Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rental Property Landscaping (Part 1)

Rental Property Landscaping (Part 1)



  • Mini Skid Steer 
  • Mallet

ADHDiY labor

Planning: 4 Hrs
Installation: 12 Hrs

Cost: $950

I own a rental property in Albuquerque, and needed to complete some landscaping in the backyard. 
I had received an estimate of almost $3000.00 to install gravel and some sod, but i knew the sod would die without soil preparation first, and the gravel would nearly instantly grow weeds without the proper geotextile fabric below it.
For the materials, I rented a mini-skid steer to move them from the front into the back, since the gate to the back was too small for the truck to drop the gravel in the back yard.  It made the work far easier, and much faster. 

As a side note, the hydraulics that are used to steer the machine can be very touchy, and i accidentally hit the house with the bucket.

The sprinkler system was already installed by a professional, and was ready for grass.  I put the topsoil in first, as it was the farthest away from the gate.

I was originally planning on having about 2" of topsoil in the grass area, but I didn't have accurate measurements, and was also short on the order of topsoil.  The conversion for topsoil is .75 yards to 1 ton, and I was expecting 1 yard per ton.  There are some "thin" spots, but we did get relatively good coverage of about 1.5 to 2 inches. The Grass seed is a mix of perennial ryegrass, and fescues, with a sprinkling of white clover.

It works very well in the hot, semi-arid climate of Albuquerque, while surviving the cold winters.
I planted the seed while it is dormant, and covered it with the seed germination blanket. It will protect from both the strong New Mexico spring winds and birds.

I had a small retaining stone flower garden next to the house, and the stone had unfortunately been stolen.  The soil was in good shape, and there was still a remnant of a rose bush, I used the no dig edging to line the existing garden, and planted the Southwest Flower mix. 

I used the no dig edging to line a walkway for the Amaretto Brown crusher fines, on top of the 6 foot wide fabric. The walkway went to the irrigation system manifold, and around the back patio. The edging is excellent and easy to install.  I had previously installed a shade tree, but it did not make it past year 2.  As such, a new tree will be put in place over the spring/summer next year.  The well for the new tree was laid out with the existing small retaining block stone.

The 7/8' Grey Crushed went on the east side of the house, and was placed on top of the geotextile fabric.  The fabric is made to handle the sharp edges of crushed gravel, and is strong enough to have small equipment drive over it without tearing.

The next step is installing a retaining wall across the hill of the back to create a minor terrace, allowing for fruit trees to be planted.

Any gaps between the retaining wall and the gravel path will be filled in with the same crushed grey stone.

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