Big Pile Of Dirt – Day One

I should have taken a picture of the big pile of dirt before I beganso you could see exactly how big it was, but I didn't. I think you can still approximate the size from this angle.

I should have taken a picture of the big pile of dirt before I began so you could see exactly how big it was, but I didn’t. I think you can still approximate the size from this angle.

So long story short, I needed a big pile of dirt, enough to cover a little over 200 square feet to an average depth of six inches and if my math calculations were correct given what the dirt delivery people told me, that worked out to about six and half square yards, but just to be safe, I ordered seven square yards. Now, it has been quite awhile since I needed to use math for a practical application and I rather thought that a square yard would be about nine square feet since a yard only has three feet in it, but the dirt delivery people said their square yard was ten feet by ten feet and would be two inches deep.

But no matter whose math was mathematically correct, I had a big pile of dirt delivered this morning and shortly thereafter, borrowed a wheel barrow from my environmentally conscious neighbors because I don’t own a wheelbarrow. And then the spreading began. I was the only one spreading the dirt because the person who had said he would help, got a little wishy washy about the whole thing and it is better if the dirt stays dry until it is spread to its final resting place, so wishy washy types are probably not the best types to have around dirt that you want to remain dry until it meets its fate.

Now, some of you might be wondering if I thought about the role weather might play in keeping the big pile of dirt dry. I did. I wanted to get this project completed before it gets hot and humid which typically begins sometime in May. April is a dry month in these parts so the dirt should remain relatively dry, not that I thought I would need a whole month when I planned this project.

Before I began the dirt spreading process, I thought I could have it mostly done by the end of the weekend. After spending almost three hours shoveling dirt into the wheelbarrow, then pushing the wheelbarrow to where the dirt was needed, then dumping the dirt out of said wheelbarrow, then spreading it around and finally stamping it down, I’m reconsidering that timeline. I didn’t include the time spent trying to determine how level or close to level it was in my previous sentence because it didn’t seem that important because it doesn’t need to be perfectly level, but I did try to approximate levelness which may not be a word, but it didn’t take that much time. Now, I’m just hoping to be able to get it done in a couple of weeks.

I’m also hoping to be able to get out of bed tomorrow so that I can spread more dirt. Otherwise it’s going to take more than a couple of weeks.

So that’s my plan for the next few days or weeks. Hope you’re doing something equally or even more fun than dirt spreading this weekend. But if not, and you live nearby and have your own shovel, then stop by and you, too, can feel the joy (or whatever else that is that my back is feeling right now) that can only be had by spreading dirt. Seriously (not really), it’s loads of fun which is about all you can ask of a load of dirt.

Because one picture of a big pile of dirt wasn't enough and you can see how much I accomplished today from this angle, here's a second picture of a big pile of dirt. I'm hoping the next picture you see, will be smaller, well, not the picture, but the pile of dirt in the picture.

Because one picture of a big pile of dirt wasn’t enough and you can see how much I accomplished today from this angle, here’s a second picture of a big pile of dirt. I’m hoping the next picture you see, will be smaller, well, not the picture, but the pile of dirt in the picture.

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30 thoughts on “Big Pile Of Dirt – Day One

    • Thanks, Rogue! I’m filling in some areas near the house that have eroded over the years. It’s good to hear from you! Hope all’s well with you.

  1. No joke, be careful with your back. My neighbor and I, both fond of outdoor projects like shoveling and spreading dirt, now have herniated discs! Namely in the L4, L5 region and it’s a killer! So be careful, lady. Just a word to the wise. 🙂

  2. You should tell Mr. Wishy-washy that you need the credit card and then go rent a tractor with a front end loader at Home Depot or Lowes. You’ll reduce or avoid the wheel barrel altogether and make the job so much easier.

    Also look for St. Augustine grass plugs to prevent the new sand from washing out in the heavy summer rains.

    • I’d probably knock the house down with a front end loader. The grass plugs are a good idea, though my yard is mostly weeds since the ’93 flood killed the grass. Salt water tends to do that. Happily, the yard, weedy though it is, is mostly green with areas of small purple flowers and a few small yellow flowers.

      • LOL! Then you might want to look for a mini self propelled loader that’s roughly a yard wide. (Able to fit in a regular fence gate.)

        I understand about the salt water and grass issue. Wedelia would also work giving you yellow flowers, but take over the lawn. Same for Bengal clock vine.

  3. When we built our house, we had to bring up the level of the entire backyard by FOUR feet, or else have an above-ground septic system that looked like an old native American burial ground. It’s a very big yard. I never want to spend money on dirt again.

    • Fill dirt is very expensive. I saved about ten grand by not using fill dirt under my house which needed to be up about four feet because I’m on a floodplain. Instead, the house was built on a stem wall instead and that was almost 23 years ago. This pile of dirt was only about $150 so I was happy with that.

  4. People don’t usually have to ask for help spreading dirt. Usually people just fall to doing it as soon as someone’s back is turned.

  5. Oh, those promisers! That’s how we ended up with 2 mulch piles and a pile of river rock pebbles in the driveway! (2 sand piles the previous year….guess I was the only one that didn’t see you can only get shoveling help once)
    Many encouraging words sent (You just have to ignore all the stuff tracked inside right now)

  6. Sorry I’m late to the party, but I didn’t get to this post on the day you posted it, so then I had to keep skipping all the next parts till I had time to read them all. Good luck with your dirt! Looks pretty sandy to me.

  7. Just FYI. Found this while searching on how big a yard of dirt looked in a pile. When soil and gravel companies talk about “yards” they almost always mean cubic yards, 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. So that was probably why your calculation was different from theirs and the pile was so big. So 4 cubic yards is about 3 feet wide, 3 feet tall and 12 feet long.

    • Thanks for the info, Andy. I may have ordered too much dirt, but at the rate the armadillos are digging up my yard, I will eventually use all of it!

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