Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The holiday yard project

This space had just become a mud pit.
I spent Friday cleaning it out, removing all the old straw.
The space we call the AC yard is a small L-shaped area next to the house where our air conditioner unit once stood. It has since been moved out and I've expanded the fenced area, but the name remains. It's a handy place to let dogs out to do their business at night or in bad weather, but it's used mostly by Maya and TJ because they don't have access to the dog yard. The grass is long gone and I try to keep it covered with straw but it still gets muddy. TJ particularly delights in getting as muddy as possible out there and then tracking it in through the kitchen. I decided that the space needed a makeover and hopefully a permanent fix.

Maya, in her supervisory capacity.
I started on Friday afternoon, digging out several inches of wet, matted, straw and muck. It wasn't pretty. Then I started building a platform of sorts. It's just a series of pressure treated 1x6x8' boards, spaced a board's width apart. The idea was to create a solid level above the ground, which would still allow water and urine to go through but wouldn't be in direct contact with the soil. I built two 8'x8' sections and then cut them in half so I can easily lift them. I covered the ground with a generous helping of Sweet PDZ to absorb odor and I can lift the platform sections to put down more whenever necessary.
It's not really elevated off the ground, but it will prevent
direct contact between the straw and the ground.

The platform was then covered with two bales of straw, which the dogs consider to be a suitable place to poop and pee. I'll still scoop the poop and can rake off the straw in part or in its entirety whenever necessary. The things we do for love.

Very low tech engineering to match my limited
building skills.

This was the end of Day 2. I ran out of lumber.
TJ continued to look for spots he could dig and
make a mess, but there are fewer of them now.

Here it is, almost complete.

Cutting each section in half makes them much easier to pick
up so I can treat the ground under them.

End of Day 3, Clay spreading straw

Maya loves to lay in and play in fresh straw.

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