Dirt McGirt

We spent the weekend digging up the backyard in preparation for a patio. Fun. (A big ‘thank you’ to my mom for helping us yesterday though!)

Digging for a Patio

Digging for a Patio

Related: What does one do with a huge pile of dirt?

Huge Pile of Dirt

We’re not even finished with the digging (we need to get down to 8″). Which means there will be even more dirt. Boo.

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  • Sommer
    June 30, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I know what you can use some of the dirt for! Build some taller raised planting beds, vegetable or flower, and use the dirt to fill them.

    Or offer the dirt on craigs list to others who need dirt to fill their raised beds.

  • Jules
    June 30, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Sommer’s idea to offer it on Craigslist is a good one. Freecycle, too. The area I used to live in was mainly gravel, so dirt-suppliers would buy dirt off people. They’d drive around in big trucks that said, “GOT DIRT?” Your soil looks so healthy and loamy that I doubt dirt supply is a problem in your area??

  • RoseCampion
    June 30, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    yes! big pile of dirt means raised beds! They’re so awesome. I can’t tell you how much dirt and other stuff I used to buy for my raised beds, back when I had the big yard and garden thing.

  • Tracey
    June 30, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    What lovely black dirt you have- I live where it is clay and hard as a rock. Save the dirt for raised beds, containers, etc. A girl can never have enough dirt nearby!

  • Jessica
    June 30, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    You look so chic while digging, I can’t believe your whites are still white! My idea for the dirt has already been mentioned, but I’m adding it in the hopes that you will be fully convinced: build raised beds for planting veggies for eating or flowers for cutting! Keep posting the updates, I love reading about your garden/yard adventures!

  • vol25
    June 30, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Raised beds are REALLY nice… Looks like a ton of work! Heres hoping you can curl up in a lounger on your brand new patio and have a nice long sip of something cool and refreshing…. very soon!

  • ann
    June 30, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    wow – I have dirt envy. our dirt is full of clay. we got a bunch of better dirt (and mulch) off craigslist for free – somehow it feels just wrong to pay for it. maybe a community garden needs it or something?

  • Silvia
    June 30, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    wow your garden is waiting to become a fantastic heaven for you!
    good and hard job indeed! :-D

  • bandelle
    June 30, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    You are doing such amazing things with your garden! I have been quietly following along and hope that my backyard will look half as good when we finally tackle it in August. It’s definitely NOT the best time to do it but that’s when my mum is visiting from Australia — she has a green thumb and unfortunately I didn’t take after her…


  • Jennifer
    June 30, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I’ve been lurking too and I just have to say you inspire me to re-do our home and to plant a gazillion flowers. Well, I need to learn to deal with just a small bit first. ;)

    It’s looking so exciting and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  • LeeAnn
    June 30, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    That dirt looks really fertile! I am sure some gardeners in the area would swipe that stuff up! I bet your county extension office has a Master Gardeners club member who could use some. Maybe you could arrange a swap. Gardeners always like that. “Trade dirt for perennial plants.” Its a win-win situation!

  • All Things Lovely
    June 30, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Oh, I HATE digging!! When I did my backyard I could barely move. It will all be worth it, but I feel your pain. :)

  • amy purple
    June 30, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    why aren’t you wearing gloves?!! Your poor hands! A patio is going to be super cute! Are you going to stain the concrete?

  • Nichole
    June 30, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    When I lived with my parents I remember helping them re-do the front yard with mulch and flower beds. The high school I went to had a horticulture class where we’d make our own raised beds, and the school got donated soil from neighbors – maybe you could do that? Otherwise, you’d be amazed at how much depth and interest raised beds could give a garden.

  • katelynjane
    June 30, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Wow! That’s a lot of work, good for you for getting in there! We’re not doing much yard work this year (other than my gardening) but we’re focusing on the house.

  • Jason
    July 1, 2008 at 6:21 am

    It is looking great and the most difficult task is nearly over. We recently installed a patio and used the extra soil for raised beds. Another benefit…our dogs stay out of the raised beds so the flowers and vegetables are not getting stepped on!

  • Amanda
    July 1, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Wow! High five on all the hard work. Digging, um, SUCKS. Can’t wait to see your patio though. I lurve patios! You doing brick or pavers or what?

    I vote for raised beds also, or at least ONE raised bed, for veggies.

  • alivicwil
    July 1, 2008 at 8:12 am

    I’m adding my voice to the chorus… Lovely-looking soil! (Much nicer than my clay and landfill!!) You could raise your beds, or advertise “soil: free to a good home” :)

    can’t wait to see the finished product!!

    we have pavers laid already in our yar, but we plan to extend them once it gets warmer (we’ve just hit cold, windy winter here in Canberra).

  • Elizabeth
    July 1, 2008 at 8:36 am

    i have dirt envy too! we have georgia red clay and have to pay money for dirt that looks like yours! we used dirt from digging gravel paths and excavating terraces in our back yard to fill raised beds, put berms around recently planted shrubs so they funnel water to the plant, and shared with neighbors. can’t wait to see the patio!

  • Wendy
    July 1, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I have to say use the dirt in containers. I would do tomatoes in a barrel. That way you only need a plant or two for a house hold of two. And you could do something else in another barrel. I have never been a fan of raised beds myself but that is simply a preference, I like have the barrels so I can have them off to a side and still have green lawn to play bocce, or ball with the nieces and nephews. And if you have a heavy duty dolly you can generally move the barrels as well, so if you misplaced them and they are getting too much or too little sun you can move them.

  • marné
    July 1, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    That’s going to look so great! My aunt is a fabulous gardener, and has several beds that are little mounds, with stone edging (here’s an example, along with a few other photos in that set). I never would have thought of doing something like that, but it really makes the landscaping interesting.

  • marné
    July 1, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    boo! my link didn’t work, here it is again: http://www.flickr.com/photos/heylucyloo/189634369/in/set-72157594199251359/
    You may have to copy and paste.

  • Green {Goody}
    July 1, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    All that hard work will be worth it when you are chillin’ on the patio with a cocktail. I love the raised beds thought, but you could offer it to the neighbors also. They may be in the market for dirt…

  • JUST COOL Design Blog
    July 1, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    your dirt is beautiful…so is your blog

  • Making it Lovely
    July 1, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I think we’ll try offering it on Craigslist. Our whole garden would have to be made of raised beds to use all of the dirt. This is what we’re up to now:

    Lots of Dirt.

    It is nice dirt. This is the midwest, after all. Home of rich and plentiful soil. Hopefully someone(s) can use it.

    We’re going to put in pavers, if we ever finish preparing the ground.

  • CK
    July 3, 2008 at 10:50 am

    We did the same thing – dug up our backyard and put in pavers. We didn’t realize how much dirt ended up having to be transported out of our backyard. We had to rent a rolloff container (big dumpsters that are parked in the street) and wheelbarrow the pile out – it took 2 days!

  • Dustin
    July 7, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Hm. My deck is on those pyramid-with-a-flat-top-shaped concrete pillars, and I ended up backfilling a lot of the area that I’d dug out, once the pillars were set in place.

    It might be worth it to have a giant pile of dirt in the back yard for a little extra time, until you can get your deck finished, to make sure you’re not gonna craigslist something you wish you had later.

    Anyway, I love your blog! It’s much warmer in my climate (last week we were up over 100 degrees F!) so my plant choices are a little different. But my cosmos are doing great, and I have enjoyed following along as you fancy up your digs. It’s inspiring!

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