Playset landscaping

On Thursday the delivery guy unloaded 20 cubic yards (about 7 tons) into our front yard. I spent about 20 hours total on Friday and Saturday getting it hauled back to the playset using the new garden cart that Dad bought and Nathan’s two-wheel wheelbarrow (which I have to say is MUCH easier than the single-wheel I’ve been using for years). By the way, a pitchfork worked WAY better than any shovel for moving mulch. Nathan came over and friday and helped for a couple of hours. Neither day got above freezing temperatures, and the winds were rather brisk. Since the mulch was still actively composting, it was almost hot, giving off steam as we dug into the pile.

Here’s the pile in the front yard, with Mom and Dad’s tractor for scale:

pile of mulch

Twenty yards was plenty of mulch, so a couple of yards went into our flowerbeds our next-door neighbors used some for theirs as well. I’d say about 15 yards went into the playground, which encompasses an area about 1250 square feet. That provides more than the suggested safety margins around the structure I put the mulch on very thick in the areas where kids are more likely to fall. We used twelve 8-ft composite recycled landscaping timbers and some spikes to form the boundary between the playground and the yard. By the way, I’m not entirely sure what those timbers are made of, but they dulled my wood/metal drill bit in short order…

playset with mulch

We have just a little bit to finish with the landscaping (once I sharpen my drill bit!) See the project page for all the pictures of the landscaping.

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  1. You know, I’d have to check to be sure, but I’m pretty sure they are 2-1/2″ high, 3-1/2″ wide, and 8′ long. They are the same size as the cheap wooden timbers with the rounded ends, and they have a tongue and groove so you can stack them. I stacked two and staked them to the ground with 24″ pieces of rebar. I offset the top and bottom courses a little bit for stability. I could have gone with much bigger timbers, but this isn’t really a retaining wall, just a small border.

    Each timber is about $5 at Menards and weighs 35-40 lbs. I will try to post another detailed picture soon if the weather cooperates.

  2. I have some of those timbers from Menards. I made a vegetable garden out of them and now I am wondering what is in them and if they are safe. I am growing food, so it is a concern. Any ideas?

  3. They were called “composite” in the store. As far as I can tell, it looks to be mostly rubber. Whatever it is, it’s not a completely homogeneous mixture. They smelled like rubber when I drilled/burned a hole through them.

  4. Could you tell me the SKU number on the timbers? I am desperately trying to find them here in Ohio. I bought some from menards about 4-5 years ago and build a raised bed garden. Now I want to build another and can’t find them. Menards told me if I could get a SKU# they might be able to track them down for me. Of course I don’t have one from the bed I already built. 🙁 I’d greatly appreciate any help.

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