Step 3 – Clear the Space

Project 802 officially began on August 2, 2009. With the help of a landscaping crew, we empty the space. Next step is to level the area and fill the holes from the two rectangular ponds. I filled them with that expensive mistake, the pea gravel. Well, at least I got to use it in the end.


Even with the space empty it still looks messy to me. In the back corner of the space, there was a crepe myrtle tree and some variegated ginger. All of that was removed and the crew dug out the tree roots and leveled the area. A small backyard with a wooden fence.

With the space cleared and level, they started laying down the Lumite® fabric.

Laying Down the Fabric

While this was going on, two dump trucks delivered 4 cubic yards of decomposed granite and 6 cubic yards of vegetable garden mix (for the raised beds).

Dump Truck delivering Decomposed Granite

They had to deliver it in the street, due to the Live Oak over the driveway. There was not enough room, which meant longer wheelbarrow trips for the crew. Two trucks were used to keep the gravel from mixing in with the soil. Costs a little more for the delivery, but was worth it in the long run.

Soil and Gravel Delivered

The decomposed granite has a nice red color to it.


The soil was a special mix from Living Earth Technology at their Katy, Texas location on I-10. It cost around $24 per cubic yard. The decomposed granite came from them too, and costs a whooping $65 per cubic yard. It ended up costing over $300 for the gravel alone. It was definitely worth it after seeing the end result.

vegetable soil mix Full of rich composted matter, sand and topsoil. I sent a sample off the Soil Laboratory at Texas A&M for testing. It is a good idea to test your soil before starting your garden, so you’ll have a chance to amend the soil if needed. I do not expect I will need to do that, but we’ll wait for the results. Here is the website (Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory) that has the information, forms and instructions for sending in your soil. I chose the Urban Soil Submittal form for homeowners.

The crew hauled the decomposed granite into the space one wheelbarrow at a time and spread it over the Lumite® about 2-3 inches thick. Once the entire space was covered they use tool called a tamper (a flat 8″ square plate on a pole) which I purchased at Lowe’s to lightly pound it in place. It looks so much neater now and the granite is easy to walk on.



Decomposed Granite in Place

Now that the new floor has been installed, the next step is to install the three raised beds. I partially constructed the beds on Sunday August 2, 2009 just one day before the tear out began on Monday August 3rd.

On to Step 4 – Installing the raised beds.

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