the pavers, I think I can keep water in the yard, and have it percolate through to the earth. Pavers will allow that, whereas a solid cover of concrete won't.

And I've decided ahead of time the little details like - do I want the decking boards to run lengthwise or cross wise? (crosswise, lengthwise looks too industrial) - do I want the curb under the fence to follow the slope or stairstep? (stairstep - there are too many different slopes and I think having it follow the varying slopes with their varying angles would look awkward, and it would also require a 100% custom-built fence) - how wide do I want the decking? (on the w side of the house w/ a 10' setback, nearly all the way to the fence, with a 2.5' gap for planting small deciduous shade trees, on the e side with a 15' setback, 7.5' with a 7.5' garden) - what trees do I want flanking the front walkway? (crape myrtle) ... and so on. OH! yeah - recently there's been A LOT of aggressive coyote activity in certain areas, like cats and small dogs being taken, and coyotes staring down homeowners in their backyards. Now, these areas abut directly to open wildland, so nobody there should be surprised by coyote presence, but the aggressiveness of particular individuals in concerning. One of the things I looked VERY deeply into was how coyotes manage fences. I probably looked at 40 videos of coyotes getting across varying kinds, from low post-and-rail to 6' block walls and 10' chain-link (around a park). And they always - !! ALWAYS !! - gain a toehold at the top before going over to the other side. So chain-link fences and block walls are particularly conducive to that behavior (which I think is instinctive - they need to have a last-minute bail-out moment in case something on the other side is dangerous). But wrought-iron fences don't provide a toe-hold, and if the bars are close enough together they can't squeeze through, and if there's a curb underneath, they can't dig under. So I'd already intended to have a 6' tall and plainer version of the wrought iron I had installed in the front installed elsewhere, which I like because it allows expansive views and lets the breezes through. But the coyote issue confirmed it as a better choice. (BTW there is more than 1 'fix' to coyote-proof block walls, if it becomes necessary.)

And I've gotten a confidence boost in my visualization abilities. Basically, I have none. It's so bad, I think if there was such as thing as anti-visualization, I'd have that. So I spent many many hours drawing to-scale perspective drawings to 'see' the end results of my various ideas. I'd considered, and drawn, what a dog-eared picket fence would look like on the west side (it would make the 10' narrow side yard very cramped and mingy-looking). But my neighbor recently installed one, and it looks about as bad a I thought. I'd say it looks exactly as I thought. The upside is, having 'visualized' it in many different permutations, I think I know how to turn it around into a nicer look.

I even have my 'plant pallet' figured out for the entire lot. There are just a few non-critical decisions left. And btw THANKS for the many ideas for native shrubs!! I've incorporated those ideas in many places. And since for the most part I have NO idea how these things will grow here (except for privet (garden thug, but useful for honeybees and birds), Catalina Island cherry and it's 40,000 year-ago parent hollyleaf cherry (I prefer hollyleaf, but both are very useful), and crape myrtle (a summer bloomer loved by honey bees, with beautiful fall color), and of course the many, many coast live oak trees that planted themselves in my yard (my area is either chaparral or southern oak woodland, depending on soil depth, I guess my particular lot is southern oak woodland) ... ... I even have alternates picked out in case my first choices don't thrive in my difficult extreme climate and clay soil. I fully intend to 'edit' my landscaping after the fact, depending on how things are doing.

But basically near the house will be shaded 'woodland' with decking patios. That's really not my favorite look, but seems to be the most useful in terms of heat-control, accessibility, low-maintenance, drought-tolerance, and wildlife-friendly checkboxes. And the rest will be open sunny space with pavers surrounded by v large evergreen shrubs.

I'll also have a couple of bird-bath 'water features' for the wild life. And I'll have a fair number of planters for some garden plants, herbs, and so forth. (The lead contamination makes for uncertain food-growing.)

If you can think of anything I should do to improve my planned habitats, or to alter my plan for any reason, I'd much appreciate it!

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
You have different slopes on the east and west side of your yard, correct? i.e. slope runs from northeast to southwest.

Yes. There's a smaller slope running from east to west, the major, significant slope runs from north to south. My house faces north, uphill.
Quote:

Does decking wrap all the way around? Or just east and west sides? Either way, if decking is level all the way around/ on both sides of your house, will there be a tall gap under the decking, and will the decking be supported by posts? Or will you fill in with dirt underneath, esp on the west side?
It's not going to be a complete wrap-around deck, just across the front (north) and on the east and west sides; and just to the end of the old (front) part of the house. The total drop from the ne corner to the sw corner of that old part of the house is about 2.5', so not too bad. The deck will be level, but I have to leave the dirt slope as is, since a couple of now very large coast live oaks planted themselves, and trees really don't do well with a change in grade, especial if you add dirt.
Quote:

I would definitely use ipe as the deck support, even if you use cedar for the planking.
I'm into neat ideas, and one of them is using helical screws as supports. So I'll be looking into those at first. But if I can't find helical screws I'll DEFINITELY be looking into ipe! And THANKS for the tip!
Quote:

Also, how do you intend to stabilize the slope in your backyard? Soil does seem to creep downhill. Low retaining wall? Stabilizing trees/ shrubs?
My yard is a combination of gentle slopes and existing retaining 'walls'. But they were set in at a 45deg angle, which means they don't have to be engineered! Ha ha! Take THAT! City Planning! I did dump some dirt in front of one section of retaining wall when I regraded my front yard to retain water, so it might look like the ground has slumped. But underneath that is still the original retaining 'wall', still in its original place. But if I WERE to put in formal retaining walls, I'd (again) look into helical screws first. One of the things a city engineer told me is that the supports have to be about half as deep in the ground as the walls are tall, to withstand the 'overturning' force of the upslope grade. The nice thing about helical screws is that installation is really fast and easy, which means one can go as deep as one wants without too much of a time&money penalty.
Quote:

I like the idea of shaded decking. It sounds friendly and comfortable! Especially with planters! (I believe you mentioned horse troughs and the idea has stuck with me since then!)
I'd paint them some color though! Probably white.
Quote:

But I LOVE shade, especially looking at dappled shade on soil, walls, fences ... any surface that allows the patterns to be viewable.

Maybe this is part of MY inability to visualize, but CA shrubs, for the most part, tend to be as wide as tall, and they're full, all the way to the ground. That goes for coffeeberry, ceanothus, currants, hollyleaf cherry, hollyleaf redberry, shinyleaf mahonia, etc. The only shrub that is taller than wide in my experience is californica carpenteria which IMHO is a very pale-leaved and unimpressive shrub, and manzanita, which tends to have a more open form but is sparse with leaves.

I'm OK with huge wide full shrubs. I've seen CA native shrub hedges, and I really really really like lemonade berry, coffeeberry, and sugarbush, all evergreen but not the dreary brown-green, yellow-green, or grey-green of most drought-tolerant CA natives. They have a beautiful vibrant green in the sun (as do the hollyleaf cherries, privet, and to a lesser extent Catalina Island cherries). I do intend to plant a tree at the rearmost (south) end of the 'lower 40', partly for shade and partly to help decorate the alley with a nice green crown visible above the fence, because the alley is god-awful dreary. And that's one of my non-critical decisions. I have a few trees in mind to select from. And of course 2 coast live oak planted themselves on either side of the path at the north end of the 'lower 40' and have amazingly grown at the same rate over all these years, so they're still the same size. They're probably 15' tall by now, though it's hard to appreciate their height since I haven't 'limbed them up' and they just look like shrubs.
Quote:

The point being that most CA shrubs take up a lot of room but provide no effect shade. So your backyard might look sun-blasted during most of the day, and the pavers will reflect a lot of light, and absorb and re-radiate a LOT of heat in the evening, so I think you need some actual shade trees on the "lower 40".
There are 2 trees now and there will be one substantial sized-one added!
Quote:

BTW we have a cinderblock wall on the south side of our property, and the sun-facing side (our south side neighbor) has no vegetation shading a large part of the wall, and the heat transmitted thru, and radiating from the SHADY side of the wall is phenomenal, and heats the whole southern side of our house. So heat buildup from blocks and pavers is something to be considered!
One of the things I'm going to try is hanging porch matchstick roller blinds on the west side of the house, from the outer edge of the overhang and tied back to the lower edge of the siding, to shade the wall. One of my former co-workers did that with his house, and he said it made a huge difference in the heat in the house. If it works, I'll let you know. You may want to try it for your south wall.
Quote:

EDITED TO ADD: IF you need shade at noon, look for trees that are wide. But if you're looking for shade in the AM or PM, took for tall/ skinny trees like Canary island pine, because the low angled sun will cause tall trees to cast hugely long shadows- all the way across your backyard and into the neighbor's yard!

But as I understand your lot, it's narrow and runs north-south, more or less, so you'll need noontime shade over at least part of your pavers to keep the property cooler. Since live oak seems to want to grow in your yard, that might be a good choice. But you could also try one of the larger forms of manzanita (Dr Hurd to 15') or sambucus, which is deciduous and has a lovely structure when in leaf.

Sambucus is one of my choices for a tree in the 'lower 40'.
Quote:

ALSO, there are lead+test kits for soil. You may not be as limited as you think for planting.
Sadly, my house had a thick frosting of lead paint (since removed). But one could see the paint chips everywhere in the dirt. They were massively abundant. In my mind, there's no question about soil lead.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:04 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

I just read that hastas were nature's Triple Fudge Sundae for deer.


Maybe? I've never seen any deer around here. The rabbits seem to like it. But I like rabbits, so that's okay.

Did you get the picture? I took the link down again.




I cloned 7 Hastas today, and moved one that was growing along with some other perennial and spaced it out better.

Also got everything else that hasn't been sanded out to the garage and staged, as well as all of the drainage stuff I'll be working on this week.

Felt like crap today, and doing gardening out in the cold probably didn't help. It's warmer tomorrow, so we'll see how things go.




Last recorded sump pump cycle around 6PM was over 26 minutes between cycles. It will be less than twice per hour by tomorrow when I wake up. Maybe even tonight before I go to sleep.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:08 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.








Signy, I just wanted to point out that the landscape benefits VERY much from 'borrowed' landscaping - specifically, the neighbors' trees, shrubs, and vines that provide a beautiful green backdrop and pretty shade-patterns. If you visually cut that out of the picture, it's not quite as nice. Also, there are some lovely old-timey structural elements, like the lattice on top of the wood fence, and the board-and-batten garage doors, that subtly add tremendously to the visual appeal.


ALSO ... from what I've seen in the neighborhood - gravel 'paving' is VERY difficult to keep up !! Cigarette butts, bits of litter, tree leaves, seeds, twigs, clumps of dirt, and so on, land on top of the gravel and are extremely difficult to get rid of, unless you regularly blow them off with a leaf blower. On top of that, it doesn't provide secure footing, and I can't imagine a kid running their hot-wheels on it very successfully, or an elderly person running their walker or wheelchair through it! Decomposed granite with a mineral binder (somewhat similar to cement) is a much better option. It resists turning into mud, but allows water and air through, and can be swept with a broom. It comes in a variety of colors as well, anything from pinkish or buff to brown or grey.

That said, they DID incorporate a phenomenal variety of plants into their plantings, and they look OK! despite differences in form and color. The only think they seem to have in common are height and texture (ie there's no agave or little blue-stem or rush in the mix).

And I believe you've been trying to figure out what to plant as an understory to your trees or wondering if it was appropriate to go right up to the trunk. But they successfully did that here.



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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:27 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Hey JSF, you still there? Grab this quick if you are.

OK, I think I just got it, just as I timed out.



It's mostly a mirror of how I envisioned it. But the porch seems opposite of how you had described.

Where is the Sump? Where is the crawlspace? Where is that attached shed I thought you said.?


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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:41 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
I REALLY am not convinced that your sump times and issues are solely a result of your roof/yard water getting into your sump well. There is at least another problem or source causing your sump to keep running. I'll get to that, after I cover the topics that you are planning to dig at soon. You also might not like the solutions I will mention, but it will be for you to decide.

Oh... I'm not convinced of anything. Especially stuff that's underground that I can't see. I haven't had any new mole tunnels in going on a month after the second round of poison smoke bombs, but I'm not convinced that I killed it or have taken care of that problem either. Water downfall has been MUCH lighter this year than the last 5 years and could be responsible for the lack of mole activity.

But the current drainage has to have at least a hand in it. The entire surface area of my back porch ended up in that sand pit and snaked around the front of my house in the hasta bed, with much of it pooling in the front of the house for many hours up against the foundation.

At least I have recent data to go on now, and something to compare it to the next time we get a rain this heavy and I've got the drainage going to the street. It will be better next time... But the question is how much better? Hopefully more than negligible.



At around 9:30 AM it was 23 minutes exactly between sump cycles. This is about 47 hours after the large rain stopped, and we only had a brief 0.03" shower yesterday morning in between then and now.

What is this? I thought you said you had ground surface graded, sloped AWAY from your basement walls. Where/why was water against your basement wall for hours?

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:47 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Hey JSF, you still there? Grab this quick if you are.

OK, I think I just got it, just as I timed out.



It's mostly a mirror of how I envisioned it. But the porch seems opposite of how you had described.



How so? I'll try to clear that up for you.

Quote:

Where is the crawlspace?


Front half of the house proper. There's also a pit the same depth under the entire porch that was made with cinder blocks, but is cut off from the crawlspace with the sump pump by the foundation of the house.

Quote:

Where is the Sump?


Just about the front right corner of the house proper, about 1.5 feet from the foundation in front and from the foundation on the side where it meets the back enclosed porch.

Quote:

Where is that attached shed I thought you said.?


Yeah sorry. Forgot to "add" that. Just take about 1/4 to 2/3rds of the porch and that's the shed. The shed isn't on cinderblocks over a hole like the porch is. It's on a concrete slab that was split in the center when I bought the house but has since gotten larger. Pretty much all of the weight of the entire porch/shed addition is on that slab.

The "fixes" I did last year seem to have stopped the settling there... at least from what I can tell. I sealed off the crack from the inside and the outside, although I haven't filled it yet. I'd love to have the whole thing mud jacked, but to get it up higher I'd have to figure out a way to jack up the whole addition and I don't know if that's feesable now. Most important thing there right now is to make sure the settling stops.

Unfortunately, that's exactly where all the water from that downspout into the sand was going. Right up against the side of the shed in the front half of the cracked slab, and all along the front of the slab and a bit into the cinder block foundation of the porch in the front.

So the entire 3.5" of rain that fell on the back half of the porch roof was dumped there. I'm hoping once I get all of that water out of there with the new drain pipes and adapters that I cut my sump pump action at least 75%.


The good news is that after a few days the dirt at least a foot or more in the front and the side by the neighbors looks bone dry, and the dirt in the back of the house does about 4 to 5" away from the foundation.

At least this is the case a few feet in from the sand pit in both areas.

I REALLY think that diverting all that water is going to solve a lot of the problems. Probably not all of them, but it's a great start, IMO.





ETA: Oh... and disregard those "Downspout Extenders" on the image. I was only able to link up two of them and put them on the right side of the garage by the sand pit and I think I successfully got over the hump and diverted most of that water down the driveway instead of the edge of the pit where it would have gone. I didn't have any exdender coming from that downspout from the porch hitting the pit.

I will be putting a longer extender on the garage with the new pipe just to make sure it all gets over the hump.

And the two downspouts on the front and back of the porch are the ones I'm considering connecting with a Tee or a Wye and feeding down the right end of the driveway (right if you were standing in the street and looking at the garage).

The front porch with the super long extended downspout past the elbow dumps the water out past the barrier for the hasta bed, but I'm not convinced that it actually gets out far enough to roll out to the street and quite a bit of that is also coming back and adding to the sand pit problem.

It might not end up being the prettiest looking situation in the world, but the driveway is super wide as well as super long and this shouldn't ever be a problem for people parking cars and walking to the house.

It's also black asphalt that I resurfaced just last year, so the pipes should blend in somewhat nicely as long as I keep the driveway black and don't let it turn light grey in the future. I put on two coats of their 2n'd price tier out of 5 tiers, and they claim it is good for 8 years. I don't believe that, but I should get at least a few more years out of it before I have to put additional coats on it.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 8:59 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Maybe you missed part of what I said. You could use those pieces you already bought, to make a U-turn in your extenders.

Nah. Those are garbage and half the strength of the corrugated black pipe, if that. And those "popoid" features it has is just a potential weak spot just waiting to break on you. Plus they're super expensive by the foot compared to the pipe. I got 100 feet of that pipe for just a little more than twice what those two extenders cost me, and I measured them before I took them back and they were only 5 feet each.

This was what I didn't know if you had read. You had not responded, and I didn't know why you didn't want to. For me, I would have still been using them.
Quote:


Quote:

Can you run an existing solid extender through/under your porch or steps? Like around your sand pit area?
There aren't any steps back there. Wood rot and ants got to it. Just a concrete block for a step at the moment. But it wouldn't matter because steps wouldn't be in the way at all with the layout.

I really don't think there's ever going to be a way I can explain to you how the layout around here works until you see that picture.
Quote:

Regardless, I would NOT cut the downspout above the elbow, no matter the plan - cut it only after the elbow, downstream from the elbow.
So you would put the 4x3" rectangle to 4" round adapters after the elbow then?

Correct. You really want that curved solid metal at the bottom of that 30' drop from gutter height.
Unless you have some specific plan/purpose - it is your house. But that tubing might be more unsightly than you want for selling the place.
Quote:


Quote:

The drainage tile comes in both perforated and non-perf, so figure which you want. The 100' was practically the same price as 2x 50', and I wasn't certain you needed that much.
Depending on if I'm going to do down both sides of my driveway for three of the downspouts (two of them connected with either a Wye or a Tee), I might actually need more than 100'.

Non Perf all the way. From my reading, you only buy the perf stuff if you're planning on putting them underground. I have no interest in doing that. Not because of the work, but if they get clogged you can't rod them out and you have to dig them up again.

Quote:

If you brought your extension to abutt the chain link fence, I would think you could slope/contour the opposite side of the fence to drain it all away - I'm assuming towards the street in front. We really should be able to make things work without having downspouts all over the place, spread across your entire lawn.

The only chain link fence is my neighbor's in the back yard, and then a little 6' one from my house to the corner of my neighbor's fence to block off my back yard from the front yard. Unfortunately, when I had the gutters done, we made the downspout go down the back instead of between both of our houses. Knowing what I know now, I'd love to have a snake from a downspout that was on the side past the fence (not in the back yard) and hide it behind the bushes and the hastas and have it feed out past the hasta bed where it would roll of into the street in front of my house. It sucks that it has to stay in the back now. Well... either that, or I have to cut a hole in the bottom of the chain link fence to feed it through to the front.

I was thinking I could just get on my 12 foot ladder and take the downspout down and put it on the side, but then I realized that if we were going to put it on the side instead of in the back that would require the hole in the gutter to the downspout to have been about a foot or more further down the gutter than they actually put it. That was my longest gutter at 45', and the one that would require two people on very tall ladders to re-install, so that's not an option either.

I do have several plans in mind for traversing that small fence, so remind me if I forget later to mention them. It might be a moot point after we tackle some other things first.


How much elevation change is there between where the driveway meets street, and the nearest part of the sand pit? I assume the sand pit surface is higher than the street.
If you don't know how to measure or estimate, take a working level (longer is better) and put one end on the edge of sandpit, and prop up the other until bubble reads level. Then stick a tape measure on it's back, with the tape upright, vertical. eyeball the surface of the level until you see the tip of the tape measure.


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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 9:53 PM

BRENDA


Well, I've been bent and folded. Go back in 2 weeks to see if they found anything. I don't think they will.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 10:22 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:This was what I didn't know if you had read. You had not responded, and I didn't know why you didn't want to. For me, I would have still been using them.


Yeah. I didn't know you were updating old posts and I was supposed to go back and read them. I wasn't ignoring you.

Those things were cheap garbage and wouldn't last long. They also don't fit with any of the corrugated pipe materials and I would guess were only 3" diameter instead of 4" like all the new stuff.

Also, they were super expensive at around $7.50 before taxes for roughly 5 feet, compared to $42.50 for 100 feet of the black corrugated pipe.

If there really ever is a need for something like those in the future, I'm sure I can find better versions that might link up well with the new system instead of that trash.

Quote:

Correct. You really want that curved solid metal at the bottom of that 30' drop from gutter height.


Good to know. Shouldn't be a problem just fitting the adapters to the end of the male end of the elbows then.

Quote:

Unless you have some specific plan/purpose - it is your house. But that tubing might be more unsightly than you want for selling the place.


Well... my plan for right now is to get all roof water away from the house and out into the street. That's the most important thing... far more important than looks. At the rate I work, it will probably be a few years until I'm ready to start thinking about selling it, and the more major issues like this I shore up, who knows? I might decide to live here a while after all of this work.

I can always revisit beautifying the drainage solution at a later date before I sell the house, and I don't intend to throw any of the downspout material I'd be replacing with plastic pipe for now. That can go up in the garage. These materials are what I consider an extremely cheap fix at only around $90 for the service they will provide while I do other work and get this house further along the road of being able to sell it for a good price.


Quote:

do have several plans in mind for traversing that small fence, so remind me if I forget later to mention them. It might be a moot point after we tackle some other things first.


Will do. I'm very open to suggestion on that front.

You did see the thin line denoting my neighbor's fence and that short length of fence I'm referring to then, right?

Quote:

How much elevation change is there between where the driveway meets street, and the nearest part of the sand pit? I assume the sand pit surface is higher than the street.


The sand pit is almost certainly higher than the street.

The driveway is actually dangerous for low cars. A LOT of people have banged the bottom of their car on the curb as they pulled in or out, even after I warn them. Most have never done it a second time. Most.



The pit is lower than the driveway. It's roughly even where they meet, but it goes deeper the further away from it it goes. I've graded the sand/dirt mix away from the structures.

But there's no way we could ever make the sand pit higher than the driveway. It's impossible because of the settling that's happened with the porch and the driveway.

3 feet in front of the garage door the driveway slopes back to the garage. I took a LONG time and quite a few bucks patching a huge crack where the asphalt covers the front of the garage slab that goes down at an angle before putting the top coats on last year and it didn't even survive one heavy snowfall and is cracked again.

The best I can hope to do is get any and all roof water as far away as possible through drainage, and then grade everything down from the garage/porch/house (the Bermuda Triangle) and have a low center "well" in between it all for the rainwater that doesn't fall onto any of the roofs.

Unless, of course, you have some other solution. But we can't make the sand pit higher than the driveway.

One of my problems here is that after decades of settling, I'm pretty sure the house and garage are lower than they should be. I'm certain of that with the shed and the back porch.

Quote:

If you don't know how to measure or estimate, take a working level (longer is better) and put one end on the edge of sandpit, and prop up the other until bubble reads level. Then stick a tape measure on it's back, with the tape upright, vertical. eyeball the surface of the level until you see the tip of the tape measure.



I've got a 6 foot level. I'll try to remember to do that while I'm outside tomorrow.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 10:27 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
Well, I've been bent and folded. Go back in 2 weeks to see if they found anything. I don't think they will.

Oh dear.That doesn't sound good!

What happened?

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 10:31 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Looks like I got a teeny tiny recluse spider bite.

Looked up online, no specific treatment except antibiotics and debridement and steroids if systemic reaction. Since no systemic reaction so far, if I make it until Friday without my skin dying and falling off, I'm in good shape.

Yanno, I THOUGHT I saw a tiny spider in my shirt, so I shook it out b4 I put it on. I guess I didn't shake hard enuf.

Brown recluse?

Probably. It was a teeny-tiny spider, smaller than an ant, in my shirt. But the bite reaction was outsized compared to the spider!

That's why I'm thinking brown recluse. I've gotten spider bites b4 but I've never gotten a welt that big from something that small!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 10:33 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:






Signy, I just wanted to point out that the landscape benefits VERY much from 'borrowed' landscaping - specifically, the neighbors' trees, shrubs, and vines that provide a beautiful green backdrop and pretty shade-patterns.
Oh, I definitely noticed that!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 10:44 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:





Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
I've been looking at Theodore Payne garden tour photos to see what I respond to and why, and spent a lot of time looking at this garden

Not achievable in OUR yard bc architectural features not the same, but if you want to look at various ideas the archived photos from 2013 onwards are here. Interestingly, I can usually tell the difference between professionally designed gardens and homeowner designed gardens. Homeowner gardens tend to be less structured, look messier, and don't have a driving theme. The best homeowner designed garden is at cynthias native gargen

https://theodorepayne.org/calendar/annual-garden-tour/
https://cynthiasnativegarden.wordpress.com/

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.




That's beautiful. I envy you for being able to aspire to such things.

oh, I definitely don't aspire to that!!

My friend, that's $100,000 or more worth of landscaping, readied up for a tour, and beautifully and professionally photographed!

I'm just looking to see what I like best, since I like a lot of things!

Do I like the pine forests around Idyllwild and Wrightwood? You bet!

Do I like the cedars and pines and coastal scrub of fog-dominated central coast? Absolutely!

The bluffs around Point Fermin? The quiet desolation of the high desert? Makes my heart sing.

But I can't fit ALL of that, or even a small part of that, in my front yard. And so, in my suburban setting, what I like best are yards that are somewhat enclosed, with low-growing things and wide walkable pathways, and a few trees casting dappled shade.


-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 10:46 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


And finally... After weeding, raking, shredding, planting, mulching, edging, mowing, and sweeping, the backyard looks ... pleasant. Nothing looks so terrible that it grates on my nerves!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 10:53 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
And finally... After weeding, raking, shredding, planting, mulching, edging, mowing, and sweeping, the backyard looks ... pleasant. Nothing looks so terrible that it grates on my nerves!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.



That's about what I aspire to at the moment. I think the mission has been accomplished so far.

You should be proud of it.

And I've found that once you keep up with it, it's not nearly as hard to do the work that needs to be done to keep it at least that good. Maybe you'll find the free time to do something extra a little bit here and a little bit there like I did today when I cloned the hastas, which has been something I've wanted to do for like 4 years now.





--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 9:06 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Quote:







KIKI: Signy, I just wanted to point out that the landscape benefits VERY much from 'borrowed' landscaping - specifically, the neighbors' trees, shrubs, and vines that provide a beautiful green backdrop and pretty shade-patterns.

SIGNY: Oh, I definitely noticed that!



I also noticed the architectural details which our mid-century ranch does NOT have.

The diversity of plantings that only have height in common. (Did you notice the rock purslane?)

I know that below that $30,000 (or more) of carefully-raked pea gravel and flagstone are several layers of landscaper's cloth.

That the garden was sometimes photopraphed on a bright but cloudy day (no sharp shadows).

And that smaller gardens benefit greatly from regular shapes (half-moons, long rectangles etc) bc irregular shapes make things look SMALLER, not larger!

There are all kinds of things going on with that yard that can't be reproduced or maintained easily, but also lessons to be learned.



-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 9:40 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



Oh hey Brenda - I too hope everything is OK.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 10:08 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



Oh, OK Signy! I'd say the other thing that's in common is shape/ texture. There are no very spiky-things.

Yes! I DID notice the rock purslane! ... photographed to be not very obvious even tho the plant is very showy.

And I'm glad you did notice how much 'stuff' like borrowed landscaping was going on. God forbid the neighbors do something to THEIR yards! Then that whole scheme might need to be re-done! to include more screening plantings for example. And yeah, the necessary landscape cloth under the pea gravel is a not very environmentally-friendly necessity for the gravel.

What biome would you say it resembles? I think it looks like ... the suburban biome. It's attractive, and the plantings themselves might be low-water and low-maintenance (btw, did you noticed the shredded bark mulch in the planting areas?)(even if the landscape fabric is not so hospitable). I think there's a lot going for it, but I wouldn't mistake it for a reproduction on a smaller scale of a natural habitat.

Also, one doesn't need plants cheek-by-jowl across the entire landscape. This one - due to heavily borrowed plantings of the neighbors - has very few and small plantings, and lots and lots of pea gravel in between.




I too know the attractions of various natural habitats. I like them all! except snow&ice when it comes to living in it. A mutual acquaintance saw a picture of my front yard when it was in its wild-flower field form and said - it looks like something you'd see in a clearing in a forest. And I think it inspired him to do his own backyard a certain way. (Let me describe one thing - he used VERY large pale beige colored flagstone, well fitted together, embedded in decomposed granite (my suggestion) as a walkway and patio. And ... do you know how sometimes you get flat rock layers like shale or sandstone at the bottom of creek beds? And they're fractured with a few seams running through them? And how gravel and sand can sift their way into the fracture-crevasses? It looked like that. It was literally the ONLY flagstone anything I've ever seen that I liked at all, and I liked it A LOT.)

Anyway, as lovely as my yard was, it was SO HIGH MAINTENANCE! I managed for about 4 years, but enough was enough. I've come to value low-maintenance. All of my decisions for my landscaping are driven by that. Whether I've successfully thought of everything or not remains to be seen, but the 'look' is not in the top half of my various considerations, but low-maintenance is.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 10:42 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK


I'm sure I missed a cycle since they're way further apart and I've been doing other things.

But at around 9:30AM my stopwatch said that it was 1 hour, 12 minutes and 11 seconds since the last cycle I caught stopped.

So I'm pretty sure minus a 22 second on cycle in between I'm at around 35 minutes and 55 seconds between ON cycles now.

That's about 71 hours after the big rain stopped, with only 0.03" afterward and two laundry loads last night shot into the sump well in addition to the original 3.5" rain.



I could be wrong and that's only 1 cycle. I figure at some point we're going to start doing better than gaining 10 to 15 seconds per cycle and it will basically just disappear, but I don't know when that's going to happen. I'll be monitoring it again tonight when I'm done working for the day. Going to be outside and in the garage for the most part until then.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 1:35 PM

BRENDA


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
Well, I've been bent and folded. Go back in 2 weeks to see if they found anything. I don't think they will.

Oh dear.That doesn't sound good!

What happened?

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

THUGR posts about Putin so much, he must be in love.



Went for my bi annual mammogram yesterday afternoon. They twist my neck one way and push me onto the glass plate then move my knees another and move my arms.

They do this each time they take a picture.

Not my idea of fun. I'm a little sore but nothing drastic.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 1:35 PM

BRENDA


Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:

Oh hey Brenda - I too hope everything is OK.



Thanks Kiki.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 1:37 PM

BRENDA


Out for a walk on a slightly soggy day. Got some bottles to take over to recycling.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 1:38 PM

BRENDA


Oh incase anyone is watching a friend told me that "Prodigal Son" has been cancelled.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 4:35 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
I'm sure I missed a cycle since they're way further apart and I've been doing other things.

But at around 9:30AM my stopwatch said that it was 1 hour, 12 minutes and 11 seconds since the last cycle I caught stopped.

So I'm pretty sure minus a 22 second on cycle in between I'm at around 35 minutes and 55 seconds between ON cycles now.

That's about 71 hours after the big rain stopped, with only 0.03" afterward and two laundry loads last night shot into the sump well in addition to the original 3.5" rain.



I could be wrong and that's only 1 cycle. I figure at some point we're going to start doing better than gaining 10 to 15 seconds per cycle and it will basically just disappear, but I don't know when that's going to happen. I'll be monitoring it again tonight when I'm done working for the day. Going to be outside and in the garage for the most part until then.

Whoa, what??
You are putting LAUNDRY load waste water into your "sump" well?

If so, this "sump" concept is a figment of imagination. What you describe is a Septic Pump, or Sewage Pump. If it is not an enclosed system, like you can see into the well/pit, or if it has merely a lid which can be taken off, then it is an open-well Septic pump or Sewage Pump.

I can still help you with this, but I need more info now.
what are the dimensions of this well? depth to the top rim, depth between pump start and pump stop switches, and diameter. I assume it is circular in shape.
What are all of the sources going into your well? Your toilet? kitchen sink? bath water?
How far away from the well is your washing machine? How far from your main sewage pipe (vertical, aka vent pipe) is your washing machine, and your sump well?
What size pipe is your sump pump discharge? Like 1 1/2", or 2"?
What is the height of your basement ceiling - or rafters overhead, essentially first floor joists?
When your pump went off last year and shot water out of the toilet, what floor was that toilet? Did you actually see it shoot out, or only the evidence afterward?


Also, can you clearly describe the path of the pump discharge?
I think you said it somehow went up to about 3 1/2 ' above the basement floor, then went through some wall, then into some other pipe.
I didn't understand if the sump well is in your basement - within the walls, or outside your basement, like in some crawlspace. Which wall does the discharge pipe go through, at what height, going to where? What is the diameter of the pipe that this discharge pipe is connected to, flows into?

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 5:28 PM

BRENDA


Been back from my walk for a while. It is dry out and suppose to be that way for the rest of the week. Hope so.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 5:54 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
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I will likely tell you some secrets that you might not use, so my suggestions might be fluid, able to match various tricks for your situation.

OK.

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Is your goal to just have grass up to the wall? bushes/scrubs? gravel, flower bins?
Not grass. Because of that incidental overhang I mentioned above, it's a real bitch mowing it. I don't know what my end goal would be, but it needs to keep the water away and stay put. Bare dirt with occasional tunnels right up against the foundation is terrible. I can't really do anything until I know the mole problem is gone.... or maybe I can?

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what is the elevation different between basement windows (or glass blocks) and the grass/dirt level?
Double pane up/down glass windows. Probably 5" to 8".

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To seed your brain, I'll try to describe an overall drainage plan for your outside, which is where most wet basement causes are.



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Except for sidewalk, driveway, stepping stones, etc, we want to have the 3 feet nearest the basement (and garage) to slope away from the structure, at least several inch drop. This can be done by adding dirt up against the wall/concrete, or raking away excess dirt from about 3 feet away from the wall.
I always do my best to grade the dirt away from the house after collapsing the mole tunnels.

One of the first things I'm doing this year once I start working outside is to trench out the dirt from the foundation that is above grade, clean it all good, and paint it with the black tar a few inches below grade, then fill it all back in.

I'm definatley open to any low-maintenance ideas you have for putting a border around the foundation that will keep water away. Like I said before, I don't want grass there for easy mowing, and if something can be put down there that would block the moles from coming close even better.

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How far below the dirt on the outside is your basement floor on the inside? you can measure from a window, how far below is dirt on outside, and floor on inside.


I measured it this morning while I was down there. About 44" to the window on the inside.

So probably in the mid to high 30's for the dirt level. I'd guess around 3 feet.

It occurs to me that I never mentioned the sump pump is in a crawl space and only has to push the water up about maybe 3 1/2 feet before it goes out the drain. The drain pipe is low compared to the windows on the livable side (the pipe goes through the foundation), but the dirt in the crawl grades down to the pump and then there's the extra depth of the well.


Hoo boy, it looks like you are running ahead of me on this facet, so I'll start on this one. Seems you have a number of issues we can resolve in varying ways, but I'll focus on this first, since you plan to dig at it soon.

One of the secrets is subterranean water control, channeling, sloping. This means just below the surface. I plan to tell you about 2 for lawns/dirt, since it doesn't sound like you have a lot of gravel drive/park area. If I forget to tell you about sub-surface gravel channel, be sure to remind me.

For now, the sub-surface control against the basement wall and the top treatment against the basement wall are not exactly the same thing, but they can be planned together and done at the same time.


To start, you might already know some of these things, but I'll explain in case you don't.
If you were to drop your garden water hose in the middle of your grass, the ground underneath normally becomes waterlogged in the shape of a cone, spreading wider the lower it goes. If the surface does not allow the surface water to spread, then the waterlogged subsurface dirt does not normally transition horizontally. We can use this to control things, and also later to divert water.

Consider next to your basement wall, say that surface water cannot get closer than 48 inches to your wall.

water
source,,,,48" of grass,,,,|
xxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx|
xxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx| 4
xxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx| 8
xxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx| "
xxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx|
4xxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxxxxx| b
8xxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxxxx| a
"xxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxxx| s
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxxx| e
oxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxxx| m
fxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxxx| e
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxxx| n
gxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxxx| t
rxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxxx|
axxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxxx| w
sxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxxx| a
sxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xxx| l
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\xx| l
water drainage patternxx\x|
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\|

Then that drainage pattern would not get to your wall until the bottom, where it meets your foundation, and your drainage tile takes in the water.
Imagine that is a 45 degree slope in the above image.

So one trick is to install a diversion/protector below the surface. Again, imagine this is a 45 degree slope of the diversion.


xx|,,,,,grass surface,,,,,,,
xx|
xx|\
xx|x\
b |xx\
a |xxx\
s |xxxx\
e |xxxxx\ ---diversion material
m |xxxxxx\
e |xxxxxxx\
n |
t |
xx|
w |
a |
l |
l |
----- <-- foundation

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In this way, if your distance from foundation up to grass surface is only 36", then a diversion material of about 24" size would extend about 18" from the wall, and protect your whole wall from most waterlogged dirt or water settling pattern. The top of the material rests against the wall (like against your tar), either flush with or usually below the surface a bit.
Now your water will find/make new channels to take the water away, not against your basement.
One material I've cheaply used was garbage bags, the leaf kind, cut open and laid flat single thickness. Having holes in it is mot a tragic problem, because the vast majority of the water is being diverted away from the wall.
But you might be concerned with moles. I really like cheap plastic or rubber sheets or runners. I go to Farm & Fleet, to the flooring section, and look for the stair runners, or carpet protector runner. Used to be less than a $ per foot, and in 2 foot width on the roll. This I would conjure to be adequate deterant to your moles - but no guarantee.

I hope that is explained well enough, the under surface part.

For the surface, conjure if you added about an inch or 2 of dirt (with grass on top) to all of the 3-foot border nearest your basement wall. For the vast majority of waterfall, this would keep surface water at bay, until the surface water flowed to someplace else, or soaked into the dirt.

One or both of those could give you thoughts on your upcoming digging.

For the surface treatment against the wall. Bushes, scrub, that mulch type stuff, big flat rocks, 1-2" stones, etc...
I understand you are planning to sell your house. This is something that contributes to "curb appeal" often. Remember that the new owner will have their own ideas about what they want - so just having something easy to convert could be good enough - like a blank slate. I think Signym may have ideas of these things, even though her water situation is about the opposite of ours.
Just grass is the least sturdy against unguttered roofs, which is what you had, and there was likely a line of bare dirt where the rain water dropped straight from the roof edge. Other plants absorb some water, while resisting weathering from dropping water.
Really, just keeping the abutment to the wall a higher elevation than a few feet from the wall will do you good. Having downslope area for water to run away is the goal.
I assume you were planning to use that garden divider stuff tp keep the grass away, makes mowing easy.


Man... I didn't even know you edited this post. When did you do that?


I wasn't planning on digging several feet down when I did the tar. I was only going to take a few inches away from the wall when I put the tar on... maybe half a foot.

That sounds like a great idea, but I don't know if I have the energy to do all of that digging. The back wall is 42' long, and if you add the porch it's about 65' long.

Yeah. When I didn't have gutters, there was a HUGE rut that formed along the back wall directly under the roof. Then, at the same time, it got higher along the foundation. I thought that was just displacement of the dirt, but it was actually the mole tunnels inside the area between the rut and the foundation.

Somewhere along the line, all of the grass died about 5" away from the wall. It makes mowing easy, but as windy as it gets around here I know I've lost dirt when it's dry because the ground keeps being displaced.

As long as you understand the concept and the solution, that is what is important. Keep it in the back of your mind until your problems are solved.

The digging would be about 18" or so deep, and about 18" away from the basement wall. There is no need to dig all at once, you can do a few feet or yards per day, pick it back up days later. The hardest part is getting the grass back on top nicely, but you said you don't want grass on top there anyhow. I don't know why you think it would be a bunch of work.



Surface abutted to basement wall.
The easiest and cheapest material I imagine is just grass on top. But you said you don't want that. I trim the grass against my walls with a weedwhacker, which I've gotten a couple from used places, yardsales - or else a garden shears.

The next cheapest and easiest, I imagine would be mulch on top, at least 1' and up to 3' away from the wall - I think 18-24" to be optimal. The border of mulch-to-grass could be that plastic or rubber divider thing stuck into the dirt. Or some cheap stuff like the strips of leaf garbage bags I already mentioned - just to keep the grass roots from creeping through the ground. I mentioned asking Signym for her thoughts on this, but I notice mulch for sale in stores, like gardening section. I would think you could just mulch stuff on your driveway with your mower.

I imagine the next cheapest material would be stone or rock - or gravel minus the sand and clay. Especially if you collect the material on your own, at a slow pace - grabbing stones and rocks, collect them in a pail in your car. Like from street gutters/curb, or gravel stones awash in corners of roads where the shoulder is gravel. I used to buy stones, rocks, bricks and blocks when they were at steep discounts at the quarrey stores.

Putting shrubs in the stone or mulch bed would move your border 3-4' from the wall, but I think that is more expensive, and not exactly non-maintenance.

I assume the most expensive (unless on sale) would be flat stone or large rock, or a mix of those. Maybe you know a place where large rocks are laying around, and those can fill in a bunch of surface area.


Regardless of which surface material you use, the most important part is to make the surface that is 3' from your basement wall at least 2" above the ground surface that is 4' from the wall. You want a real dropoff from 3-4' away, which is to repel surface water from your wall. The surface from the wall to 3' away should have a slope away at least an inch of drop, so water does not just stagnate on the surface.

You said you had about 8" from the bottom of your basement window to ground surface, so you could easily add 6" of topsoil or materials to your existing surface elevation. Places on your lawn which have high spots can supply dirt to add to your surface next to the wall.



Bagging your grass.
I think you said you bag all your grass when you mow. I don't know why you do. For a property on the verge of Flood Zone, bagging your grass doesn't seem to make sense. If not bagged, it would be mulched grass, settling in place, composting at the base of the rest of the grass, and becoming crosshatched later of your topsoil. In the past 10 years, I've added about 3 inches of topsoil to most of my yard, where I haven't adjusted the height. I think you've been there 15 years - you could have added 5" of topsoil, elevation to your lawn, helping to repel flooding. The excess encroaching your sidewalk and driveway only needs to be trimmed (edged) once a year, really.
The portions where I have the most topsoil buildup, the grass is thick and healthy, the weeds don't get much traction - almost a weed-free zone. Sometimes I rake that area of grass clippings into other spot with weaker grass cover, like against the basement, which is in the shade all the time.



Leaf raking.
I had mentioned using a leaf rake to adjust the shallows and contours of your surface topsoil. You seemed unfamiliar.
Let me give examples.
Once I noticed water puddling on the sidewalk, which is about 6 feet from the street curb, and parallel the street. Stagnant surface water is problematic for concrete, blacktop, etc - it makes cracks, settling worse. So I wanted to not have a puddle. When the grass/dirt was wet, at least once was in the actual rain, I took the leaf rake and stood on the curb or near grass, and raked the grass/dirt from the spot where the sidewalk had a dip and was puddling, and raking toward the curb. The curb was lower elevation than the sidewalk, by something like 5-9". I didn't keep raking until all of the grass was gone, uprooted, but a bunch of it was. This can be done with a garden hose also, soak the ground and make a puddle on the sidewalk. After letting some grass regrown strength, I would do it again. After about 3 times doing this, the grass/dirt was no longer an obstruction to water flow, but a surface conduit - and the sidewalk has never puddled there again, except certain times of winter, when ice is involved - but even that is vastly less.
Another time, noticed my back yard was holding water, like a huge pond back there. Between there and my front street were a back patio area of paver bricks, then a fence separating back and front yards, and then grass and sidewalk from fence to street. I likely could have channeled the back yard drainage onto my rear neighbor's yard, which would drain to her street. But that is not very courteous, and that neighbor at the time was nice and I got along with her.
The neighbor next door, adjacent to the back yard, who may have actually caused the drainage backup by driving on the lawn, has, I think a lower elevation than my backyard, but things still were not draining. During rain, water would also be standing atop the paver bricks of the patio. So I took out the leaf rake and from fence to front sidewalk, in a line through my side yard about 2-3' from the property line (4-6' from my basement wall), I raked the grass/dirt in the raking direction fence-to-street. I don't recall of I had to do this more than once. But the back yard never had accumulation, nor the brick patio again, as far as I have seen. That was likely 6 years or so ago.

This makes a very gradual, but effective conduit of surface water, not really visibly obvious except when there is a downpour. No fancy materials needed, no cost but work. Don't expect overnight to accomplish everything, but look at how you want your yard drainage to flow, and what spots of your grass surface are obstructing this flow.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 8:13 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


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Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Whoa, what??
You are putting LAUNDRY load waste water into your "sump" well?



Yup. Uncle Bob sucks all the balls...

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If so, this "sump" concept is a figment of imagination. What you describe is a Septic Pump, or Sewage Pump. If it is not an enclosed system, like you can see into the well/pit, or if it has merely a lid which can be taken off, then it is an open-well Septic pump or Sewage Pump.

I can still help you with this, but I need more info now.
what are the dimensions of this well? depth to the top rim, depth between pump start and pump stop switches, and diameter. I assume it is circular in shape.



Dunno. I know I had it written down and some point, but it would be easier just to crab walk down there and try to get some measurements.

It is circular in shape. It is made of concrete, although it was broken, likely on purpose, for the hard pipe going into it from the shower drain that runs through the concrete on the "livable" side of the basement.

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What are all of the sources going into your well? Your toilet? kitchen sink? bath water?


No toilets. They both feed out a different large crap tube in the back (livable) area of the house. Both bathroom sinks and the 2nd floor shower also feed out that back tube.

Like I said, the shower in the basement feeds into it, but I've never used it. I had to remove it all when I gutted the basement for the mold, but I broke one of the doors and it was very cost prohibitive to replace it, so there's nothing there now except the water pipes, the faucet, and the shower base with the drain that never gets used.

The kitchen sink runs out through the same pipe the sump pump exits, but it feeds directly into the pipe. I think it probably would end up in the well, at least some of it would, if it weren't for the check valve installed above the sump to keep the backflow from going into the well when it shuts off.

The laundry also feeds into the well. That's a real piece of work there. They put a PVC pipe on the wall behind the washing machine that the drain hose feeds into, then bolted up the PVC from the center of the house on the floor joists at the top of the crawl space to an elbow at the front of the house, then ran it along the front of the house and pointed it into the well.

Then there's the big 3 or 4" pipe that comes in from the outside. I assume from some sort of french drain system.

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How far away from the well is your washing machine? How far from your main sewage pipe (vertical, aka vent pipe) is your washing machine, and your sump well?


The washing machine discharge feeds into that PVC about directly in the center of the house proper on the diagram. Probably about 15' or so to the front of the house at the elbow, and then maybe 18 or so feet to the well. The PVC pipe is graded down the whole way to the pump.

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What size pipe is your sump pump discharge? Like 1 1/2", or 2"?


Probably 1 1/2"... maybe 2"?

What is the height of your basement ceiling - or rafters overhead, essentially first floor joists?


It's a tri-level... so about 3 1/2' in the dirt crawl space where the pump is located. Standard size in the livable area. Maybe just slightly shorter than the 1st and 2nd floors... so about 7 1/2'?

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When your pump went off last year and shot water out of the toilet, what floor was that toilet? Did you actually see it shoot out, or only the evidence afterward?


Basement, in the livable area. The separate crap tube that goes out the back of the house that must be tied into wherever the front pipe goes.

It didn't shoot out like old faithful, but it was full to the brim and every time the pump went off it poured out onto the floor until I shut the sump well off for 6 hours until it was safe to put it on again.

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Also, can you clearly describe the path of the pump discharge?
I think you said it somehow went up to about 3 1/2 ' above the basement floor, then went through some wall, then into some other pipe.



Yeah... but that's just a guesstimate. I'm going to have to go down there one of these days and take some proper measurements of everything for you. I hate being down there.

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I didn't understand if the sump well is in your basement - within the walls, or outside your basement, like in some crawlspace.


It's within the walls, in a dirt crawlspace of a tri-level home, directly under the kitchen sink on the 1st floor.

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Which wall does the discharge pipe go through, at what height, going to where?


Front wall. Drilled through the foundation and about 1 1/2 feet under the dirt, where I had to use a rubber do-dad with clamps to join the two broken pipes back together last year, which was about 1 1/2 feet from the clean out.

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What is the diameter of the pipe that this discharge pipe is connected to, flows into?



I have no idea at all how large the pipe going out into the street is past the cleanout, but if memory serves it is a 2" pipe since that's what size rubber coupler I had to buy to re-join them.

Come to think of it now, the sump discharge pipes all have to be 2" too. There's no way they're smaller than the pipe leading to the cleanout.

--------------------------------------------------

Give me liberty or just come shoot me in my house. I'm so over this ridiculous reality.

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