This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area



August 2, 2014

Repair, after the rain, of an area of artificial turf

When it rains here in Phoenix in the summer, it comes down HARD. On the news, they call it monsoons. They are violent thunderstorms that dump a LOT of water FAST.

So, one of the things I've always kept an eye on here is drainage in the yard. In fact, when it rains I always get an umbrella and check to see that everything is draining properly. This is a typical suburban house, which was designed to hold a certain amount of rainwater, and then the have the water flow safely around the house and into the street. So certain areas of the yard become temporary lakes, until the water flows away.

And the area you see where I put the flagstone I had noticed was becoming more and more of a problem every year. It's at the bottom of a slope, but the yard itself tips just enough that this area had become a *swale*. And that meant that it was slowly depressing. Just going under the artificial turf and adding more sand, or gravel, wasn't going to help in the long run, it needed to be re-engineered.

Luckily, I had a stray piece of flagstone sitting by the side of the house, and this morning, while it was cool, I did the repair.

The artificial turf is pretty tough, so I cut it was a small saw. To get the correct shape, what I did was the old-fashioned *trace around your fingers* routine. You remember, that's how we all drew turkeys when we were kids! Only I traced with the saw, then moved the flagstone out of the way. It's heavy!

The next step was to remove the gravel, and mud, that was where the flagstone went until it matched the correct level. This piece of flagstone is very thick, so I had to remove a lot of gravel. I will feel that in my back tomorrow! It took three *fittings* of putting it in and taking it out to get it just right. It's very solid, and the *grass* has been trimmed right up around it. The artificial turf his held in place by big iron nails, by the way. No, you can't seem them, that's the point.

I'm done for now, but I'm not satisfied with the design. I think I will soften that hard edge on the left by trimming the grass back at an angle, and putting in more river rocks. But the main engineering is done. The rest is just fine details, which will be fun!
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