The Front Walk: Excavation Begins!

– Posted in: Front Walk, Hardscaping and Projects

Last Saturday, May 4th, work on the front walk began! First my son Rundy marked out the edges of the walk with string and stakes.

man pushing a spade into the ground.

Then Rundy used a spade to cut the edge of the walk along the string.

man cutting sod with a spade

Then he used the spade to cut sections of sod, sliding the spade under the roots. The hen is inspecting his work to make sure it is not harboring any worms or other tasty morsels.

man carrying sod to pile

After a section is cut, he folds it over and carries it to the pile. (This part is easier if you have lifted weights for years.)

man using mattock

Next he uses a mattock to break up the grass that was growing too sparsely to lift as sod.

man shoveling dirt into pickup truck

Then he digs and shovels the dirt out into the bed of the truck.

When he fills up the bed of the truck, he will fill up the trailer parked behind it. He uses the mattock to loosen the soil as needed and to pry out the larger rocks. The goal is to remove eight inches of soil throughout.
soil removed in preparation for a front walk.

He didn’t quite finish, and this Saturday it rained, so no further progress has been made.

That’s not precisely true. The soil has been used to fill in low places in the lawn. The larger rocks that you see along the edge in the grass have been collected and dumped on the rock pile. However, no more digging has been done. And while looking over these pictures, I am surprised at how much more leafed out the trees are that are in the background. Spring has sprung!
Other posts about the front walk include:

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

Rundy May 16, 2013, 11:24 am

For the curious, all the work done in the photographs was completed in six hours. I took a few short breaks and didn’t work with any haste but was tired when I stopped.

Aaron May 15, 2013, 12:32 pm

I am sure you must have worked really hard to accomplish this with in a day. Must have relaxed over some nice meal accompanied with some nice beer after a tough job perfectly executed.

Joene at Joene's Garden May 14, 2013, 6:11 am

Love watching this project of yours unfold. Glad you have good young and strong help to facilitate the work.

Lisa at Greenbow May 13, 2013, 7:11 pm

This is one big project. Ahhh to be so young and strong. Great job. Can’t wait to see the next series of the project.

Rachel Moran May 13, 2013, 3:55 pm

Impressive that he did that in a day. I bet you’re excited to finish the walkway. Haha, I love the hen supervising the work!

Elissa May 13, 2013, 2:47 pm

You gotta love it when the hens supervise the work.

Becky May 13, 2013, 12:57 pm

I’ve watched Ed do this so many times only now the pieces of sod are a lot smaller. It’s a pleasure to watch your son work and to see your path become a reality!

Donalyn May 13, 2013, 8:24 am

Exciting progress Kathy – I look forward to the continuation!

debra May 12, 2013, 11:49 pm

exciting~ you have your own “yard boy,” and that’s priceless~

kim May 12, 2013, 1:21 pm

hi ya’ll! this is my first visit to this site, i’m really enjoying it. i found it by accident. i am looking for a source to get bamboo seeds/cuttings. can anyone help me? i’m doing the same kind of work that the young man in the pictures was doing, but i’m putting in a new flower bed next to my sidewalk. it is back breakin work! especially since i have four herniated disc in my lower back! i know, you probly think i’m crazy for doing it, but, i love to play in the dirt. nothing makes me happier. i’m so glad it’s finally getting warm. i live in central illinios. we have pretty long and cold winters. i’m not used to this climate. i’m from jackson tn. my son still lives there, he’s been gardening for a month. nice talkin to ya’ll. i hope some of you can help me findsome bamboo? thanks, kim

Jenny May 12, 2013, 9:48 am

How exciting. A strong back really is an asset especially when a family member.

Cindy, MCOK May 12, 2013, 9:11 am

Hooray for strong young men! It’s going to be such a pleasure for you to walk that path when it’s done.

Carol - May Dreams Gardens May 12, 2013, 7:32 am

That’s impressive how much Rundy dug out in a day.
I look forward to your next post on the progress.

Frances May 12, 2013, 6:53 am

This is just too exciting, Kathy! I loved watching Rundy dig and lift that sod as though it were styrofoam instead of heavy, damp soil and grass. But the kicker of this story has got to be the chicken!!!!

Layanee May 12, 2013, 6:50 am

Looking good. And what will he do with the sod? He is very precise and methodical. I am so happy to see it is happening.

Donna@Gardens Eye View May 12, 2013, 6:21 am

The exciting part has started and each step is like a puzzle being completed…can’t wait Kathy!

Leslie May 12, 2013, 1:22 am

Hope you are planning on moving the mailbox. It looks a bit awkward in the middle of the path

Charlie@Seattle Trekker May 11, 2013, 11:10 pm

You accomplished quite a bit. I am looking forward to seeing your finished walkway.