Project Garden – Gravel and Poop

With the weather starting to warm up, I’ve returned to Project Garden in full force.

I am really pleased with how the grass is doing (although it looks like some of the grass isn’t doing too well…) in the area that used to be gravel. It looks so vibrant now.

Not all the seeds sprouted but I did scatter the seeds when the ground temperature was lower than recommended so it could have been much worse. It’s been growing like crazy the past month and jams my mower every second step.

I admit, I was lazy with watering and the rain didn’t reach the edge of the house so I have a nice strip of dirt. The neighborhood cats love pooping there. It stinks! I tried deterring the cats by placing rocks there but no luck. You win this round, cats.

I can’t wait until it warms up enough to scatter some more seeds.


The other side of the house is much less attractive. When my pipes were replaced in May, I was left with a large clay mound on the spot I was digging up in order to lay out paving. The soil above my pipes have been compacting and I’ve been topping it up with my mound of clay. That clay is horrible so I’ve also covered the area with topsoil. That still leaves me with a small clay mound to deal with before I can think about paving.

My effort with the big dirt patch has been unsuccessful. I did sprinkle some seeds in autumn but the grass died off after a month or two (but the weeds are doing well, despite the presence of a weed mat).
That got me thinking – do I want more lawn? How about turning the space into one big garden bed?

Where did my grass go? And what’s that smell…?

A few weeks ago I set out to remove the shallow weed mat and start preparing the area using the sheet mulching method. Alas, I discovered that the “soil” above the weed mat was actually sandy soil mixed with a lot of gravel. Guess I should have checked that earlier in the year. It’s also a treasure trove of cat poop! I have a kitty litter box right in front of my bedroom window! I have started the process of sifting the soil from the gravel and poop. It’s a slow process but also quite soothing.

I would love to know what the previous owner was thinking when she decided to put gravel all over the place (I’d also like to know how much it cost her). That dirt patch is so ugly. Surely that wasn’t what she had in mind?

One day my garden will be beautiful.


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